Saturday, June 11, 2011

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Dear Reader,

Yesterday our great good canine companion Xam, the Bread Baker's Dog, went to heaven. He is probably running around the fields of heaven with our son Max. Notice that Xam is Max spelled backwards...that's how Max wanted it. Xam started out as Max's dog. Later he spent a lot of time with me and once Sweetie retired he spent a lot of time with him.

Xam loved 'people food', especially freshly baked bread. He was an expert Frisbee catcher until a few years ago when it was harder for him to jump. He loved to go on rides and especially to the beach or for the quiet walk along the Laguna where his tail was up and swishing back and forth in pleasure. He was a leaner, loving to lean up against you when you were petting him. Almost every evening he would go out the dog door and bark at the property line near the road...just to let everyone know that he was guarding the house...or maybe it was because the squirrel who lived in the tree there was teasing him...hard to say.

We got to keep Xam almost as long as Max was with us. 15 years for Xam, which is pretty long for a big old black lab, 16 (almost 17) for Max, which is way too short. We miss both of them intensely. We are grateful that we had each of them in our lives. Sweetie and I are sad today, missing them both. No food talk this time...maybe tomorrow.

XO Elle


  1. Oh, Elle, I'm so sorry. I had no idea he was so old. He was game for just about anything, though, wasn't he? He always looked as if he had so much fun.

    May his memory bring you joy.

  2. Oh, Elle...I'm so sorry to hear of Xam's passing. It is nice to know that he's back with Max, though :) Reunited with his best friend forever.

  3. So sorry for your loss.

  4. Aw, lovely but heartbreaking post. How did you pronounce Xam? I am thinking like Zam?
    So sorry.
    Lou. xxx

  5. So sorry to hear that.

  6. THank you all for your sympathy. Lou, it's pronounced like Zam as in Alec-a Zam! He did have a lot of fun Tanita, but he was 15 years old and his body just wore out, especially the breathing part.I'll bet he is a puppy again in heaven...he always retained that puppy like enthusiasm.

  7. aww I'm so sorry :( I know that day will come for me too, I don't know how to leave my's so hard, I'm so sorry..

  8. Anonymous12:03 PM

    My dear, dear Elle,
    What a beautiful post. You captured him exactly. You already know that we're grieving with you, but this post was too sweet and sad not to connect with you here, too.
    Much love to you and Sweetie, and big hugs, too.

  9. This is such sad news! Xam looks like such a fine dog. I can only imagine how difficult a time this is for you now and just how empty the house must feel.

    But I find myself also imagining a boy and a dog running happily through Elysian fields and being comforted by it. I'm glad you find comfort from that as well.

  10. Next Sister Down5:09 AM

    The two things I remember best about Xam, from a visit some years ago:

    1. The way he played. He would approach with his chew-toy, obviously wanting you to grab it and wrestle with him. But just as you would reach for the toy, he would move his head slightly, and the toy would slip past your fingers. It took me some observation to determine that it was part of the game, because at first, it just seemed like a random movement of his head. He moved just his head, and just a little, so it wasn't obvious. It was like he just happened to move naturally, not purposefully. But he did it every time. He was a dog with a sly sense of humor.

    2. He was also a big lap baby. That's the other thing I remember: Sitting on your sofa, and Xam would get up and want to cuddle, as if he were still a puppy.

    Nothing can fill the hole that he has left, but I know you have many many happy memories of him to cherish.

  11. Anonymous8:02 AM

    This makes me sad. I knew Xam as a (wild) putty, in his middle years, and in semi-retirement of just a few years ago. He was special. When you talked about him beaing a "leaner" I realized for the first time that it was so. As with Max, I wish I had known him better.

    This is also an IOU for a hug, which I hope I can deliver soon.


  12. Elle and Sweety, I feel sorry for the loss of your best friend, Xam.