Marcus, you will be missed.

Marcus – 2010 – 2014

Wednesday was a terribly sad day for our household. We had to say goodbye to one of our cats, Marcus, who was only 4 years old.

Marcus was certainly our most social and constantly present cat. If you visited our house for more than a few minutes odds are you met him. We had 4 cats but Marcus was cat that jumped up on the couch next to you, or lay down next to your feet when you sat down in our living room. He was always somewhere nearby. If you scooped him up and put him on the couch next to you odds are he’d stay there for a while. He wasn’t the fastest, smartest or most graceful cat, he was always a bit goofy & lazy but he was awesome and out of our 4 cats I know he ranked at the top of our kids ‘favorite pet’ lists. Since he was present he was always the first cat the kids would ‘trap’ in a pillow fort or carry off to another room and he was very tolerant of these events or even being held longer than he wished. He also seemed a bit obsessed with food so he was often found on our kitchen counter trying to lick butter of a bagel when our back was turned, or stealing a piece of spaghetti from a dirty plate.

Yesterday morning he suddenly seemed to have trouble walking. One moment he was fine, the next it seemed like he’d lost coordination of his back legs.

We’d seen this happen to another cat of ours, his sister, Strider several years ago. She was only 18 months old at the time. It turned out had a heart murmur and threw a blood clot that stopped blood flow to her legs.

So seeing Marcus show these symptoms we all immediately started assuming the worst… and, sadly, we were right. Turns out Marcus had a heart defect too though not a murmur. Just like with Strider, even if we had them take extreme measures to try to remove the clot (blood thinning, etc), would likely have the same problem happen again in the future.

So we got the boys out of school and we all gathered at the vets office to say good bye. Afterwards we all went home and tried to process the shock as best we could. Owen kept asking “How can I stop thinking about him all the time???“.

Marcus’s brother, Ranger, is still with us and we’ve been instructed to give him a 1/2 tablet of baby aspirin twice a week for the rest of his life to help protect this same thing from happening to him.

Here’s hoping that works, this dying pet thing is getting old. We moved from Maine to Massachusetts with 6 pets in July 2011. Ranger is the last one of that batch of 6 animals, gone now are Strider, Goblin, Oberon, Seeger and Marcus. We will have five bags of ashes to plant under a tree or a bush sometime.

Seeger, we’ll miss you


We had to put our dog Seeger down on Tuesday morning. He was 14.5 years old, possibly older since we got him as a rescue in September 2000 and didn’t really know how old he was. See a copy of our e-mail to friends from fall 2000 about the story of how we got him.

Matt & Seeger – Fall 2000
Emily and Seeger – Fall 2000

Seeger was a mixed breed dog, probably a lab, rottweiler mix though possibly some Newfoundland. He was listed in ‘Uncle Henry’s as a Newfoundland mix I suspect that’s what Uncle Henry’s lists any large black dog as. He was 90 lbs when we got him but over the years, and after his knees and hips started bothering him, he got up to 125lbs or so.

When we first brought him home he was crazy, running laps in the house, never slowing down. He was just so excited to not be tied outside to a tree and to be with people he just couldn’t relax. We finally kept him on a leash in the house just to keep him under control. We almost gave him away, listing him in Uncle Henry’s as ‘free to a good home’ but by the time the ad ran he had snuck into our hearts and we couldn’t let him go.

Seeger and Marcus

In fact when I would walk him and let him off the leash in the woods near our house he would run down the path ahead of me a few hundred feet and then turn around and come charging back at full speed and would run right into me. I cant imagine this wasn’t painful for him but he would get up and do it again. I got very good at bracing myself or dodging at the last moment 🙂

We tried to crate train him for a while but he HATED it. We’d put him in it at night and when we went to work but he’d just bark and bark and bark… and bark and bark and bark. We figured eventually he’d get over it and but he just really hated that crate. Finally one night I let him sleep on the living room floor. No barking. No chewed furniture, just a very happy dog sleeping quietly. So we tried leaving him alone in the house outside the crate. No problems at all. Hallelujah!

He also really disliked thunder. We suspect this was a symptom from him being chained outside to a tree for god knows how long before we got him. But as soon as there we thunder claps he’d started breathing faster and would come over close to us.

When we first brought him home he was very interested in the cats but eventually got used to them and pretty much ignored them. One of our ‘kittens’ we got in Maine, Marcus, even started walking over and nuzzelling Seeger in the morning.

Matt & Dogs

When we brought home Oberon, our newfoundland puppy, in March 2001 Seeger was extremely happy we had brought him an interactive chew toy. No amount of trying to explain to him that this little 25lb puppy was going to (very soon) outweigh him and the two would rough house and roll around with each other for hours. As we expected. Oberon soon grew much bigger than him but they still would play together. They made a good pair, the big black lab mix and the excessively big Newfie.

Ironically, even though he was named after folk singer Pete Seeger he had a strong aversion to guitar or banjo. (Or maybe it was just Matt’s lack of skill on these instruments), but he would get up and leave as soon as either started making any noise.

He was a big sweet dog, very tolerant of having kids climb all over him. After his initial few months of craziness he eventually mellowed down to our speed and became a very calm and tolerant sweet dog. At one point a vet joked that he was so mellow they thought they could probably perform surgery on him without anesthetics.

Seeger and Owen – 2004

Sometime a few years ago his knees and hips started becoming and issue and he slowed down. He couldn’t take long walks any more, he’d just wait while I took Oberon ahead. But he hung in there and even started climbing the stairs at night to sleep by our bed. This was no small feat for a large dog with knee & hip problems, it was a huff and puff for 10 seconds. He kept up this pattern of coming up to our bed until his last days, which was very sweet especially considering the effort it involved on his part.

He was our first dog and it’s hard to realize he’s not lying on the floor nearby anymore. While he hasn’t been ‘active’ for years he was always nearby. We were lucky to have him and he will be sorely missed.


This video was from 2002 or so, Oberon is still a bit ‘puppy-ish’ in it but you get the idea of what he and Seeger were like together. The song in it, “He’s a Good Dog’ is by Fred Eaglesmith.

Finally, for the record here’s probably way more photos than anyone but us would care to look at of Seeger.