Nothing But Norman #17

Happy Saturday Everyone! That is how I normally how I start my Nothing But Norman Saturday blog post, but today I don’t feel like I can say that as today’s post is a somber one. Next Saturday I will feel better and my Happy Saturday Everyone will be a happy one. First off Norman’s badge has changed. It has a halo and wings now as he is a fur angle watching over us all. I am going to tell you about our day on this past Wednesday, which includes our trip to the crematorium. If you don’t think you can follow along  I understand you don’t need to. It was a hard day for me and I feel writing about it is adding closure to my pain of that day, I by no means want to make anyone else sad.

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Wednesday the 6th of November 2013 9:50 a.m. we arrived at the veterinary clinic near our home. We went into the exam room, completed the paperwork, the doctor came in and talked with us. Norman was laying down as this is what he did most of the time as it was easier to lay down than to stand with his bad leg. During the months leading up to this day I was preparing for this day. Planning on how things should go, planning on what I was going to do to make it special for our goodbye. After Norman was diagnosed we took a trip up to our friends house which happened to be Norman’s hunt test trainer for 3 years of his life. Norman loved to spend his summers with Mike. He loved to train, he loved to retrieve, he loved life and people. One of Mikes ponds has really beautiful cattails around it. The dogs would get their real life hunting training when training on this pond. I asked Mike if I could cut and keep some cattails to take with when it was time so Norman could fall asleep on a bed of cattails just like he was hunting in the marsh. I wanted his last moments on earth to be with something he loved.

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Norman was never sick during the 5 months of living with cancer. He was always happy, always ate and only had to take his pain medication. His tail was wagging up until it couldn’t no more. No more came at 10:00 a.m. where he fell asleep and went to join all our furangle friends over the Rainbow Bridge. He went peacefully after being on this earth 6,836,280 minutes. That’s a lot of minutes to make a difference in so many lives.

Sleep well my friend, till we meet again run free through the marsh and may the birds always be plentiful.

Beam Me Up.

Beam Me Up.

Beam me up
Let me be lighter
I’m tired of bein’ a fighter
I think a minute’s enough
Just beam me up

Norman’s soul was on it’s way to becoming the brightest star in the sky.

Since Norman’s soul was high in the sky John and I decided we wanted Norman’s body to stay with us. We have plans for him. In order for his body to stay with us we needed to have him cremated. I didn’t want to wait (didn’t want to be without him by my side) the typical one to two weeks for him to go to the crematorium and back to the clinic so we decided that I would take Norman myself to the crematorium and have a priority cremation done. Priority cremation is when you make a appointment, you decide how much of the process you want to be part of, your pet goes alone into the chamber and you leave with your love one in a couple of hours. I have used Midwest Cremation Service for over 20 years and have trusted them with the care of our clients pets and my own pets.


This is what MCS has to say:

From Our Family to Yours – Midwest Cremation Service is dedicated to serving your entire family; we know your pet is an important part of that family. Pets are unconditionally loyal companions that profoundly touch our lives. Because pets bring us immeasurable happiness, love and joy, it can be devastating to lose such an adored friend.

At Midwest Cremation Service, we understand the overwhelming sorrow from losing a four-legged companion. This is why we offer families pet cremation options and customized memorial services — to help you say goodbye in a loving and dignified manner.

Midwest Cremation Service has serviced the Veterinarian community and pet parents for over 30 years.

This service provides a single cremation where only one pet is placed in the chamber. The pet’s remains are returned to the pet parent. With a Priority cremation, pet parents have the option to a private viewing.

Pet parents return home with their pet’s cremains in a Friendship Collection Urn. For those who prefer, a wide variety of urns are available at our facility or for purchase directly from our website.

Since I was apart of Norman’s whole life while he was living I was going to be part of his life in death also. This is something I needed to do. Not everyone can do what I did and that is ok, people grieve and need closure in different ways. The staff at MCS were the utmost professionals. Cheryl talked me through everything before it was going to happen and asked me what parts I wanted to witness. She did all this from a really nice sitting room in front of the incinerator with a viewing window. She asked me if I wanted to view the placement of Norman. I said I did. She then gave me a rose to put with Norman, I went out and said my goodbye’s, gave him his rose, kissed his head, shed many tears and said “till me meet again my friend, run free in the marsh”.

After Norman was placed she recommend a couple places for me to go during the process. I went to Lakeside bar and grill on The Wisconsin river. What a beautiful place. Here are the photos I took while there.




After a hour and half I could go back and pick Norman up. Again Cheryl explained what was going to happen when we were in the sitting room. She asked me if I wanted to see the removal, I did. Norman was put on a table and gone through. The worker held up a steel plate with screws and I gave him the thumbs up that yes that was Norman. I got every part of Norman back. They then wrapped him in tissue paper and placed him in a really nice cherry box and give him to me with their condolences. They had so much respect  for me and Norman, I couldn’t of asked for a better experience.


When I left there with Norman riding shotgun I was relieved. A darkness was lifted, I had my buddy back.


I got my 2014 Dogs Of Blogville calendar the same day we said goodbye to Norman. I had to show him his picture that we would get to look at the whole month of August. Thank you Jodi and Julie for putting this calendar together.


Norman’s resting spot for now. He is just across the living room next to the tv. From my chase lounge I can stare right at him and then look at tv.

I hope I didn’t scare anyone off with this post. If anyone has any questions about my time at the crematorium please do email me. I’m ok with talking about it. I think it was the best thing for me.

I want to take time to thank each and everyone of you who have private messaged me, left comments on my blog posts, emailed me and such. I have a really great support system and I can’t tell you how much you all mean to me, each one of you have helped me out during this sad time. I hope you will be there for me to lean on when the need arises. One day hopefully not soon I will be there for you, as that is what friends are for.

doG Speed Norman.

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32 thoughts on “Nothing But Norman #17

  1. I’m with Sue (except for the reading part, I knew it was better to read it at home than at work.) What a beautiful tribute JoAnn, my heart just aches for you. You and Norman were so lucky to have this bond, although I know that makes the parting that much harder. He’s looking down on you and one day will greet you happily at the bridge.

    Sending you hugs. Like Sue, lots and lots of hugs.


  2. Thank you for sharing these very private and sincere moments with Norman. ❤

    I'm glad that writing and sharing is easing your grief. So many of us love you and your pups — you are important to many. Xoxoxo


  3. You will always be together through your love for each of other. Thank you for sharing such private thoughts. We see his star too, it’s up there now. Fly free Norman


  4. I am not one who is eloquent enough to know the right and most comforting words to say. Just know that you are held close to my heart and I grieve with you. This was beautiful. Sending ((((Hugs))) and much love.


  5. I thought I could read this with just some tears in my eyes, but it was way more emotional than that. I’m glad my hubby isn’t here because he thinks I get too emotional and just wouldn’t understand why I’m crying. It just was so wonderful how you have been there with Norman every step of the way. I’m not strong enough to do that, but I know that’s OK. We all do what we need to and what works for us, and I’m glad circumstances made it possible for you to do what you needed to. Thinking of you….sending more hugs.


    • Guys don’t understand, I am always crying reading blogs or other things and John is sitting over there not knowing or understanding what I am doing. It is ok not to be there like I was, it doesn’t mean your not strong. We are all strong in different ways. Hugs back.


  6. Hi Y’all,

    Thank you for the insight into cremation.

    I know Norman took a huge chunk of your heart with him. It will always hurt, or at least it always hurt my Humans. But eventually it will be more memories of the good times and the bad time will fade.

    Hawk aka BrownDog


  7. I have to say it broke my heart to read your post and yes, I am still crying. Norman was so lucky to have you and you to have him. Phe was our first to have cremated. It makes me sad that I didn’t have Shiloh and Summer cremated now that we went through all of it with Phe. When its Scout’s time to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, I want to have him cremated too. Thinking about you and sending lots of hugs.


  8. Harper Lee’s mommy here. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this. My heart breaks for you, and at the same time it is filled with joy. I hope that somehow makes since. I have so much joy for the special times that you and Norman shared, for the joy that he brought to you, for the tender way that you faced the end with him, and for the loving way that you shared his final day with your readers and friends. I am so glad that you chose to share the whole story of your day with Norman. It was beautiful. Norman was beautiful. I am off to hug and kiss Harper Lee, with thoughts of you and Norman in my heart. Peace be with you.


  9. A beautiful and fitting tribute to dear Norman. I too have these lovely pine boxes that hold my Sally, Tino & Becca. They sit on shelf in my office. We cremated each of them with a special toy or remembrance and I would touch their box often just to say hello. I lost my mom and dad too in the last few years and have urns of them in my office too, so it’s kind of turning Into a mortuary…I really have to do something about that. I also had the footprints in clay made and that’s an even brighter memory as I can tell its their paw print. I like having them close and I feel their presence with me just like it used to be. Thanks for sharing this JoAnn, it does get easier.


    • Thank you Kate, I say hello to Norman and I go to John “say Hi to him” and he gives me a look like I have two heads. Sorry for the loss of your parents. Never easy. I too have my parents ashes. I have Norman’s foot print also. I also have his footprint with all the others tattoo’ed on me. I’m glad I didn’t freak anyone out with my post.


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