Ethel - A Life Interrupted
Animal Stories from

By Brenda Shoss, KinshipCircle May 2012

In recent months, Kinship Circle director Brenda Shoss lost her dog Ethel, just 1.5 years old. Ethel was not sick. She was crushed by a speeding car. Brenda wasn’t home at the time to try life-saving measures. Ethel died under watch of other family members. Brenda — who constructs all alerts and e-newsletters — has been on hiatus due to this profound loss. We thank Kinship Circle members and supporters for their patience. Email alerts will resume soon. For all who have lost animals, especially those who know the tragedy of one killed, Brenda shares this brief message:

Brenda Shoss, kinship, circle, dog

I have buried 3 elderly animals over the last 7 years…including Stanley, the dog who inspired Kinship Circle.

A killing is different. It is life interrupted. Ethel awaits breakfast and hugs that will never be. She is unfinished — the little dog who didn’t so much walk as hydroplane in leaps, springs and bounds above the ground. Her confidence was disarming. Ethel never doubted her charm and comedic talent.

I’ve come to understand that the deepest love can happen between an animal and a person. Though underrated, there is nothing silly or sentimental about an animal-human bond. My love for Ethel, an admitted "favorite" in a home full of animals, was visceral — an inner warmth and stillness when I held her.

Each day since Ethel’s killing, our separation lengthens. Details are erased…her sweet smell and silkiness, a way she looked at me. The un-doing of such a vibrant life brings sorrow unlike any I’ve known. My sense of time has changed now. I measure days in moments…that might not come tomorrow.

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