The Spirit of Trace is Free


It is with the heaviest of heart I announce that my beloved Trace has passed. Yesterday we found that his incision from his surgery had split open and we thought maybe he could get stitched back up. We woke up this morning and he had bled everywhere. So I took him to the vet hospital and found that he had developed a new tumor underneath his scar. It was about three times the size of the one that was removed a month ago. There was no surgery to be done and there was no stitching that could help him. 

I am devastated. I’ve balled my eyes out all day. It hurts knowing he is ‘gone’. And we know there was nothing else we could do for him. Fortunately, he was in a place where he wasn’t in so much pain as later stage cancer can be. But, by the looks of things, he wasn’t too far away from being in dire straights.

There’s no way to express how much I love him and miss him so much. And I don’t speak in past tense because I know he is still near. On the way to the hospital, I prayed about what to do because for the past few months I’ve been praying for the cancer to be taken away. I realize now it was not in my control – it was not up to me. So this morning as Trace and I drove, I asked for a sign to show we what to do. It was when we were in the hospital and the surgeon inspected the bloodied area of his abdomen – I saw the look on the surgeon’s face and without say any words, I knew it was time. I broke down. I sobbed. And there was Trace. He looked at me. He knew it was time.

The sinking feeling. The weighed down sensation. It all happened so quickly. But I finally had to stop thinking about what I wanted for me and I made a choice for Trace that set him free from his discomfort. As painful at it was, I found peace in holding his body next to mine, his head resting on my lap. His piercing blue eyes – I knew I would never see them again but they will forever be burned into my eyes. But in my heart I knew this was one of the richest moments of my life.

As the surgeon injected the sedative, Trace began to relax and rest with me, my tears falling on his face. He was at ease. I can’t make this stuff up – right before the final injection was made, Trace raised his head and licked my chin – a kiss farewell. I held him in my arms. He wasn’t alone. He was safe. He is safe. I don’t know how many times I told him “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” but I’d like to believe he sent a message to my heart that “it was okay”. And so I told him to “run, run as fast as you can, as far as you’d like”.

In the saddest moment, I found a sweet feeling just resting with him. No more worry. No more pain for him. It was purely honorable. Full of dignity.

So, I call out to you Trace, my precious boy. I will always remember running with you and your beautiful gallop. I will always remember the first day we got you: you were the only dog that got along with Bella. I’ll always remember your ears pinned back when you’d be excited to see me. I’ll always remember your sweet face as I massaged you behind the ears and your sweet spot at the base of your tail. I’ll always remember your resonate voice as it echoed throughout the area. I know wherever I go, you will be with me Trace. We used to call you by so many names: Mr. Brown, Mr. Dinosaur, Tracer Boy, Buddy Boy. You always be all of those to me for eternity.

You were taken from us too soon but I know you’ll be with me even though your body won’t lie next to my side of the bed. I know you’ll be with me when I hike in the snow – o, how you loved the snow like a true husky. I know you’ll be with me when I run around the yard with my children. And I know you’ll always be on my left side when Bella and I go for walks. And I hope you don’t mind your ashes being spread on the trails we used to run together at the Nature Park.

You are my sweet boy and I honor you and I honor your spirit. You were a noble dog, full of life. And while I did not get to fulfill my final wish for you, I’m still going to run – FOR YOU – and I know you will run with me, full stride and all. I rejoice in my faith that some day, when my life transforms beyond this one, you will be there, wagging your tail, ready to run and play. Until then, I want to say that I love you and every dog that comes after you will know that your were here…that your ARE here. I love you, Trace.


© 2011 – 2017 by Scott Hamilton and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautifully said Scott. No more could a dog want or be given than to have the chance to mirror the love in your eyes. Your tears are shared.

  2. richardvlaanderen says:

    So sad it had to end like this Scott, so sad…… both deserved more time together, but that`s not up to us i`m afraid. Wish you strength in this difficult time.

  3. Dad says:

    The memories of their time with us far out weigh the sorrow you are feeling now. I share your tears as well and know well the pain you are feeling. Now Trace can meet up with Mac, Charmin and Ashley for a good time. Love you – Dad.

  4. nanda says:

    Hey been there, and they do know and they do say good it tough and my heart goes with you.he will leave his Trace in not just your life but ours as well. I petted those steely eyes in a husky outside a cafe just yesterday and she talked to me for quite a while.

  5. Jamie says:

    So sorry Scott:(. How brave you are and wise to know he is in a better place~

  6. Robert says:

    What a beautiful and touching tribute Scott…Thank you for sharing Trace with us.

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