Sensitive Dog Lovers Beware: Sarah Silverman Displays Genuine Emotion In Her Dog's Obituary
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Sensitive Dog Lovers Beware: Sarah Silverman Displays Genuine Emotion In Her Dog's Obituary

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 5, 2013 | Comments ()


Anyone that’s ever had to put a dog down understands the how heartbreaking, difficult and surreal the experience can be. One second, you’re stroking your dog’s head, wishing a long-time friend farewell while she’s licking your hand and staring up at you with those sad eyes, and the very next second, the lights go out in the eyes of your closest companion and her body goes limp, and you’re left holding the vessel of your best friend’s soul. It’s unlike any other experience, and even the strongest of the black hearts will crumple when you have to hand the body of the sweet, sweet creature that slept at the foot of your bed for years back to the veterinarian.

It’s a devastating experience, and powerful enough, in fact, to elicit an emotional reaction from the unflappable Sarah Silverman, who I don’t believe I’ve ever seen betray an emotion on the sad registry. Silverman had to say goodbye to Duck, her closest friend of 19 years this week.

Duck “Doug” Silverman came into my life about 14 years ago. He was picked up by the State running through South Central with no collar, tags or chip. Nobody claimed or adopted him so a no-kill shelter took him in. That’s where I found him — at that shelter, in Van Nuys. Since then we have slept most every night together (and many lazy afternoons.) When we first met, the vet approximated his age at 5½ so I’d say he was about 19 as of yesterday, September 3, 2013. He was a happy dog, though serene. And stoic. And he loved love.

Over the past few years he became blind, deaf, and arthritic. But with a great vet, good meds, and a first rate seeing-eye person named me, he truly seemed comfortable.

Recently, however, he stopped eating or drinking. He was skin and bones and so weak. I couldn’t figure out this hunger strike. Duck had never been political before. And then, over the weekend, I knew. It was time to let him go.

My boyfriend Kyle flew in late last night and took the day off from work to be with us. We laid in bed and massaged his tiny body, as we love to do - hearing his little “I’m in heaven” breaths.
The doctor came and Kyle, my sister, Laura and I laid on the bed. I held him close - in our usual spoon position and stroked him. I told him how loved he was, and thanked him for giving me such happiness and for his unwavering companionship and love. The doctor gave him a shot and he fell asleep, and then another that was basically an overdose of sleeping meds. I held him and kissed him and whispered to him well passed his passing. I picked him up and his body was limp - you don’t think about the head - it just falls. I held him so tight. And then finally, when his body lost its heat, and I could sense the doctor thinking about the imminent rush hour traffic, I handed him over.
14 years.

My longest relationship.

My only experience of maternal love.

My constant companion.

My best friend.


If that doesn’t get you choked up, then you’d be great as an extra in The Walking Dead.

(Via WhoSay)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Tina

    Its been 3 months since I lost my beloved Maggie, and every day I miss her. I often say Maggie I wish you hadnt died. She was my best buddy. I will love her forever.

  • kikidee

    This sounds almost identical to how we said goodbye to our Charlotte. She looked exactly the same too. :( My heart breaks all over again, this time for Duck's mommy.

  • Lisa Langston

    omg!!!! tears!!!! ive been there had to go thru it.... it hurts like hell.. even tho you kno theyre no longer suffering and in pain.... it still hurts sooo bad to say good bye to a beloved furbaby!!!!

  • Kimmie

    Our furry kids are such a blessing <3 and so hard to let go. Very sweet yet sad

  • 1montrealaise3

    “Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love and loyalty. They depart to teach us about loss. We try to replace them but never quite succeed. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big.” —Erica Jong

  • trixie

    I had to put down my childhood best buddy Baron von poodledog, as my friends, called him and then less than a month later his (and my) other best bud the kitty Tiger. My Mom refused to go to the vet, my dad couldn't stay in the room, but I stayed with them both to the end. Tiger even had the nerve to purr at me as they gave him the shot.
    15 years later I had to put my beloved Lab/Chow Bogart down. It broke my heart so badly I haven't been able to have a pet since. I really want a dog but I'm just not sure my heart can bear another loss like those three. Pets are everything that people can't be - always there, unconditionally loving and non-judgemental. I've had great ones and I'm sure one day I'll have another, just not any time soon.

  • Why do I keep clicking "Load more comments"?

    This is Wicket. By everyone's best guess, she was probably 11 when she followed my husband home from the corner store. She kept my blood pressure in check when it started to go up at the end of my pregnancy; she let our daughter learn the word "gentle" on her with nothing more than whimpers when the baby was faster than we were, and she--I swear to you this is true--helped break up my kidney stone.

    Wicket is probably 15 now, and still loves her walks and snuggles, but I know that eventually we'll have to say goodbye. I hope we can do it with the kindness she's shown us, and I cannot bear to think about it.

  • Guest

    Aww! That's heartwarming, and I'll be cuddling my beagle a little closer and tighter tonight!

  • Guest

    Aww, how sweet! I'll cuddle my beagle a little closer and tighter tonight!

  • Lisbeth Solis

    The vet didn't recommend it, but I insisted on staying with my darling dog Canelo till the very end, and it was the best decisión I made.

  • jen

    we've been through this over the last few years with 4 of our senior rescue dogs. it's so incredibly painful, but in the end, it's worth the pain.

    i wrote this blog post about the joy and pain of loving (and losing) a dog: http://glittergirl1970.blogspo...

    since then, we lost griffin, our beloved goofy shaggy old mutt.

  • Sars

    Zoolbia. My biggest regret in life is that I had him nuetured bc he is so amazing and I'd like him to have some kitty kats of his own.

  • Persephone69

    wook at that sweet face!!! give him a snuggle for me and awesome name btw

  • Guest

    I feel sorry for all you people with dead animals but i feel pure joy when i think of sarah silverman in tears.
    Oh, how she annoyed me the very few times i was confronted with her kind of humor.

  • Sars


  • Jenn TheYellowDart


  • Uriah_Creep

    Not the time, dude.

  • Persephone69

    My boy Harley (cat) was with me for 20 years. He was my rock during my dreadful teens and would place a furry paw on my face every time I cried over a stupid boy throughout my 20s. He was with me when I met my husband and had my two girls (that he loved!). People commented constantly that he behaved much more like a dog then your typical cat, he LOVED attention and at parties (which I had plenty of in my youth) he would go from person to person and make them pet him.

    He had regular vet check ups and when he was 13 he was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I opted to have an expensive radiation treatment done in another part of the state where he had to stay for 2 weeks. Each night I called the staff to check on him and say goodnight (yes I was crazy cat mom).

    During his 20th year he slowly stopped eating, his walk looked so slow and painful, and then when the bleeding started (out of both ends) I knew it was time. I put my face up to his and he placed a paw on my hand like he'd done so many times before... then they gave him the "shot", he meowed at me and then took his last breath.

    I couldn't compose myself for hours... it's been 3 years and I'm still not over it. 20 years seems like a lifetime to spend with a furry companion. I still miss him constantly.

  • Sars

    I'm crying now :( I dread that day and dont want it to come :(((

  • ViciousTrollop

    For 10 years I had the pleasure of owning the greatest dog ever. We got her from the pet store at the mall in 1996. She was the last of her litter of Poo-Chis or poodle/chihuahua mixes. She was the funniest/cutest looking thing ever.

    When she was 5 she fell ill with some strange auto-immune disorder. We had to drive her over an hour away to the university so they could treat her. She had to have major surgery. We had to sign one of those Do Not Resuscitate forms. It was terrifying. My parents and I spent the night in a hotel room nearby worrying about her. When we were allowed to see her the next day the doctors said not to expect much.

    I have never in my life seen such love and light come into something's eyes the way I did when my Mom and I walked into the room and she saw us. Mina practically came back to life. She just wasn't ready to go and she didn't. Mina lived for 4 more amazing years.

    I've managed to live without her for 7 years. I don't know how. I miss her every second of every day. Mina was the greatest dog I've ever known. I haven't had a dog since. I still love dogs but I know that I'll never be able to love one the way I loved her.

  • Melissa D

    My baby was a poodle/maltese (back then we called them "mutts") that we got from the pound when I was 5. For the first year of her life with us, the only phrase I remember was "MELISSA! STOP MAULING THE DOG!" I loved her so much, and all I wanted to do was hug her and squeeze her like she was George. Later, as I got older she loved me just as much. Every day she would wait for me in the window when I came home from school, and every morning she would lie on my coat to try and prevent me from going to school. She did her happy dance every day when I came home, and she slept in my bed every night. Cuddled me when I was sad, snuggled me whenever she could. She wasn't the perfect dog, but I loved her with all my heart.

    When I was 17, I started university and she was declining fast. She had doggie dementia (seriously, it's a thing), and I would stay up all night with her as she wandered the house, restless and unaware of where she was. Her legs were giving out from under her, she slept all the time, she couldn't jump up on the bed anymore, and her quality of life had declined so much we had to make the decision to give her a peaceful death. I took her to the vet myself, and I just couldn't bear to be in the room with her. Just couldn't do it. I held her and bawled into her fur, and they kindly and gently took her away from me and into the next room. And my oldest, dearest friend was gone.

    I still miss her.

  • emmalita

    We always had dogs and cats when I was growing up. We got Ed Dog when I was 2. He was frequently my babysitter and protector, though he was not above taking the food out of my hand, or mouth. I remember exactly how devastated I felt when we had to put him to sleep. I still miss him too.

  • thepants

    I never post around here but someone needed to comment on your lovely story. Sorry about your friend. I bet she really loved you.

  • Melissa D

    She sure did. Thanks for the kind words (and you too emmilita!). To lighten things up a bit, she was called Trixie. So my porn name is Trixie Birchmount.

  • MissAmynae

    I lost my precious Napoleon, called Napster, a few months ago. He adopted me, as kittycats often do, when he was approximately 7. I was blessed to be working for an incredible vet, because he had various chronic issues that would likely shorten his life significantly. Two docs and a specialist later- he was given a year to live.

    thirteen years later, my Bubba passed peacefully at home. My only regret was that we weren't here with him, but that's the way he would have wanted it.

    Why is it that these strange furry little beings love us so? I'll never know, but I'll always be grateful. My heart goes out to Sarah, and all of y'all who have ever lost a furry family member.

  • Aspidistra Bird

    It sounds like he was really loved. And what a beautiful cat, his face looks just like my Smokey who died of lymphoma in 2006. A year after he snuggled me through successful cancer treatments. Cats, and and all of our animals, are such precious parts of our lives.

  • MissAmynae

    The healing power of furry companions is nothing short of astounding. Napster would come lay on my head during a migraine, and snuggle up close when i was on a bipolar downswing. He had this rabbit-soft double coat that was good at soaking up tears.

    So glad you had Smokey to help you kick cancer's butt. i'm sure he's up there looking down, probably curled up in a sunbeam :-)

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    I read this yesterday on Twitter against my better judgement. Having read through the posts on this thread I attempted to hug my dog.

    She tried to eat my ears. Not much for hugging, my little Sadie. She is the most ridiculous creature to ever draw breath and I wouldn't change her for the world.

  • clancys_daddy

    Hey duck say high to Darwin and Clancy for me. Don't let them steal all the milk bones and tennis balls they're supposed to share.

  • Sammers

    And this is Charlie.

    Apparently disqus doesn't like me attaching 2 pictures in the same post.

  • HJ

    That face!! So cute!!

  • Sammers

    Well I am a blubbering mess now.

    I just went through this with both of my dogs. Macy had lung cancer, we lost her May 20th. Charlie had a heart tumour that spread to his lungs, we took him into the vet June 25th. One of the most painful things that I have ever gone through... I am going to drink some wine now.

  • Bert_McGurt

    My god. One is bad enough, I can't imagine losing two in such a short time. My heart goes out to you.

  • Cree83

    It always brings back a bit of anger and bitterness in me when people describe how their dogs died peacefully when they were put down. I don't know if it was the dosage or the timing of the shots or what, but my dog... didn't. It wasn't peaceful. At all. And that sucked almost as much as losing her.

  • oh, Cree. I don't know what to say - I wanted to acknowledge your experience, but up-voting seemed somehow wrong. I'm so sorry y'all had that happen.

  • emmalita

    I'm so sorry you and your dog went through that.

  • llp

    That is awful.

  • Tereasa

    I don't look forward to the day my old lady gives out, I can feel it maybe soon. She get's little cancer spots that we have to have removed a few times a year. Hug all the dogs, everyday.

  • chanohack


  • Wrestling Fan

    My dog was 16 when I had to put him down last year.

    reading this rips my heart out just as much as having to put him down did.

    it suddenly got dusty around my computer desk *sniffle*

  • grr arrgh


  • chanohack

    Yes please.

  • grr arrgh

    The "You don't think about the head" thing. That is so true. We had to put our dog down in July. I thought I had prepared myself for having to put her down. The second that she put her head down I was done. I broke. That stab of realization that my dog is really and truly leaving me....that was a gut punch.

  • disqustipated


    Bear wasn't even my dog really. He was a gift to my then girlfriend, soon to be wife. She left Bear when she left me and the kid, so I suppose he became mine. A sweet Keeshond that didn't get nearly enough love or attention before I found out he had cancer. And it's just like she said, one second they're looking at you with love and fear in their eyes and the next, nothing. It was too fast.

  • Memphis O

    hmm, I must be a robot. animals die - that's what happens.

  • Some Guy

    People die, too. I guess we should just minimize those relationships into the "that's what happens" and be done with them as well.

  • chanohack

    I don't really believe in people heaven anymore, but I like the idea of pet heaven-- that my dog Jacky, and my sister's pup Slightly, and Sarah's Duck, and all of your dearly departed, are all friends up there who greet new arrivals with open paws and plenty of butt sniffs.

  • I need to get home and snuggle my pup.

    This is Rory, rescue dog extraordinaire. This little douchebag has gotten me through some very lonely times and I just love coming home to his fuzzy face.

  • Maguita NYC

    I never thought I'd say these words before, but your douchebag is so cute.

  • bastich

    Poor Sarah.

    Reminds me of a quote from George Carlin: "Life is a series of dogs".

    The line was intended to be humorous, but it always stuck me as poignant.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    I put down my Oscar dog in 2007. And that was the worst day of my life. I don't wish it on any one.
    Now I'm going to snuggle my pup. 3 years old, and he is my heart. Here is a picture of his first Canada Day. It kills me that I tuckered him out so much that he slept in my bag. <3

  • BendinIntheWind

    I have nothing intelligent to add here, just wanted to add a photo of my pup to help push away the feels:

  • Guest

    I have nothing intelligent to add here, just wanted to contribute a picture of my pup to help push away the feels:

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    I'd like to remind all of you to be nice to your vet as well. Vets get paid like crap, and have to work the hours of a retail mall clerk. Many vets will do in-home euthanasia like Silverman discussed above, often at the same cost as doing it in the office. Vets now have one of the highest burnout rate for any professional, compounded by customers who want state-of-the-art medicine but think it should only cost $10.

    I know there are bad vets, but in general they are incredibly hard workers who care about your animal almost as much as you do.

    *Really, the pay sucks given the education requirements - they are full fledged Doctors, but median pay is $75k. Starting pay is more like $50k. 300k in debt takes a long time to pay off at that payrate.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    When we had to put our lab to sleep three years ago (13 years old) we got excellent care for her. We had two vets that we saw on a regular basis - one for boarding and one for medical. And they both sent us cards when our dog passed away and gave donations to the SPCA in her name. They were great to us. And we take our new dog to them also. We were very lucky.

    People who take care of animals rule.

  • HJ

    As a Vet Assistant- thanx! And yes, I do make a shitty salary. I made double working for a cell phone company but was miserable, micro-managed, and unfulfilled. Now I get to help pets, and their owners, through illness and injury (I work in the ER) and every day at work- even the tough ones- are gratifying. Would not trade it for anything.

  • Green Lantern

    I am now going to feed my doggie a little extra food today. He may have a bit of a limp in his right front paw, but he can still see, and he still eats and drinks.

    Good boy...GOOD boy.

  • Aaron Schulz

    its dusty in here and now i need to go to my local shelter and adopt all of the dogs.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Because I can't hug my dog right now and I'm enjoying everyone else's pictures. Here's Dixie, my 55 lb. lap dog, waking me up from a nap.

  • We have a similar picture of my sweet Ash using my dad as a head rest. :)

  • Bea Pants

    If I let my boss read this article and show her this sweet sleepy face, do you think she'll let me leave work early for cat snuzzles? Because I am seriously in need after that.

  • Basement Boy

    So heart-rippingly sweet...

  • Slash

    Damn. Now I'm all verklempt.

  • sandra

    Crap. I just went through this on Friday with my 16-19 year old adopted dog.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I feel you, I really do. We had to do it about three weeks ago with our 13 year old rescue lab. He was one of the sweetest boys you could ever meet and we miss him terribly.

  • Bert_McGurt

    And, terrible photo though it may be, this is the last picture I have of him. I took it in early July just after we got Daphne, the little girl in the bottom right corner as a foster. Old as he was, Jet was a wonderful role model and a very gentle teacher over the few weeks they spent together. I like to think he knew that his time was short and did his very best with her so that our daschund Spike (the little guy in the back), his very best friend for the past five-plus years, wouldn't be alone when it was time for him to leave.

    Oh, and Daphne is now what they call a "foster fail". Which sounds bad, but it just means that we're keeping her. And Spike has a new very best friend.

  • sandra

    It's very touching hearing about how he treated Daphne. They sound like a good group.

    I was at my neighbor's last night, and their 12 year old rescue's hind legs gave out on him, just how my dog's did in her old age. I cried. I don't envy the choices my neighbors have to make soon.

  • Bert_McGurt

    They really are. Spike's pretty happy to have a hunting partner - they'll get those squirrels one of these days.

    We had Jet on some dog-arthritis painkillers for the last couple of years for the same issue with his hind legs. It made quite a difference for the old man. Might be something to suggest to the neighbours if they haven't tried it yet.

  • grr arrgh

    I did the same in July. I'm so, so sorry. I'm so sorry I can't even quote Doctor Who to say sorry, if that tells you anything. I hope you're able to cry out all the feelings in one go like I did.

  • sandra

    Thanks. I told my good friend (who both fosters pups and keeps her own pups) that I didn't know how she dealt with it each time she lost one of her own. Brutal, especially when you're the one who has to decide to pull the metaphorical plug.

    Big hug to you too.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I would like to offer you a sincere hug. I'm not furry, but I am soft and sympathetic.

  • sandra

    Thanks. The picture here of her is my favorite (a few years ago, I was dog sitting a friend's hyperactive dog, and my dog was not happy with me for introducing mayhem into our lives).

  • Melissa D

    She looks a lot like my baby did :(

  • sandra

    :( HUGS.

  • Melissa D

    Hugs back. :) Animals - forget GMO of tomatoes, can we make it so our pets live as long as we do?

  • PerpetualIntern

    What sweet brown eyes.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    When my 1 1/2 year old min pin Zero was hit by a car recently, I expected the worst. I thought I would be making a hard decision that day. Thank Godtopus that he only had some scrapes and a broken paw, because he's my best buddy and I love him so much. Lil' bastard.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    HaHaHaHaHaaa!!! Is it okay if I laugh at your dog? Lookit his ears and his eyes and his little red bow!!! He's the best.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    We laugh at him ALL OF THE TIME. He's a goof.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    When I see dogs like this with their heads sticking out of a car window it always makes my day.

    Please take him for a car ride.

  • emmelemm

    Aww. I have a Min Pin too. Little bastards.

  • PDamian

    Is that the "why are you crying and reading Pajiba when you could be giving me treats" look?

  • Pinky McLadybits

    This is his door-to-door salesman look.

  • What a cutie!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    As I sat here crying over this, my dogs came up and started nuzzling me. Now I'm ugly-snotty-sobbing and clutching them.
    Dogs are just the best. It's awful to even consider losing one.

  • We had to put our beloved golden retriever rescue, Ted, to sleep five years ago come November. Our Great Dane rescue, Ash, and Ted had never more than tolerated each other, but towards the end, Ash laid on Ted's bed with him and curled up around him in the closest approximation of a doggie hug that you ever saw, and that's how we knew it was really time. This past December, it was Ash's time and it honestly felt like a double blow. Not only was I losing my sweet Ash, I was losing a last connection of sorts with Ted.

    Thank goodness I read this at home. You've completely wrecked me, Pajiba. Damn you.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I'm so sorry about Ash and Ted.

  • Thanks. I still miss both of them dreadfully, but it was time for each. Now I have Cricket, a 20-lb basenji terrier mix that was dropped off at animal control because she was too big to be a purse dog. Some people have no soul.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Bless you. I am sorry I cannot up vote you one million times for being awesome.

  • PDamian

    Basenjis are awesome. Love that "barroo!"

  • Pinky McLadybits

    She's a beauty!

  • Laura

    My 15 year old cat was just diagnosed with diabetes last week. While it's something that can be controlled, etc., it certainly put into sharp relief that fact that she IS 15 years old, and may not be with me much longer. I hate thinking about it. And I knew I shouldn't read this even before I started, but I couldn't help myself.

  • emmalita

    I gave my cat insulin shots twice a day for 2 years. People thought I was crazy. I agreed, but it was worth it.

  • FireLizardQueen

    Oh! The FEELS!

    I really wanna go hug my dog, but he's at home, alone, watching MSNBC in the basement.

  • oilybohunk7

    I just got an email from my vet saying that I should bring my babies, to me they will always be babies, in for their "senior pet well visits". Senior. Just the word punched me in my face. I can't face the fact that one day they won't be in my life anymore.

  • anikitty

    My 17 year-old incontinent blind deaf arthritic shih tzu with a heart condition is still holding on. She survived carbon monoxide poisoning that killed her original owner. She gets to live for as long as she lives. But I know this day is coming eventually. I love her more than I thought I could given her bathroom challenges. She will get hugs and treats when I get home tonight.

  • Mrs. Julien

    This makes me loathe Sarah Silverman 7% less. It would be more, but she made me feel kindly towards her and that makes me even more hostile. It's a balancing act.

  • Yes. I also had a similar experience upon reading Russell Brand's eulogy for Amy Winehouse.

  • Ofir Fishkin

    just wanted to share, this my dog-Noah. I'm going to hug him now.

  • Jim

    Awww, it's that adorable "I have no idea what you're saying but I love you so I bet it's brilliant and I'll listen close for 'cookie' or 'walk'?" look.

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