Does she remember?

I look at her in her eyes and ask her if she misses Andrew.
She looks back at me emotionless with her brown eyes.
I ask her is she remembers playing with him every single morning.
I ask her if she remembers all the joy that he brought her and that she brought him.
She stares back at me, maybe tilting her head.
I ask her if she cries over Andrew like I do every single day.
I ask her if she is sad at all for not having Andrew around any more.
She stares back at me and wags her tail.
That is all she knows.

PAG_0175Sometimes I am jealous of Daphne in that respect. She feels no sadness, not remorse, no pain.  Her memory is but a brief time period.   Does she remember the times she ran and played with Andrew out in the snow?  Does she remember swimming with him in the lake, or pulling the paddle boat while we all laughed and cheered her on?  

PG2_3388Does she remember how much he loved her and Daisy. That he cried all night when Daisy passed, just a few brief weeks before Andrew passed.  We were all so devastated. Whenever Andrew called home, he always asked how the dogs were – then he would ask us everything else.  The first thing he did when he got home was to sit and play with them for such a long time – then out with his friends, and they would wait for him by the window at night.  They would often sleep with him that first night, even on the floor, they were so happy their friend had come home. They sat outside his door and waited for his leftovers when he ate dinner at two in the morning.  We would often find plates in the hallway – perfectly clean.


When we traveled, Andrew and Nicole always brought them food from breakfast – way too much, but they loved it and ate every morsel.  From french toast to eggs to crumb cake to donuts – nothing was off limits for their special travel breakfasts.  We never had to ask twice for someone to take them out, both kids where eager to walk them and run with them. Andrew had pictures of them on his desk, and on his phone and on his computer background. They were such a part of his life. I have so many pictures of Andrew and Nicole with the dogs and cats, we can never forget them.  Daisy was also my best friend and companion.

When we did our last family holiday card, the last one when we were a full family, Daisy and Daphne got included, instead of mom and dad, but we were happy – everyone in the picture was so happy.  You can see the love in all of their eyes.


We don’t have Daisy anymore.  As some of you know, she is with Andrew now, buried in his arms, next to his heart.  I am sure they are playing and running and sleeping together where ever they are.  Maybe waiting for Daphne to join them again some day.

But does she know? I don’t think so.  She is blessed with a short memory, she does not cry over him, she does not miss him.  Sometimes she goes into his room and sniffs around, jumps on his bed, smells his clothes, but then wags her tail and carries on.  Life is so simple and happy for her.  Feed her, walk her, play with her, love her – that is all she needs – and that is what the kids gave her – unconditional love.

Sometimes I am jealous of Daphne, she has no sorrow, she has no pain.

But I also feel sorry for her, I sometimes pity her.  She does not remember the love and the compassion and the friendship that Andrew gave her and that she gave him.  She does not have those amazing memories of them playing in the snow or in the lake.  She does not remember my son.  I don’t think I would be able to go on if I did not have so many memories that keep my son alive.

I sit here and cry and look at her – and she just wags her tail and tells me she loves me.



9 thoughts on “Does she remember?

  1. Karen

    Perry, your posts are all so beautifully written. It is good that you can find solace in sharing your thoughts and memories. I never got to meet Andrew but because of these haunting passages I will not forget him.

  2. Amy

    I think she does remember Andrew. There is a purity to a dog’s heart that never forgets the love that was given. But also a grace that doesn’t let them completely understand that sometimes someone they love will never be there again. Perhaps this is a blessing for them as well. I’m so sorry for you and your family Perry, I can’t even begin to know the sadness you feel everyday….I’m sending prayers and love to all of you…..

  3. Scott

    Wow! That was really moving, Perry. Beautiful words. I do hope you’re finding some comfort as you share your journey with the rest of us.

  4. Janie

    Very moving, Perry. I tear up at all your posts and thank you for writing them and sharing your thoughts and feelings.

  5. Karen

    This one made me cry in my coffee. Of course she remembers. In the course of performing animal rescue, I often wondered about this so did some research. They may not “remember” the way we do but remember they do. He’s in her heart as much as he’s in all of ours.

  6. Ned

    well, she may not remember but her health, her character, her being all reflect what Andrew gave to her. Beautiful words, Perry.

  7. Sally

    I feel sure that Daphne does remember Andrew. Every time she comes in his room and sniffs around or sniffs anything belonging to him, she remembers him and probably wags her tail. She is not aware he is gone. To smell him is to remember him! How lucky she is and how lucky Andrew is that Daphne is there for him! I can’t help believing that whenever Jill’s cat’s smell her things now in my possession, they are connecting with her spiritually.

  8. Piper James


    I found your website in a strange way. I too went to the University of Colorado in Boulder, and as an alum I receive ‘The Coloradan’ magazine. It has various articles about the University, events and accomplishments of graduates, etc. It also has an ‘In Memoriam’ section. Andrew’s name is the 8th from the bottom, chronologically. “Andrew J. Grosser (Psych’ 13)”

    This is a link to the current magazine in which your son’s name appears. This link takes you to a page that includes a link to the in memoriam section, noted to be “A listing of our Forever Buffs who have passed.” Andrew’s name is there. A forever Buff. He will always be a part of the state he loved so much, and the school he was so excited to attend. Hearing that CU sent his degree makes me love my alma mater that much more.

    I graduated in 2000, and I always google the names listed in memoriam that graduated later than I did. I have been doing this with each magazine for as long as I can remember. I think it’s partly curiosity as to how these young lives were taken, but also in a larger sense a way to connect with not only the University but also with myself. I was 21 when I graduated, and filled with the bravado and invincibility and worries typical of recent college grads. I google the kids that didn’t have the opportunity to graduate and continue their lives as a way to ground me to mine, a lesson not to take anything for granted.

    I googled all 7 names before reaching Andrew’s. I found that the kids listed died from causes as varied as I’m sure they were. A canoe accident, a car crash, an overdose, even a murder committed by another CU student. Reading the brief information available online is humbling and weighty. As I said, I’ve been googling the names for a long time and rarely is there more information than an obituary. So when I typed in Andrew’s name I was expecting more of the same. During the search, I found this article about gun control in which Andrew was quoted (I wanted to send it to you in case you hadn’t seen it).

    But not only did I find that article, I found your website. Your raw, beautiful, affecting, heartbreaking and heart healing, stunning, incredible words. Your words are love. The idea behind this website is love in its purest form. I do not have the ability to express what reading your words has meant to me. I did not know Andrew then, but I feel as if I know him now. I think because I didn’t know him and because your words have brought who he was and is so vividly to life, and so richly convey how much you love him, that he is alive in my mind. He is parachuting onto a mountain and snowboarding down, or meeting a ninja/becoming a ninja (I loved that!), or counseling a friend just by being him.

    After reading your posts I know he loves animals, especially dogs. I do too, which is why I chose to comment here. Daphne does remember – while she knows he hasn’t been around, she knows he once was and that he made her feel happy. She remembers that he was good and pure, and that she will remain loyal and hopeful until she sees him again. She doesn’t understand the absence, but she does understand how much he means to her.

    I know Andrew loves food (another thing we share), is compassionate and caring, hilarious, the best listener, selfless, genuine, thoughtful, interesting, honorable. A true gift. I loved reading about him and getting to know him. I will carry his spirit with me. Thank you for introducing me to your boy; it is more than an honor to have been allowed to share in your memories. He touched so many people in his 21 years, and he has now touched me through your words.

    I also wanted to note how unbelievably moved I was to read about the decision you made relative to the hockey jersey vs. the suit. And especially the decision to let him be shoe-less. The wedding band, model car he loved and your talis, so that you could keep his and pass it down. And I cannot think of a more perfect way to send your boy than with his dog. How I cried when I read that. But not because I was sad, because I was so amazed at the love you have for your son. Andrew was so lucky to have you for his father. You knew who your son was, you saw him.

    I am devastated at the loss you and your family have had and continue to endure, but I just wanted to let you know that your website has, for at least one person, fulfilled its purpose. I will forever remember Andrew Grosser, the radiant life he led, and what true, lasting, unconditional love between a father and son really looks like.

    Much love,


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