John and Nell

Pilgrim and his Mom


Serious Pilgrim and serious CJ

Not so serious now

Some of Pilgrim's mementos

Pilgrim Died

Pilgrim Died

We celebrated Pilgrims 10th birthday March 9, 2007. 

Three days later he was dead. Here is Nell's letter.


Pilgrim died last night - just 3 days after his 10th


On Friday, we drove 4 hours to have his pictures made. 

On Saturday we went on more fun for dogs adventures -

short trips to the beach, to the maritime forest, to a a

picnic area/dock.  On Sunday we went to the celebration

of the anniversary of the Civil War Battle of New Bern. 

Pilgrim liked the attention and his deafness was an

advantage during the musket and cannon shooting. 

Sunday evening we visited our friend Nancy and her

dog, Grace.  We noticed Pilly drooling.  He ate his

supper fine.

Sunday night he was out many times and basically

spent the night outside.  He was alert but not interested

in eating on Monday.  In the afternoon, he passed a

sock and later red liquid.  We have years of experience

with this dog and usually he is better after the sock

passes, but this time he got progressively worse.  We

gathered our stuff and went to the ER in Cary, about 2

hours away.  He may have been breathing when he got

to the parking lot but wasn't when they rushed out to

him.  It was about 10:45.

We will have necropsy results in 5 days and they will

mail the ashes later.  I imagine the autopsy will show

that there was another sock, the first one caused

damage in an old dog, or perhaps something totally

unexpected.   John, I, and CJ visited with his empty

body for a while.  They took a paw print.

[The necropsy showed that he died of toxic shock.  The

sock stopped his intestines for a while and toxins built

up.  As I suspected, it would likely not have killed him

when he was younger, but it was too much for an old

frail dog.]

Already the changes.  John put away Sunny's styrofoam

steps that Pilgrim has increasingly needed and realized

he was saying good-bye to Pilgrim's chapter in our lives. 

We can now pick up all the extra mats all over the


So many things we remember.  Until a few weeks ago,

every time the peanut butter jar opened he was there. 

The shuffling, skittering sound he made when he

walked.  The "tickets" in the van and all over the house

to reward or bribe him for doing what we wanted.  We

are used to walking around him and to having him come


So many people commented on the tribute I wrote for

his birthday.  Who would have guessed that it was an

eulogy.  I had not even finished sending out the birthday


Pilgrim  3/9/97 - 3/12/07 

So empty here today.  We get so many reminders.



See Pilgrim's Page on the Longlease Bernese Mountain

Dogs site.