Thursday, August 13, 2009


My great, great dog Shazam an Austrialian healer, succumed to heart failure yesterday, she was about 14 and a half years old. Great dogs make us better people, and she was really a great dog, and of any dog I have ever been lucky enough to have, she had the biggest, strongest connection to me. I recently read that dogs are as smart as two-year-old humans, and I'd say Shazam was at least that smart, she could read expressions on my face a body language so well.

I named her Shazam when I was working on the Shazam comic for DC back in 1995. That seems like ages ago now and the rythm and pattern of my life is very different, but the constant love of a great dog saw me through a lot of good and bad in these last 14 years. She was a fighter, surviving cancer at 7 years, she had such spirit and everybody , all my friends and family loved her too.

Dogs define times of our lives so well, like water carving away a mark on a riverbed. Now that she is gone I feel the huge mark she made on me exposed, and I realize how strong a force she was in my life, the one real constant force in my life that lasted beyond girlfriends, jobs, etc. I got her and my other late dog Buster just a month or so apart. They were so great together and I loved taking them to the park and playing frisbee. Well now she can play frisbee with Buster somewhere in the next click-over on the reality dial. Energy they say never goes away, it transforms, but my house is now very still. Quiet.
This really marks a big change in my life and with my cat Scavee passing just over a month ago leaves me at the current time without any pets at all. I think it will be a while before I get any new little animal companions, I need to give my heart a rest and time to settle and heal and to see where the new school year takes me.

in a few weeks I'll get Shazams ashes back and place her up on the fireplace with the ashes of all my other pets, someday when I go, I want my ashes to be mixed with their's and potted with a tree or something someplace.


LUD! said...

So sorry to hear about that, Mike. With Scavee gone also, are you totally pet free right now? I know it's tough right now, but get a pup or a kitten soon. It will take some of the pain away quickly.

Scott Cohn said...

actually, the experts say that's the worst thing to do. you can't replace these "people with fur" an easier than we could any other loved one. she was one of the sweetest, most facially expressive dogs i've ever known. i hope you can find that tape of her and buster from when they were pups so you can bring it up this weekend!

i'm gonna miss her though. but maybe not her sneak attack studio gas! ;)

David Muñoz said...

I´m really sorry about your loss.
But LAD! I think a new pet cannot substitute the one you lost. Animals have personalities, too. Finding a new pet it’s never as easy as replacing a computer. I lost the first cat I ever adopted two years ago and even I adopted a new cat some months after his death, and even I love the new one and I’m very glad to have him with me, I still miss the other one. In a way, and I don’t like comparing animals to people, because one of the best things about them is they are not people (and some times, specially with cats, sharing your space with them is like sharing it with a unpredictable and crazy kind of benevolent alien…) well… in a way is like losing one of your best friends and thinking you won’t miss him when you meet new people.
You get better but the feeling is still there. Which I don’t think it’s particularly a bad thing.

Mike Manley said...

Yes, I'm in a pet free home for the time being. maybe next spring I'll get another pet, but right now I think I need some down time with school starting in 2 weeks.

You can never replace a pet like you can never replace a person, you can get new friends and new pets, but they will always be distinct new personalities.

My pets have always been great personalities. When I meet someone whose dog is just a dog, without much character, I always wonder why?

Echo Shi Volla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
inkiinki said...

So sorry for your lost. All I Can say is that i can Relate.