Dave the dog has died, lying in state until weekend cremation
By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist
September 30, 2009 7:09 AM
StoryPhotos ( 1 )
Malcolm Connors and his dog Starlit have a visit with the Connors' other dog , Dave, who died Sunday. The dog is lying in state in the family living room until Saturday
Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
Dave is stretched out on his dog bed, beside the couch in the living room, looking as if he's exhausted after a hard day running in the fields beside Elk Lake.
Malcolm Connors, owner of the large collie cross, talks to Dave before heading off to work and then brings the dog up to date on family activities.
But, despite the lifelike pose, Dave is dead.
"He looks content," said Connors, reaching down to pat his companion of 12 years.
"I have been telling him how much I will miss him in my life and I believe he does hear. He knows I am here. I am convinced of that," he said.
Dave died unexpectedly Sunday afternoon, after playing outdoors with Connors and Starlit, the family's second dog.
"It was a bit of a shock," said Lizzie Connors.
So, as with the Connors' previous three dogs, Dave is lying in state in the living room until he is cremated Saturday afternoon at Glory Bound Pet Crematorium in East Sooke.
The body is surrounded by cedar and fir boughs, topped with flowers and his dog collar is laid out beside him.
"I know it's not for everyone, but I think it is important that we have this time together. We just find it helps us," said Connors.
There is a slight smell developing as Dave lies in state.
"But it doesn't bother us. There are worse things in life," Connors said.
The family is spending more than $400 on an obituary in the Times Colonist and, as has been done for their previous cats and dogs, Connors is creating a special book of handwritten memories, photographs and memorabilia.
The walls of the neat Saanich home are covered with photos and stories about their dogs and cats and, in the bedroom is a row of urns.
Other pet owners seem to agree that mourning is important and, after an obituary appeared for their previous dog, Pal, cards and letters of condolence poured in from strangers.
On Saturday, Connors will accompany Dave to the crematorium and wait until the ashes are put into an urn.
"Then I will drive him home again. He will never be alone," Connors said.
The next problem will be lifting Starlit's spirits.
Starlit has been lying beside Dave's body and seems depressed, Connors said.
To make matters worse, this week the three-year-old dog is having a $5,000 knee operation and then has to be confined for four months.
"So, I have moved my bed downstairs and a table and a chair for me to watch TV so I can be with her," Connors said.
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