Hi, everyone. Averry here with a completely self-indulgent out-of-character post that ultimately relates to the blog only tangentially. I know I keep saying I don’t like stepping out of character like this, especially since I already did not too long ago, but in this case, the blog is also my outlet. Thank you in advance for bearing with me, and apologies in advance for this not being at all what you normally come here to read.

Regular readers know that one of the blog’s running jokes is that Garrosh plays a game called Earth Online, which rests on the premise that our world is actually an MMO, and the in-game world of Azeroth is reality. I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock that I’ve sometimes used the conceit of Earth Online to refer to things in my real life — for instance, the fact that Garrosh plays the teacher class “in-game” is a nod toward my real career.

On a couple of occasions, Garrosh has mentioned an in-game vanity pet that he’s fond of, a dog named Sawyer. This was an unabashed reference to my own dog, a West Highland white terrier whom I adopted a few years ago from a local westie rescue group. The fact is, Sawyer had already worked his way into the blog in other, less obvious ways — I’d long ago come to think of him as the personality basis for Mortimer: naturally feisty, oftentimes cranky, fiercely loyal, frequently a handful. And always boundlessly endearing, to the point of finding a soft spot (kind of) even in Garrosh.


Very late last night (or very early this morning, depending on how you’re counting), after several days of struggle with deteriorating medical issues, Sawyer had to be put to sleep.

He kept fighting to the end. Sawyer had been rescued from a puppy mill, so he was no stranger to adversity; even after being rescued, two would-be adoptive families returned him to the rescue organization after finding his brand of canine PTST was too difficult to deal with. It was only because of those returns that he ultimately wound up with me. Oddly enough, in all the days since he moved in, I don’t think I can remember a single one that he tried my patience to a degree that even registered. (Maybe that’s a perk of working with high school students, who knows.)

When Sawyer was first rescued, his age was estimated at about two years, based on his small size and puppy-like behavior, so I figured I would have him with me for a decade or more. Two years of age became nine or ten after eventual dental work revealed he had the teeth of a much older dog; still, I thought, that left me with another four or five years, more if we were lucky. By the time our luck ran out this week, our time together had run its course in just under three years total.

Three years were over too soon. Then again, twenty years would have been over too soon. Somehow, though, I really don’t feel cheated. Three years were a gift.

Yes, I know, I’m one of those crazy sentimental dog people. (Iย can not watch the last five minutes of “Jurassic Bark.”)

Friends and guildmates have long been familiar with Sawyer’s antics — I’m sure many of them got sick of hearing me talk about him. And more than one raid was punctuated by the sounds of a squeak toy over vent. And there may or may not have been an add or two that I didn’t pick up very quickly to tank because a certain someone was pawing at my arm. I wish everyone could have met him.

As I’m sure you’ll all understand, Sawyer’s fight for life has been a major factor in the blog going quiet for the last several days. I’m probably going to continue to be quiet for a little while more. While I have a lot of stories in the pipeline that I’ve been pretty excited about, I really don’t feel very funny right now, much less ready to take on some of the darker, serious stuff (of which, um, there’s a lot). Rest assured, Garrosh’s misadventures will be back again in short order. Thank you for your ongoing patience.

If you happen to have a dog — or any pet, for that matter — give a few extra hugs tonight. If you don’t, maybe take your companion pug for a walk around Pandaria. Or, better yet, look up a local rescue organization, and send along a small donation to help undeserving slobs like me continue to have their lives graced by the best friends they’ll ever know.

Sweet dreams, Sawyer. Thank you for rescuing me.


Buried treasure
Reports of my demise (part 1)
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July 1, 2013 11:50 am

WTB dislike button. ๐Ÿ™

I remember when you first got Sawyer. And listening to all your stories about him, and hearing his squeaky-toys on vent. I still have all the photos of him you’ve sent me. I really, truly thought that I would get to meet him one day.

You were so very patient with him and understanding of his issues. While the first 10 years of his life may have been seriously traumatic, I know that his last three years with you made up for everything. He was finally safe, spoiled and loved. You did good by him, and I’m sure he knew it and appreciated it far more than he could show.

*enormous hugs*

July 1, 2013 11:56 am

Take your time, Averry. We’ll still be here. Just remember you very likely gave Sawyer the best three years of his life. In memory of me gray tabby Crystal, my sympathies.

July 1, 2013 12:14 pm

my condolences, its hard to lose a furry friend

July 1, 2013 12:20 pm

I’m sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing Sawyer’s story.

July 1, 2013 1:15 pm

I am so sorry to hear about you losing a part of your family.


A Concerned Citizen
July 1, 2013 1:25 pm

I know how you feel. It’s hard to lose a friend. I won’t say it gets easier … but with time, you remember more with joy than with sadness.

Rakael Paladin (@RakaelWhispers)
July 1, 2013 4:40 pm

Awwww, Sawyer. Rest in peace little guy.

I’m glad he had a friend in you to enjoy the last three years of his life. Those are good years for both of you. Good times and memories to be enjoyed.

Losing a beloved pet is heart wrenching. Take your time. We understand.

July 1, 2013 8:18 pm

I’m sorry to hear of your loss and my heart truly does go out to you. I’m sure that you will have many memories of your dog. *hugs*

July 1, 2013 8:47 pm

Hugs, hugs and more hugs.

July 1, 2013 9:44 pm

Sorry for your loss, Averry. It’s never easy saying goodbye to a wonderful friend. =(

myriade (@myriade_)
July 1, 2013 10:09 pm


Hugs and condolences, Averry. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

July 2, 2013 5:47 am

I lost my first cat and best friend, Luna, four years ago.
I still feel pain over her death, but the joy of the love we shared over almost 18 years is very well worth it.


July 2, 2013 6:07 am

I’m sorry to hear about your loss. It’s never easy to loose a companion and member of your family.

July 2, 2013 7:40 am

I’m sure you made a huge difference in his life, as much as he did in yours. So very sad to hear.

July 2, 2013 9:23 am

I was going to just work through the holiday this week. I figured I have nothing to do and no one to do it with. You made me realize how wrong I am. I’m taking 2 days off just to hang out with my own dog.

If you need anything, my phone is always on. *hugs*

July 2, 2013 7:28 pm

I’m very sorry for your loss, may your happy memories bring you comfort.

July 2, 2013 9:58 pm


July 6, 2013 3:37 am

I am so sorry for your loss! I am a huge animal lover and it is always sad when one dies. You never go into adopting a pet with the idea that one day your heart will be ripped out when they die. I am so sorry that you did not get more time with him.

July 8, 2013 12:22 am

He looks like a beautiful little boy. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing, it is never easy to lose a friend :(. Take care of yourself and know that at least you had 3 amazing years full of memories with him. /hugs

July 9, 2013 11:02 pm
Reply to  Zeirah

So sorry to hear about that, but I’m happy that you got to spend three amazing years with him! Good luck going forward, and /hugs.

July 11, 2013 6:39 am

You don’t have to be a dog person to be moved by “Jurassic Bark.” See:

Roo the Hunter
August 1, 2013 10:36 am

you made this old hunter cry…

Iโ€™m Still Here
Friend, please don’t mourn for me,
I’m still here, though you don’t see.
I’m right by your side each night and day,
And within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I’m always near,
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart,
As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I’ll never wander out of your sight.
I’m the brightest star on a summer night.
I’ll never be beyond your reach.
I’m the warm moist sand when you’re at the beach.

I’m the colorful leaves when fall comes around,
And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
And you’ll see that the face in the moon is mine.

When you start thinking there’s no one to love you,
You can talk to me through the Lord above you.
I’ll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
And you’ll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I’m the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,
And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I’m the smile you see on a baby’s face.
Just look for me, friend, I’m everyplace!

Author Unknown

Good hunting to Sawyer and you….