Last Thursday two queens died – Queen Elizabeth and Dianne.  Thank you for all your comforting comments – if you’re an animal lover you’ve experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing a pet and like many of you have said, the fact that she was very old indicates her level of care for all that time.  And for those of you owning an elderly pet right now, I know the dread you’re feeling.  Telly is 11-1/2 – I’m also feeling that dread.

Many years ago Dianne broke her leg – I have no idea how – but I took her to Jim who agreed to set her leg even though neither of us were sure it would be successful.  Her back leg stuck out straight in a cast ( I wish I could find the picture) and to keep her safe she went to live in Becky’s porch so she couldn’t get lost somewhere on the farm.  I found this little figurine many years ago that sits right by my sewing machine which shows exactly how she would sit – with that leg stuck out straight.

Jim set her leg and Jim ended her life many years later.  Aren’t we so grateful we can do this for our beloved pets?  As someone pointed out, it’s too bad we can’t do this for family members in care centers who are no longer living productive and comfortable lives.

Thank you, Everyone, for your sincere condolences  –  it really does help to know others understand.  My heart still hurts.

68 thoughts on “Two Queens

  1. Kathy

    I’m so sorry Mary. “Love Hurts”.
    I don’t even know Telly and I have the same fear for you. That figurine will be a great reminder for you. The first time I went through losing a pet as an adult was one of those times when you called for a dog block. It healed my heart a little bit to be able to make the block through my tears and send it to you. The magic of Quilts !

    1. Mary e

      I loved receiving all those dog blocks from readers and they made a spectacular quilt, didn’t they? Thanks for your block!

  2. Leslie from Maryland

    Your heart hurts because you cared…They are family. She, I think, was the cat who slept on the bed with me when I was there so many years ago… God Speed…

    1. Me

      Les – yes, I’ll bet it was Dianne! She became somewhat of a recluse in later years but she was always one of my friendliest cats. I’m glad she slept with you on your visit. How many years ago was that? I remember it was Pumpkin Day, right?

  3. Angie from Baltimore

    You cared and you will keep in your heart. You are so right about ending their life In Peace

  4. Linda W

    I’m so sorry for your loss of Dianne. Our pets are our children. My hubby said “no more dogs”after we had to put our last one down. I love large dogs and now that we live in the city, I agree.
    When I read about Dianne, I was reminded of my childhood neighbor’s cat also named Dianne. She was a barn cat and would wander across the road to our house at times.

  5. Marilyn Miller

    Diane, no doubt, lived her best life with you on the farm, as with all your pets. I am curious about how you named your Telli. I was fortunate enough to visit your shop several times over the years, attending your great sales, and a class where we made hypertufa, too, and Telli has always seemed like such a sweetheart. My two pups, now 13 years old, brother and sister, are such an integral part of our family. Anxiety and dread for the inevitable lis real. You have experienced it time and again with your hairy, furry and feathered friends. There’s a special place in Heaven for folks like you who go out of your way to help those that have no voice. ♥️

    1. ME

      Telly’s story – when I hired a fencing company to erect all the fence around this property, Armando (one of the workers) made the comment that his dog that kept escaping his yard in town, would love it here. I said I couldn’t take in everyone’s dog but he kept asking me in the following weeks until I gave in and that was 10 years ago. He named her after some type of high end music speaker. When I got her she wasn’t even spayed – I’m lucky she didn’t end up pregnant.

  6. Gloria b.

    What a lovely remembrance of her. May it bring you comfort and sweet memories. Blessings to you.

  7. Bea knight

    Hi Mary
    So so sorry for the loss of your kitty. I hope your memories and friends and love of God helps you.
    My condolences
    I have to put 4 dogs down. I understand 😞🙏🏻
    Bea knight

  8. Henners aka Donna

    Mary this is a day late but my heartfelt condolences to you. As you probably surmised i still miss my Henners & Gremmers 2+ years later. I would give anything to have both of them back. My pain never seems to leave me & I still tear up when I write about them or talk about them. Am I “disturbed”? I now need to wipe my tears of sadness for my boys.
    God bless you for your big heart to all your pets. I remember meeting Colton years ago, just before you closed up your business. He is as so very friendly. Bless you Mary.

  9. Kathy in western NY

    I wish the grief would lessen for the all the pets I have lost but it doesn’t. I relive it many times, many days. They leave such footprints on our hearts. I think of us as the ones with the biggest hearts to love animals who need humans to care for them. I know pets are not for everyone and my cats always would go to my MIL when she despised cats. I “trained” my husband to care for pets in our house and he accepted it well 50 years ago after never having a pet.

  10. Sue in Marion, IN

    I hate, hate, hate losing a pet. They’re family. I hated losing our cat siblings Little Bear and Emily, even though they lived to be 18 and 20, respectively. It’s never easy.😢❤️❤️❤️

  11. Mareen

    They say time heals all wounds but I am not so sure that is true. I think it helps and lessens some but still always the hurt is there. You have been such a blessing to so many animals Mary.

  12. brenda

    I am so sorry about your losing Diane. I understand. I lost Lady D at 18, and my little mini poodle, Lucky, whom I rescued off the street after having been hit by a car, is 18 or 19, supposedly. She is blind and deaf now but still loves to eat and go outside. I don’t know how much longer I will have her, but I already know the grief. Bless you for all you do!

  13. Mary H

    Hugs, Mary. We lost our old cat in June and it is sure hard to put them down, even when you know it’s the kind thing to do. I still expect to see our cat when I walk in the door. Take care. That statue is perfect.

  14. Sibyl

    your heart will always hurt, but someday soon when you are hurting, the happy memories will begin to flood in and ease your pain.

  15. Frances E

    I’m so sorry about Dianne. We have a 16 year old cat, so we do understand. It would be nice if we could offer the same care for our elderly fellows. Best wishes.

  16. Jean Sherrard-Fifo

    I’m right there with you, Mary. Nine cats and one dog have crossed the bridge on my watch and each one felt as though it would end me. And of course, we carry on as we must. Our pain is proof of our incredible capacity to love and the utmost gifts our pets give us is the opportunity to express that love. And oh the joy they bring us! For me it’s worth the pain. Hang in there – Dianne was so blessed as were/are all your animals.

  17. Lorraine

    My heart does go out to you and feel so bad for you. But-you did the right thing for your pet. I have had to put down 2 pets that we had for 16 years each. My husband and I were selfish and didn’t want to let go. We decided it was best for our little pets but that doesn’t take away the pain and hurt in our hearts.
    You did the right thing for your kitty. Take care of yourself and just think back of all the fun memories you had with her.

  18. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Losing a pet is so hard. Do you still look around for her in her favorite spot? We did for a long time after each of ours had to go to sleep. Luckily, it is a beautiful, peaceful time, but they certainly are missed. I am keeping you in my heart, Mary.

  19. Alice

    My condolences to you for your loss of Dianne. It’s just never easy to lose a beloved pet! My little rescue dog is 12 yrs old & I dread the day that I have to put him down or he passes. So far he’s healthy & doesn’t hesitate on our 2 mile walks, which we’ve not been doing because of the heat! This morning was wonderful with temps in the mid 50’s! Dianne along with all your other animals have such wonderful lives with you, Mary!! I was so happy to learn that the Queen’s dogs will be well taken care of ! One of my first thoughts was what happens to them❤️ Love the cat figurine💕

  20. Sue in Oregon

    Many years ago I too held the paw and looked into the eyes of my beloved Vinnie while the vet ended his life at 17 years. I became very emotional. Our vet said while hugging me, its too bad we humans can’t do this to end our suffering. Its so much more humane. He had a wonderful life with you. And, so did Diane with you, Mary. People asked me…How could you do that?? My reply…How could I not!

  21. Jan Hebert

    That figurine! What a great remembrance of Dianne. Peter still hasn’t gotten over losing Louie, insists “no more animals” but Saturday we picked up a little rescue kitten, we’ve named him “Blue”. He’s a silver/gray tiger kitty and we love him already! I hope “Keeper” is able to distract you from any pain from losing Dianne. It’s good that you have so many other animals to keep you busy! Jan in MA

    1. Me

      Jan – a new kitty!! Congratulations- I’m glad your husband got over that silly notion of no more pets.

  22. Catherine

    “it’s too bad we can’t do this for family members in care centers who are no longer living productive and comfortable lives”

    I’m glad I’m not your relative.

    1. Mary e

      I visit the care center often and there are several there who will likely linger in their beds for some time not knowing if it’s day or night. If that were my family member I know they would not want to live that way. Do you really think I’m unkind to think that? I guess if you were my family member I’d have to respect your wishes even if the law were different. I’m very sorry you think I’m in the minority. I used to visit a woman whose family rarely came to see her. I purchased clothes for her which she loved and brought her flowers, posters and other seasonal items. She couldn’t talk and she prayed to die. I’ve never wanted this blog to be a negative forum and if it becomes that I will have to block all negative readers including you.

  23. Terri

    What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for your loss too. When I lost my Blue merle cocker spaniel , Keela
    A friend told me that every time she feels heartache, she thanks God for the years she had with her pet and it turns sorrow to joy. Remembering that really helped me, hope it helps you too.

  24. Carla

    Everyone has the right to hold there own opinion. Here on this space I hope we can all remain respectful while voicing some potential differences. Having said that, may I add this? God gives life and as such only He has the task of deciding when a person’s life should end. NOT wading into capital punishment here, just ordinary humans. If mankind gets to decide when a person has suffered too much, or when a person is no longer productive, or has never been productive…well then, that’s a very slippery dangerous slope. Eugenics is not His idea, but fallen mankind’s idea. Blessings

  25. Carol

    Your story touches my heart. Our Cooper (dog) will soon be thirteen years old. He suffers from everything that an old dog develops in old age. I dread the day, I really enjoy seeing the animal you collect visiting antique and thrift stores. You have quite an eye for what to buy. I think I’m going to go find some that I have that are tucked away and find some cute place to display my treasures.

  26. Sharon Lowy

    I so know your pain and my heart goes out to you. I have friends who will not get another pet after they lose one. I firmly believe the love we share with them and the care we provide makes it worthwhile.

  27. Bonnie in SE CT

    Hi Mary, so sorry about your beloved Dianne. We lost 2 great ladies at our house recently, our 12 year old rescue boxer, Abby and our 21 year old Himalayan cat, Belle. They where wonderful, patient and loving. Abby had a stroke and just didn’t know where she was anymore. Belle was clear of mind but her back legs barely functioned and she was having seizures frequently. We still have 2 barn cats and my grand daughters 2 little dogs but we miss our girls. We’ve had to put down 5 dogs in all and it was never easy. Sending hugs.

  28. Jane Boyer

    I had a friend who had 6 children. He used to say “I don’t love each with 1/6th of my heart, I love each child with my whole heart. Same can be said for how we feel about our pets. My sympathy for your loss.

  29. Carolyn Barnett

    I am so sorry if I offend but I do want to make a comment on a thought that i believe is most prevalent in today’s world. I worked many years as a physical therapist with the “elderly” and found that they were so appreciative and fun to those who gave them dignity and love. I can not tell you the times that I reached out to family members asking them to get them a pair of shoes or pants to make it easier to walk or transfer to their wheelchair, unfortunately there was no response. It was obvious that these “people” that had lost their “productivity” were just throw away people. I saw Medicare accepting hospice people that still had more to give but family members were tired of caring for them. Please let us not equate the elderly in our society with our loving caring pets. They are not the same and as we age ourselves it is important to teach ourselves and the younger generation that life is precious at any stage whether productive or not.

    1. Diane Dodd

      I do agree. Productivity should not be the standard to allow someone to live. Who are we to play God? Only God knows our time and if you love God and honor his Word, you’d only want to show love and compassion for elderly who others deemed as not productive or don’t have the quality of life we approve of.

    2. Me

      I will still need to disagree – my pets are my family since I don’t have any kids. Do you know what kind of heartache that is?

  30. Lynette in Orlando

    I’m so sorry Mary…… my heart still hurts from the loss of my black lab over a year ago. I feel your pain….. you have my sympathies. Xx

  31. Carmen Montmarquet

    I am so very sorry Mary for the loss of your beautiful Dianne! I will be facing this in the not too distant future on our Brittany, she is 14 1/2 yrs old and we can see what’s coming down the pike. I lost the last of the litter of 4 baby kitties that I had to bottle feed, Emma, she was twenty! She was so hard to lose! I did adopt 2 feral kittens soon after and now adults they have come a long way! Don’t know what I would do without them!

  32. Mrs. Goodneedle

    I understand fully. Our precious Hannes turned 18 on August 1. We treasure every day that remains with our faithful companion. Sending hugs~

  33. Rita in Iowa

    Mary so sorry of your lost of Diane. We become attached to things that make us happy and smile.
    There is definitely two sides to death and only each person and God can decide which is right at the time.
    I almost lost a brother last week. The doctor said if he was one day later getting to the hospital he wouldn’t be with us. He will recover fine but I hope he learned something from it. My six brothers are very stubborn when it comes th their health. I hope I make better decisions for my health.

    Love and prayers to you.

  34. Linda

    It hurts so badly to lose our little friends….I am so sorry for your loss of Diane.. They always love us….they never complain ….they love us just as we are…

  35. NancyTD

    It is hard to lose a pet. They become a part of the family. Sorry for your lose of Diane. Remember all the good times you shared.
    Thanks to you and Mary for such a great book. Mine arrived today. Going to spend the evening looking at it and deciding what to make first. Awesome quilts !!🥰

  36. Mabel Wolf

    I to have 9 house cats who are loved very much. My oldest is almost 21 and he is blind, He gets around the
    kitchen where he’s been staying. and does a very good job. The other fur- babies don’t bother him, they
    seem to know, he doesn’t want to play.

  37. Meredith in Cincinnati

    That figurine is just perfect! I know you will remember her with love. Sending wishes that you find peace and happiness in the wonderful memories.

  38. Marsha from Kansas

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your kitty. It just seems even harder when we have had to make that decision instead of God just taking them. We’ve been through it many times, too, but still remember the cute individual things they did. Our Autumn would whirl around and bark whenever anyone would sneeze. We still remember that when one of us sneezes. Sometimes I’m a bit onery and bark at Dwight when he sneezes. Yes, I’m goofy like that. Been watching whatever coverage I can on the news from England. Customs we don’t have here in the USA. Will send pictures of my August yellow Dirty Dozen and a true older top finished for September Dirty Dozen. I made two orange fall quilts last year and have none planned for this year so dug out a project that still had the receipt from 2005. Finished the top this afternoon.

  39. Nilene Thompson-Finn

    The figurine is precious. Thinking of you and knowing how your heart aches. As the owner of two elderly dogs I know what you must be going through. ❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹❤️‍🩹

  40. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    I am truly sorry to hear about Dianne; she was a lovely girl.
    I received my book today, so exciting. You and Connie are very talented. It is a wonderful book. 🥰

  41. Dianna in Wisconsin

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Memories will help but it is so difficult. Pets are family members that listen and comfort us with a lick to say, “it will be o.k.”
    Love your figurine.
    I lost my dog when I was in 6th grade, I was devastated. I started sleeping with a white stuffed dog to help and although I’m retired, I still have my stuffed dog. Can’t throw it out so one day my kids will find it my closet and wonder why did mom have this.

  42. Wendy T.

    You have my sympathy on the loss of Dianne. She was a beauty and I love her story about how you helped her so long ago and the life she was able to have because of you. The figurine is just precious. A gentle reminder of a true friend to spark memories of her life with you.

  43. Diane in WI

    Mary, I know just how you are feeling. On Sunday my beautiful black cat Binx passed away. He was around 17-19 years old. I had been trying to get him to eat, but it was not to be. When I got to the house to feed the three cats, he was dying. I told him to go to Rainbow Bridge. My daughter found him in our shed on Halloween. I had just watched Hocus Pocus so Binx was a perfect name for him. I’m sorry for loss of Dianne.Take care.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      So Binx and Dianne were about the same age – and neither would or could eat. Sad and I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad that Dianne didn’t just die on her own – I was so hoping she would just die in her sleep but that was not to be.

      1. Marilyn Miller

        Hi again, Mary. Your comment about your beloved pet, Diane, passing in her sleep leads me to believe that you feel a bit of guilt over ‘helping’ her pass over the Rainbow Bridge.’ Remember all the love and affection she received from you through so many years. She passed in your arms. She always felt your love.

      2. Diane in WI

        I debated with myself for a month on whether I should take Binx to the vet. He was eating at the time. He just slowly went downhill. These pets sure know how to pull the heartstrings. I’ m happy they are are in Rainbow Bridge together.

  44. Stephanie

    God bless you for all the love you show your sweet animals. My deepest sympathy at Dianne’s passing

  45. Quilting Sister

    So sorry that you’ve lost one of your dear animals … it is so very hard to lose them. And I totally agree … they become family members through the years, and are often much more loving and dedicated to use than some of the flesh and blood family members will ever be.

    Thinking of you, and sending a big hug!!

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