Since Henry the dog left us on Thursday morning, I have shared a lot of his photos on FitzRoy‘s Instagram account (FitzRoy has always been the spokescat for the dogs of the house). Here is a guide, as well as a few additional photos.
December 2014 photos and videos.
- A photo I took with Henry after I decided it was time to let him go.
- A partial list of the medicines that Henry was taking recently.
- Dementia made Henry pace in tiny circles for long periods of time (video).
- When Henry collapsed from the incessant pacing a week ago today, I knew I couldn’t make him go on (video).
- He Facetimed with his Aunt Terri to say goodbye. Other friends came by in person.
- He relaxed with Gigi the dog.
- On Wednesday, Dec. 17, I got him a hamburger from McDonald’s. He was sleeping soundly when I got home but when I put it down in front of him, he perked right up!
- We sat on the couch together later that night.
- Aunt Stacy came by and took this picture (from my personal Instagram).
- I saved half of the hamburger for Thursday’s breakfast. He was also eating cat food (video). He always loved to steal the cats’ kibble! (As his Aunt Stacy wrote on his Rainbow Bridge memorial guest book, “… simple things made you so happy — a short run down the hallway, a piece of cheese, a good snooze and a successful cat food robbery 🙂 You sneaky little thing, you didn’t fool me with your ‘What?? Me?’ look.”) So that last day, I figured he was entitled to all the cat food he could consume.
- I’m glad I got this still shot while he was eating. Not just anyone can lick his own eyebrows, you know!
- This was his second-to-last walk that morning. I carried him in and out like this on every walk. I wound up giving Henry an extra walk that morning just as the vet arrived at our apartment because I had stuffed him with so much cat food, hamburger, turkey and ham.
- I had the vet come to our place so Henry wouldn’t have the stress of going to her office. The next day she dropped off this impression of his paw and a nice card.
- Steven River drew this beautiful portrait.
- My father took this picture of Henry right after I adopted him from the ASPCA. Henry is unusually smiley in this one. He usually had a more peevish expression, which is one of the reasons I named him after Henry VIII. This is a more typical look.
- Henry with my parents’ late Pekingese Molly on the same day as the above photo.
- Also taken right after his adoption.
- Another rare silly expression.
- Gigi the Tibetan spaniel has never been a fan of other dogs, but (most of the time) she made an exception for Henry. Here they are sharing a couch in 2006. Gigi is actually older than Henry, as far as we know. We were never 100% sure of his age, but she is definitely 13.
- I ultimately had to stop Henry from sitting on the furniture, because jumping down was bad for his back, but once in a while he would sneak back up there. In this photo, not only is he sitting on the couch — he’s on top of a large coffee-table book too.
- He always looked cute with a puppy cut. Here he is in 2007.
- In 2008, he was totally over this Prada bag.
Jennine’s photo and comments.
- My friend Jennine Jacobs took this beautiful photo of Henry and Gigi in 2009.
- I liked it so much she gave me a framed copy and now I’ve put some of Henry’s things on it.
- Jennine lived with us for several weeks that year and got to know Henry well. In the comments on my last post, she listed 10 favorite things about him. As you can see, his reputation for being sneaky went beyond Aunt Stacy.
1. He was a great ottoman
2. He was enthusiastic about his role as an ottoman
3. He was proud of his snaggletooth
4. He wore foot bandages with style and grace
5. He also wore bows without compromising his masculinity
6. He doted on Gigi without question
7. He was great at playing dumb
8. He was actually very sneaky
9. He always posed well for the camera
10. I’m not a HUGE fan of dogs, but this guy, he was basically a cat, which made him awesome.
Henry would do anything for food. He once unscrewed the top of a giant plastic storage container of dog food and tried to eat his way to the bottom. Fortunately, I walked by and saw his back legs sticking out the top and hauled him out before he ate himself to death. For most of this year, the pacing kept him so thin (he went from 16.5 lbs to 10.5 lbs) that he was able to eat as much as he wanted. He never lost interest in food, though sometimes I had to point him in the direction of the bowl.
Aunt Shawn will testify that Henry caused mischief in other ways.
Shawn had to pet sit for Henry and Gigi right after Henry came home from the ASPCA. Back then, we walked Henry and Gigi separately, because Gigi wasn’t too fond of other dogs and needed time to get to know her new brother. Poor Shawn walked and walked and walked with Henry and nothing happened. So she finally came back in and as she was unlocking the apartment door, she felt someone staring at her. When she looked down, Henry caught her eye and — still staring — lifted up his leg and very deliberately peed on the door. They had a serious discussion about behavior after this and reached an understanding. After that, they were good friends.
I hope I can find the video I took of Henry breaking out of confinement in the kitchen. That was a real triumph over his Aunt Stacy!
Eventually, even Gigi came to love Henry.
A few more recent photos.
- Last year, he got out one of his hair ribbons the minute he got home from the groomer, but he made up for it with a beautiful display of tongue.
- Here is a more recent hair-ribbon-and-tongue photo. That’s the ribbon that I’ve taped to the framed photo from Jennine.
- Just two days before the end. Sometimes you’d look at him and not be able to tell that anything was wrong.
- Last month, we had some extremely cold days that affected Henry badly. I spent an hour in a pet store, picking out the perfect coat for him. But, as with most previous coats, as soon as I put it on him, he forgot how to walk.
- He wasn’t much of a lap dog, really. When he was young, he’d sit next to someone on the couch for a photo but he wasn’t the type to cuddle all day. More recently, he’d sit in my lap for a long time. This was from November.
- This close-up from a week ago shows the blond eyelashes that I noticed the first time I saw him at the ASPCA.
- He loved his dog bed but stopped using it this year. This picture from August is probably one of the last photos I have of him in the bed. Even before then, he preferred the kitchen floor if it was warm in the apartment.
- Oh, Henry, you’re so silly.
UPDATED TO ADD: Here’s another comment that Aunt Stacy left on Facebook: “I’ve never met a doggie as unique as you. Clumsy and falling into a puddle one minute and, the next, a stealthy special ops spy stealing cat food. You were the most speshul baby!” And my friend Candice reminded me that Henry was a part of our very first conversation: “I met you on the Jitney from the Hamptons to New York, you were on your cell phone to the vet and apologized to me for being on your phone and explained that you had an emergency with Henry. I said I didn’t mind at all, and you were very careful to speak in a low voice so as not to disturb anyone. After your phone call, we talked about everything, your jewelry business and of course about Henry. As a fellow animal lover, I totally empathized with everything.”