Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Deja Vu’s Quantum Bit 2005-2019

QbitOnCouchCropped-500 Wide.jpg

QBit has left us. I’ve commented on his long battle with lymphoma here several times. Ever since his diagnosis in June of 2018, he had ups and downs. The vet said we’d have him for two more months. We had him for fifteen. He fought it and saw his fourteenth birthday, but little by little the ups got lower and the lows got lower still. We thought it was all over six weeks ago, but he sprang back for reasons we can’t explain, galloping down the hall at dinnertime as though nothing were wrong. The last two weeks were a rollercoaster. He’d stop eating for a day, and then eat like a wolf for a few days, and then stop again. The various meds we gave him (Prednisone especially) gradually stopped working, and the lymph nodes in his neck swelled to the point where he was having trouble bending his head to drink water from the water bowl. Last night he started having a fever and chills, and now and then would stretch out his neck and make small sounds that certainly suggested pain. That’s when we decided it was finally over.

Our mobile vet and her assistant came by at 2:30 this afternoon. QBit was curled up in Carol’s lap while Dr. Peggy gave him a shot of sedative to relax him. That took maybe 30 seconds. While we waited for the sedative to take effect, I said my Prayer of Returning over him, with my hand atop his head:

From our Creator we took you;
To our Creator we return you;
That your life with us may glorify our Creator,
And in the hope that we may someday meet again.

Go with God, good and faithful companion!

I nodded to Dr. Peggy, and she gave him the final shot. With my hand under his chest, I felt his heartbeat grow fainter and slower, and finally stop. We had a few minutes alone with him, and allowed the rest of the Pack to sniff him. Then Dr. Peggy came back inside, bundled up his body in some towels, and he was gone.

I’ve written a lot about QBit here on Contra. How he would play catch with a tennis ball on the stairs in Colorado, catching it on the fly, carefully placing it on the edge of the top step, and then pushing it over gently with his nose so it would bounce down a few steps back into my hands. How he would play “dog soccer” with the rest of the Pack, bouncing a beach ball off his nose as many as four times before it hit the ground. (I’m going to try and post a video on Facebook or Twitter showing this happening.) He loved snow as a young dog, and bounded his exuberant way through the drifts as I walked down the block to the mailbox in Colorado.

As our first, he didn’t always have a pack, but once he got one he looked after it. QBit was always on patrol, going around the house looking in all the rooms for Carol and me and the rest of the Pack. He accepted a certain amount of horseplay, but he had his limits, as Dash the Great Pretender learned on a number of occasions. Dash has always wanted to be the pack alpha. Now that we’ve lost our alpha, it’ll be interesting to see how the pack order changes.

It will be a quieter, slightly emptier house.

So. Do dogs have an eternal destiny? Catholicism says little or nothing about the issue. The Book of Revelation (whatever else you may think of it) says a lot about God making all things new, a whole new Heaven and a whole new Earth. Does all that newness include dogs? And if it doesn’t, how can it be either Earth or Heaven?

My hunch is this, though it gets me in trouble at times: God wastes nothing. Everything He created has a purpose, and everything He created will eventually find its way back to Him. We are all on the road to reunion with God, and (as I like to say) the road is on the road as well. We are making our stumbling way toward the Divine Presence with all creation bringing up the rear. I see no reason that as we walk that great road, dogs will not walk beside us. They are God’s creations no less than we are, and humanity would not be what it is, if dogs were not what they are.

Go with God indeed, my good and faithful companion!


  1. James Strickland says:

    M and I are very sorry to hear that Qbit passed. He was a sweet, friendly dog.

  2. Ed Wunsch says:

    Jeff – my deepest sympathies and a hug from Houston.
    My beloved Dr Zigmund Hound lives on my bookshelf.
    It sucks.
    Ed Wunsch, late of Centennial

  3. Chris Gerrib says:

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. Jonathan O'Neal says:

    My sincere condolences. Having gone through it with two long-term pets (19 and 16), I understand the jumbled mixture of grief, anguish, relief, guilt, and hope. Take comfort knowing that QBit will spend the rest of your life living joyfully in your memories, without pain.

  5. Carrington Dixon says:

    It’s always hard to loose a member of your furry family, but it sounds like QBit had a good life.

  6. Tom Roderick says:

    My most heartfelt condolences Jeff. It really is no different, and sometimes worse, than loosing a family member, but I firmly believe we will all be with them again. Peace be with you.

  7. Jim Dodd says:

    I’m so sorry. You took wonderful care of him and he took wonderful care of you. I’m one of those who does believe dogs go to Heaven. As a wise person said, “How could they call it Heaven if there aren’t dogs?”

    1. Bob Fegert says:

      Great comment!
      Indeed, how could it be heaven without them…

  8. Bob Fegert says:

    Jeff, I’m so sorry to hear this.

    It is so painful to lose a companion.

    A dog really is man’s best friend.

  9. Dave Morgereth says:

    Jeff, I’m so sorry to hear about Qbit. Based on your account, he was a wonderful dog and you took very good care of him (and he of you). I am praying that God will comfort you and Carol. The “Prayer of Returning” is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us

  10. Mithral says:

    I’m so sorry. Just because you knew it was in the cards doesn’t make it easier to bear.

  11. Mike says:

    Prayers for you and Qbit he was a great dog with a great family. I also agree with you about dogs and heaven.

  12. Cap'n Jan says:

    My sympathy for you… Here I sit, with tears in my eyes for a little doggie whose head I never petted, who I have never seen… It is a testament to your eulogy to him that I can almost feel his presence. Perhaps I can.

    “There is more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    We will all meet again…

    Cap’n Jan

  13. Rich Shealer says:

    Sorry for your family’s loss. I had fallen behind the last month on my blog reading and actually wondered yesterday how QBit was doing. I’m sorry to read that he crossed the bridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *