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Susie's Portrait bw

Today, we marked the anniversary of our sweet Susie going to the Bridge by performing a little burial ceremony in our backyard, where we laid her ashes to final rest.

Susie left us on June 2nd last year, but knowing that we wouldn’t be in the same house for much longer and not wanting to leave her grave site behind, we opted for her body being cremated. It was a strange year for me as I kept the urn with her ashes in our house, than moved it with us to South Dakota, and then kept it in the new house until weather and soil conditions permitted a proper burial. I felt that I didn’t have a complete closure, and to be honest, toting the beloved pet’s ashes around seemed quite strange, too.

Susie was my little friend from way back when it was “just us girls,” always loving, always by my side, making a cross-country trek with me from Alaska to Kansas, weathering the Kansas tornado-producing storms with me, both of us trembling with fear. I adopted Susie when she was already in the “matronly” stage of her life, approximately 8 or 9 years old according to our vet’s best guess, and I was blessed to have her for almost 6 years. She was a joyful little creature, sweet and loving, and with a special measure of that Irish Setter character and spirit. She was my little sweetheart (‘mo chroi’ in Irish Gaelic), and I often told her that and hoped she would somehow understand. And she did… She seemed to know with all her old, frail being, up to the last moment of her life, how much she was loved.

Saying a little prayer at her burial today and thanking G-d for providing a companionship of such a sweet little creature went a long way to bring closure. We laid her ashes to rest in the shade, between a rose bush and a tree frequented by squirrels and birds. May the shamrocks fall softly, Susie mo chroi, cuisle mo chroi!