by Arlene R. O'Neil

August 15, 2006


In Loving Memory

Our beloved Merribuck

My friend when I was alone, my companion for 14 years.

Her sweetness and tenderness will not be forgotten.

Died May 26, 1993 of Mast Cell Leukemia


 Merribuck became, and remains, very important to me and no work or statement of my life would be complete without her.  She was a Border/Sheltie mix and there could not exist a more tender, sweet and loving spirit.  Merri allowed me to blossom in those areas important to nurturing and mothering.

I had made sure that my brother and sister had food and made it to school.  I held them in my arms at night when they ran to my bed for protection during those horrendous fights.  But, we were surviving, and love under those circumstances was different.  It was more fierce than gentle, more militant than nurturing.  With Merribuck, I learned the sweet, soft, cuddle-kind of love.  I learned a new kind of protectiveness.   I learned how to play, to cajole, to pat and pet, hug and stroke, kiss and aahhhhhhhh, just immerse myself in loving another being without fear, without looking over my shoulder in fear, without fear of loss!

Excerpt from Son of My Soul - The Adoption of Christopher




Buffy, right and Sherman, left

Mother and Son.  

Although they were my Brother and Sister-in-law's

companions, we all loved them dearly.

We will miss Buffy's sweet and loving nature and the courtesy Sherman

always extended when we arrived.  Walking up to us, he would gently take

our wrist in his mouth and escort us to the door.

(dates to follow)


Our sweet songster, Tom Bombadil.

His sweet song filled our home with music.  We will miss

him dearly.




Something to reflect on as you live and lead each day ...

Being  a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Blue
Heeler named  Belker. The dog's owners - Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy,
Shane -  were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

I  examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family there
were  no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia
procedure for  the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me  they thought it would be good
for the four-year-old Shane to observe the  procedure. They felt Shane could
learn something from the experience.

The  next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family
surrounded  him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that
I  wondered if he understood what was going on.

Within a few minutes, Belker  slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed
to accept Belker's transition  without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after  Belker's death, wondering aloud about the
sad fact that animal lives are shorter  than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I  know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of this mouth  next stunned me
-I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said,  "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life -
like loving  everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued,
"Well, animals  already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as



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