And then there were three…

Nomar left us unexpectedly today.

With elephant tears I bring you his tribute.

You probably didn’t hear me speak of Nomar often…

He was the quiet one.

He just did his job and didn’t ask for much.

Nomar simply loved to protect me.  That was what he did.

He watched.

My Nomar. He always looked like this to me…


Dexter had a huge personality… Nadia (Nomar’s littermate) was darling and demanding… Shiva is Hubby’s dog.

Nomar was always in the background… expecting nothing.

Nadia and Nomar… puppies full of curiosity.


Nomar was the most polite and most gracious dog I have ever known.

At 185blbs, he was also the largest… yet, he never used his size.  Gentle giant.

As far back as I can remember, he has never intentionally done anything bad.

I swear.

That boy was a saint.

He never, ever did anything that I would not have wanted him to do.

Nomar was always serious and suspicious. Even as a baby.


As I reflect on Nomar, I keep crying… did he know how much I respected him?

Did he know that I valued his vigilance and integrity?

Did he know that I loved him as much as the others?

Nadia and Nomar at 1 year old


Nomar had been declining for about a year.

He had spine arthritis and tumors all over his body.  He was almost 12, which is old for the giant breed of English Mastiff.

But last week, his abdomen started swelling.

I knew…

He was eating and drinking, but he was uncomfortable.

On Monday, I called to get an appointment with our vet.  The only time that worked was today (Thurs) at 3pm.

By the time today rolled around, I knew it was his time.  There was no saving him.  He was done.

He hadn’t slept at all the night before.  He was declining fast.

This was taken two years ago… Nadia in the front, Nomar, Shiva and Dex.


As Hubby and I drove Nomar to the vet, we called in-route and told Mario (vet) that it was probably over…

Mario said he would be very courteous and come to our car to evaluate Nomar – so we wouldn’t have to stress the big dog more than necessary.

As soon as Mario saw Nomar’s condition, he said, “It’s time.  Clearly he has a mass in his spleen and probably his liver as well…”.

Confirmation of what we already felt in our hearts…

Such a good boy.


We asked Mario to give Nomar a sedative in the car.   He did.

Nomar relaxed and sighed – as if he was momentarily pain free.

That was my definite sign.

The big boy was very, very uncomfortable.  His time was here.

Hubby and I spoke softly and told him how wonderful and dedicated and admired he was.

We told him that he could soon meet with Nadia and Dexter again.

We told him that he was the definition of  ‘good dog’.

He was.

This was taken two months ago… when Dexter passed. Nomar took vigil, waiting for the alpha dog to return.


He was a gem.

And, he will be greatly missed.

The boy was a girl’s dream.

Sleep well, my friend.  Run free.  Do your ‘Nomar Dance’ and greet your beloved sister again.

You were my body guard and watchdog extraordinaire.

Wings, my friend.  Wings.

I always admired and love you.


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!


My boy.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

33 comments have been posted...

  1. Kim Carnochan

    Oh Dawn,
    I just read this and what a beautiful tribute to your wonderful boy…
    May he be at peace now…running free and happy with his sister at the R Bridge!
    So hard to lose them…but wouldn’t trade having them in our lives for the saddness when we lose them….our lives are so much better for having had them be a part of it.
    There is only love now….and his memory you will have forever.
    Rest peacefully big Dog….you were so loved.

  2. Sharyn Hughes

    It is never easy when we lose those we love. My other animals have stepped up to love me more when the others have had to leave us. I am sure your animals are doing the same. Know that I am drying my tears along with you!

  3. Ritambhara Tyson

    I read once in a book that heaven is where all the pets you had in your life come running to greet you. I really hope that is true. It is truly my definition of heaven. So sorry and feeling your loss deeply.

  4. Chris Low

    Dawn – I’m sitting her with tears in my eyes after reading your sweet tribute to a dog you and family love, and will miss so much – Now free of pain and being at peace is a blessing for him. Such a good dog, pet, guardian and companion! Thank you for sharing from your heart.
    With love, Chris

  5. Nancy V.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter how many times we experience it, we are never prepared and its never easy. I hope you find comfort knowing that he had a wonderful home.
    RIP, Nomar.

  6. Kathy

    So sorry for your loss. Nomar sounds like a treasured member of the family, and I’m sure he knew that. Sending you good thoughts.

  7. Rose

    Rest in Peace Nomar.

    Dawn, I know what it is to lose a loved pet who really is more like family. He has gone to the fire hydrant in the sky. xox

  8. Dianne Porter

    What a beautiful tribute to your friend. While my heart aches for you, I also know that, in a sense, grief is a gift. To feel true grief can only mean that you felt deep love. You were both very lucky to have had each other. My thoughts go out to you and your family (human and creatures)…..

  9. Toni

    It was the right and kind thing to do. That does not mean it was easy, it never is. He knew/knows you love him and I am sure he was grateful for the relief. You were the one person he could count on in all the world to do it for him. You were a gift to each other.

  10. Barbara Wood

    Oh, Dawn, I am so sorry. We lost our Golden Retriever at Christmastime 15 years ago, and it took me 10 years to get another dog. Sending virtual hugs with tears.

  11. Seabiscute

    Of course he understood how you felt about him! Good boy, Nomar. I’m so sorry, Dawn. I know how your heart must hurt, even though you have the blessing of having eased his pain forever.

    I am glad I work from home so that nobody sees the tears…

  12. David Schmidt

    I am so sorry Dawn. Your good Nomar sounds like my Rex. He was ancient and wise. A great friend. The loss and pain is the price we pay for having that wonderful love in our lives as you know but I wish we could keep them forever. I shed a tear for Nomar and for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

  13. Jacque Harvey

    I am so sorry for the loss of Nomar. Our animals are such great comforts for us. I have 4 doggies and they are helping me walk forward after the death of my husband. While in Hospice, my husband was anxious about what he would *do* when he was in Heaven. A nurse recommended a book for us: “Heaven”, by Randy Alcorn. It is written like an encyclopedia and references scripture to explain what we can expect when we get there. My husband had a passion for animals. He wondered if he would see his previous pets when he got to heaven. We looked it up in the book. YES – animals have spirits and they DO go to heaven. The Lord blesses all animals who were brought to life by the breath of God. They do go to heaven and they will be part of our lives there. Moreover, when we get to heaven, God assigns us tasks according to our passions and talents. There is scripture saying how the Lord will use us in heaven to minister and care for His animals. My husband grasped this and started praying that he could be allowed to be a caretaker of animals in heaven when he got there. This brought him peace and comfort and an odd eagerness to hurry up and get there because now he was excited to start his new job. He even asked me to be sure to put dog treats in his pockets when I buried him so that he’d be ready when he got there. And I did. *hugs* Nomar will be cared for and loved by people in heaven who share your same passion for animals. :-)

  14. Susie

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your very special dog. He’s in heaven now running happily with his family. I’m sure there are some very special dogs up there to greet him and show him the ropes.

  15. Fran

    So sad for you. Huge hugs. It’s been a difficult year for you and yours, but at least you have your two new doggie souls to make a new history with. Be safe, all of you.

  16. Alan Andrews

    A dear friend shared your post with me this morning. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost two of my three dogs within a week of each other about 6 weeks ago, and it was (still is) devastating.

    Thank you for baring your grief and love with us.


  17. KarenTX

    My heart aches for you and your husband. It’s never easy, but even harder when they are as wonderful a companion as Nomar was. RIP, big ‘un.

  18. Doris McQuiddy

    Dawn I grieve with you and know that you loved Nomar and miss him and have no doubt that you gave him that final loving gift of peace. I had to give that gift last Sat. to my beloved McDude, my husband’s dog of a lifetime, king of my heart, I am laughing one moment and looking at the pictures that I took of my pretty little man and I see him everywhere. I am crying when I hear him huffing and shaking his collar and know he’s not there. Better to love and be loved by such sweet souls who enriched our lives beyond measure. I know you agree. I’m thinking that Nomar and McDude are having quite a conversation about now.

  19. Pamela Alewine

    I am so very sorry for your loss, I know how hard it is to lose a special friend. He will always be with you guarding and watching over you. He is doing his little dance waiting for you to join him someday ! God Bless You for caring for these animals !

  20. Maggie

    Dawn, I’m so sorry for your loss. We recently lost a dog too. It hurts.

  21. Kthy

    Nomar had to know how much you loved him! He was a beautiful dog. How lucky for you and him that he shared his life with you. May you find comfort in all your happy memories of him.

  22. Linda Johnson

    My condolences. Just went through something similar with our 16 year old. It is very hard. I am shedding tears for you.

  23. michelle

    I’m trying not to cry as I read this. I’m sorry.

    Did you ever watch the movie, What Dreams May Come? The main character dies, and his dog is the first to greet him ‘there.’ I imagine the grand meeting I’ll have when I die. You will have a grand meeting too.

  24. RiderWriter

    I’m SO sorry. I just don’t take the loss of any of “my” blogger’s horses or dogs very well, and Nomar is no exception. Of course I knew exactly who he was – your big guy, your Mastiff, your special man. Always there, always present and standing by.

    The puppies will miss their uncle right along with you.

    Again, I’m so sorry but you surely did the right thing. Sister Nadia, Aladin and Dex were waiting for him over the Bridge.

  25. Robynne Catheron

    Oh Dawn, I am so very sorry. Your heart must be broken at such a huge loss to your family. I can truly sympathize, we just put down our beloved Ruby, our 17-year old Australian Shepherd. She was my buddy, and I miss her terribly. She is no longer in pain, though, and neither is your Nomar. They’re running with the wind. Rest in peace, Nomar. You were very loved.

  26. Kathy Anderson

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Each one of our four legged angels take a piece of our hearts with them. You will always have your memories of him.

  27. Deborah Carlino

    They bring such joy to us and it’s so hard when they have to leave us (as tears are streaming down my face). You’ve had a rough year with your animal and human family. Please know that you and yours are in my thoughts and hoping the new year brings joy to you.

  28. Sandy

    So very sadden to learn of your loss. It’s never easy to lose such a good friend. Your pictures of him through the years is simply precious, and will help you to smile through the tears. I like to believe in that old saying about the circle will be unbroken ~ by and by. He’ll be waiting, doing ‘the Nomar Dance’ just for you.

  29. Karin Boulanger

    I’m very sorry for your loss.
    Rest easy, Nomar. Good dog.

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *