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Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Vincent J. Marcus Germer, 1998-2008 RIP

I can mark each era of my life in dog years. The Honey years. The Honey/Buster years. The Buster/Vinny years. The Vinny/Reggie years.

Vinny has been at my side through four books, two houses, a coupla relationships, a career change, a lightning strike and a lot of really good times.

He’s been there. Right with his mama.

Yesterday was a good day. Playful. Normal. Happy. Today, we woke up and I filled his bowl with Moist & Meaty, the food I’ve been spoiling him with since he was diagnosed with lung cancer and no longer had to worry about his waistline. He has always, always loved Moist & Meaty. Just not today. I coaxed him to his bowl, but he was not interested.I sat on the floor and put some in my hand and held it out to him, and he took a nibble — for my sake.

Then, he gave me the look.

He gave me the look and then it was my job to keep my end of my bargain with him. I would give him a good death because he’d given me so much good life. I called the vet and asked him to come out to the house after the clinic closed. Vinny would be in his home and he would not be afraid.

All day, I watched his labored breathing and knew this was really the day he had to go. I dropped my Golden off at my friend’s house so I could have my last day with Vinny and so Reggie wouldn’t continue to try to steal the attention away from his sick brother. And I gave Vinny a bunch of toys and got him to eat a little beef jerky and I cried. All day, on and off, because a world without this dog doesn’t seem possible to me. I have loved him so much for so long, and now I don’t know where I will put that love. Or get the love he gave to me. I have no idea how I will fill the void in my heart.

But I said goodbye to him knowing he had been the sweetest gift God ever sent me. He was just for me. My special boy, who made me laugh every single day.

Now I embark on the Reggie years, sad because Reg is my old man — almost thirteen, and sad because I know he won’t t live forever either — no matter how much I love him.

With his Billy Idol Mohawk. I re-colored it brown a week later.

With his Billy Idol Mohawk. I re-colored it brown a week later.

Thank you, Vinny G-r-r-r-r-mer. For every last little thing.

19 Comments
  1. Fawn,

    I am so glad that you had a special day with Vinny. Pets are God’s gift to us….they always love us no matter what we do – they are always there for us with unconditional love. Vinny will always be with you.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Nancy

  2. Oh Fawn, what a lovely tribute to your beautiful boy – I’m still crying. Loved the pictures – he always looked like a puppy – so playful. What a wonderful gift he was to you! I asked George’s mother once, “What is it about dogs that make us love them so?” She said, “Because they’re wonderful.” Your Vinny was truly wonderful. Love, Carolyn

  3. I remember the day you found Vinnie, starving, dirty and in need of of medical attention. You tried so hard to get me to take Vincent but Gary and I were dealing with four of our own furry four-legged kids. I declined and you found your soul mate. Things happen for a reason.

    Now you have taught so many others how to share your life with these wonderful creatures. And to think you didn’t even know how to pet dogs in the beginning.

    Our history and our friendship is more dear to me than you’ll ever know.

  4. Fawn – a star will burn bright for Vinny. Such love and joy will always surround you. Vinny will make sure of that. Lots of love and a big hug – Keri

  5. Fawn,

    I am so sorry that Vinnie is no longer with you. At least you had your time with him and those memories will be with you forever.

    Knew he was your special boy and I am so sad thinking about how you will miss him.

  6. Please accept my deepest personal sympathies over the death of your personal and dear friend Vinnie He love you dearly and you loved him dearly.It was amazing the wonderful love and attention you gave to him.I think that it was amazing and wonderful the excellent veterinary care you gave to him.He was your special friend. I share your sadness with you. LOVE Dad

  7. Fawn,

    I have to tell you how very sad I am for you over the loss of Vinny. I only knew him for a short time, but in that time, I got to see what a trully great friend he was! You took wonderful care of him and gave him everything a dog could ever want. Thank you for sharing this with me. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. Vinny is being given the tour of Rainbow Bridge right now by Buster and Honey and Chelsea. Walter is perched on a pillow, observing from afar. Oh, and Buster is complimenting his mohawk.

    That puppy had the best life with you, and every day he knew he was adored.

    Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

  9. Fawn,
    We are so sorry for your loss. What a special day you had with him and what comfort you gave him. He was a blessing. We are thankful to have you in our lives.

  10. I suppose I could say that I’ve known this all along…but I really haven’t analyzed it before; so Vinnie is still at work teaching me things. It takes a person’s death to crystallize for his friends who he actually was in life. Somehow, IMMEDIATELY after that loved one is gone, then and only then, can our mind do the math and get a true handle on them as an individual.

    Before Vinnie’s death, I would have summed him up as one of the most lovable dogs I’ve ever known. Now, all I can think of is that he was a true Class Act…and that’s even ranking him along with all the humans I’ve ever known. A pretty big accomplishment for a pup from the gutter, but that was Jmarcus. He never lost his gravelly-voiced street smarts but he lived comfortably and naturally with his wealth – a vast collection of beany babies. There at the end, he got a baby a day. I’d say he was in heaven long before he left this earth.

  11. I don’t know when I’ve cried so much for someone else’s dog. Usually, I’m just sympathetic. You’re a great dog and cat Mom. They are all lucky to be in your house. Love to Reggie, too. He will be feeling the loss as well.

  12. I am really sorry. I have two very special girls of my own (mother and daughter)and couldn’t imagine life without them. They are getting old now like all of us. It is very special how they can add so very much to our lives. I am sad for your loss.

  13. Fawn

    What can I say? It hurts so much to loose a loved one and Vinny was just that. He was lucky to have you… and you…him.

    Feel comfort in the fact that he will live in your heart forever.

  14. You’re a good mommy. 🙂

    Lorna

  15. Dearest Seester,
    I am so sorry honey I just received this. While spending time with my grand-dogs on vacation Jen’s Great Danes, Rocky and Miss Maisey and Patrick’s Rott, Tyson, I thought of you and Vinny – maybe playing on the beach as we were – and creating wonderful memories as I see in all these wonderful pictures. You know me and my picture insanity….
    Our Higher Power always matches our problems to our capabilities – and I know how capable you are in so many ways – and Vinny knew that too – that doesn’t make the loss any easier and no words can heal at this time but know that you were his best everything – as you are to me.

    I love you and I am thinking about you and sweet Vinny.

  16. Dearest Fawn-

    I know how tough it is to keep up your end of the bargain – I have held many sweet babies on their journey to the rainbow bridge….Know this, Vinny was loved and so are you my dear. Many people cannot understand or even comprehend the relationship we have with our dogs- it is never “just a dog” just like it is never ‘just a promise” or “just a lie” these beautiful creatures bound into our lives and leave pawprint on our hearts………I wish you healing……

  17. A fitting tribute to a wonderful friend and companion. I’m sure he will be missed. You are a good mom – and that’s why I am happy to tell you I found the man for you. Check your e-mail and see if this might be the start of something “Big.”

    Mark this day as not the end but a beginning…

    Vinny will smile down on you knowing that you are happy and not without a furry companion to share your life with. Woof!

  18. Fawn-

    Wow. That’s just the sweetest saddest thing. I’m so sorry I did not get to meet Vinnie- he was a special boy alright. What a face. Good luck with your search and rescue efforts, can’t wait to see who turns up for you!

    Lisa

  19. Fawn, you sent me this site and you made me cry! He must have been something quite special. I remember the day my Spike had to be put to sleep after 17 beautiful years. He was there for me when I moved away from home and took a very difficult job in DC, he was there for my sister through a long battle (but a winning one) of breast cancer and he was there for my parents when I moved to England and I had to leave them (and him) behind. I remember when I was in London and I would see a Yorkshire Terrier I would ask to pet them and break out in tears for I missed him so much. Luckily we were able to move back here and we moved to Florida for his last year. We took him to see the manatees while John and I went diving, he stayed in the boat and watched. He loved the boats. Just a month later he had to be put to sleep but he had a full and wonderful life. He was truly “there” for everyone. What a fantastic, giving animal. I don’t think we all would have made it through what we did without Spike. Isn’t it funny what 4.5 pounds of true love can do for so many people?

    Thanks for sharing
    Deb

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