Rest in peace, Duck


Sarah’s much-loved dog, Duck, passed away this week. Having appeared regularly as the character “Doug” on The Sarah Silverman Program, Duck became familiar to the public. Sarah has also kept fans apprised over the years about Duck’s adventures by posting periodic pics or comments via Twitter/Whosay.  The two pics above are from Sarah’s Whosay this week, where she also posted the following tribute yesterday:

I wrote an obituary type thing:

Duck “Doug” Silverman came into my life about 14 years ago. He was picked up by the State running through South Central with no collar, tags or chip. Nobody claimed or adopted him so a no-kill shelter took him in. That’s where I found him — at that shelter, in Van Nuys. Since then we have slept most every night together (and many lazy afternoons.) When we first met, the vet approximated his age at 5 ½ so I’d say he was about 19 as of yesterday, September 3, 2013.

He was a happy dog, though serene. And stoic. And he loved love.

Over the past few years he became blind, deaf, and arthritic. But with a great vet, good meds, and a first rate seeing-eye person named me, he truly seemed comfortable.

Recently, however, he stopped eating or drinking. He was skin and bones and so weak. I couldn’t figure out this hunger strike. Duck had never been political before. And then, over the weekend, I knew. It was time to let him go.

My boyfriend Kyle flew in late last night and took the day off from work to be with us. We laid in bed and massaged his tiny body, as we love to do – hearing his little “I’m in heaven” breaths.

The doctor came and Kyle, my sister, Laura and I laid on the bed. I held him close – in our usual spoon position and stroked him. I told him how loved he was, and thanked him for giving me such happiness and for his unwavering companionship and love. The doctor gave him a shot and he fell asleep, and then another that was basically an overdose of sleeping meds. I held him and kissed him and whispered to him well passed his passing. I picked him up and his body was limp – you don’t think about the head – it just falls. I held him so tight. And then finally, when his body lost its heat, and I could sense the doctor thinking about the imminent rush hour traffic, I handed him over.

14 years.

My longest relationship.

My only experience of maternal love.

My constant companion.

My best friend.


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20 Responses to Rest in peace, Duck

  1. Laurie says:

    Im so so sorry SARAH- U were a Wonderful Mom to him- and I know the pain all too well- Have had Cats(always 2) all my yrs (67yr old aging hippie forever young)Losing a pet no matter if he or she lived LONG life-is Devastating- More so than When A Human family member passes- I hope U go on Warren Ecksteins Site- RAINBOW BRIDGE read- Abnd Someday RESCUE another DOG-Tears for u-Love Laurie A big Fan

  2. Linda Smith says:

    Sarah, your beautiful heartbreaking obituary to your best friend Duck sends an important message to our death-denying American society. I am a grief counselor in Toledo OH and I have found that the loss of a beloved pet can be as seriously wounding as the loss of a child. To those of us who are animal lovers, that is NO surprise. But to many who say “It’s just an animal,” I hope your open expressions of grief and love will send the message that our pets can be, literally, our best and most cherished friends and family members, even our children. I am sure what you’ve written is just the tip of the iceberg of the deep pain and sorrow with which you are sure to struggle for a long time. Please be kind to yourself and allow yourself as long as you need to grieve this great loss and ignore those who tell you to get on your life (as I’m sure many will). I personally believe the soul/consciousness of Duck is still with you even now. But that’s not as comforting as a warm furry presence next to you in your bed. Wishing you peace and comfort.

  3. janice says:

    Godspeed sweet Duck….you were loved ….until we see you again…..

  4. Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing about your precious dog. From what you have shared about your feelings for your dog and how happy he has been in your care it seems that you were both lucky to know each other. You’re a sweet person to share your story with others. I’ve always loved your humor and love you more for your kindness. You’re a sweetheart.

  5. Amy says:

    Condolences from Flyover Country. When I think of life without my beloved Tuki (full name, M’tukah Ruth Gettelman), who will be 13 this month (and who came into my life as a three-month-old stray) I know that it would be harder for her to live without me than it will be for me to live without her. It was probably the same for Duck. May his memory be for a blessing.

  6. Daro Felch says:

    My best friend Peanut (12y.o. pomeranian) left for Heaven July 12. I think of him everyday and it’s not the same now he’s gone. To ease my pain I have his face tatooed on my arm. When people ask me about it, I smile and let them know it’s a tribute to the “best little dog in the whole wide world”. Your not alone with the pain of losing a friend,it hasn’t been easy for me but time does help heal the broken heart. Be strong Sarah, LOVE doesn’t end in this life, it just gets interrupted. I wrote this little poem to help me heal, may it do the same for you. “Ashes To Ashes and Dust To Dust…It’s never easy when a friend leaves us…But we know in the end…That we’ll meet again…To travel our path together…Picking up where We left off”. R.I.P. Duck…R.I.P. Peanut…LOVE AWAITS YOU BOTH

  7. Aaron says:

    Sorry for your loss Sarah. I named my chiuahua Doug after seeing Duck in your tv show.

  8. Dan Springer says:

    So sorry for your loss, Sarah.

  9. Frank McPhee says:

    I’m very sorry, Sarah. I have strong feelings for my pets also. I’m glad Duck’s passing was without suffering and while being loved by his humans. Sincerest best wishes.

  10. Susan says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We enjoyed Duck on your show – our Chi would always bark at Duck/Doug, so your show was enjoyed by the whole family. I can only hope mine lives as long as sweet Duck. Losing a pet is a terrible thing, the price we must pay for all the love they give us. My thoughts are with you.

  11. Patricia S says:

    Hi Sarah,

    just read your touching obit for your dog “Duck” It was to the heart I too had a beloved blk lab named max for 14 years an I know how the experience is on loosing an animal you have taken care of for so many years. I lost my Max last year on 3/24/12 due to heart failure I had him at home to pass I didnt want him to be in a place where he was infamilair with, my BF was at his side for the remainder of his life that afternoon an he passed that Sat evening. I still have his picture where its always been since his passing, I think wow he’s gone after 14 years that he was in my life. It certainly blows me away how fast those years went by. good luck to you an thanks for sharing your heart warming story.

  12. Wayne says:

    So sorry Sarah. I always loved seeing Duck.

  13. SAD says:

    Dear Sarah,

    I absolutely loved your story about Duck. So many people, including myself know what you are going through. God bless you for taking care of Duck and know that He knows how much you love him and miss him now.

    I always say, the more I know about people, the more I love my dog. Unconditional, loyal, pure love. Dog spelled backwards is God.

  14. Michelle says:

    Im sooo sorry Duckie is gone. What a beautiful little shit he was ):

  15. Chuck Dahle says:

    You got me! 19 years? What a gift for both of you. As with all dogs, all Duck ever wanted from you was to do things for him out of love. Obviously that’s exactly what you did, including when you gave him that final gift. Many thanks – and please be a bit comforted and assured that he is eternally grateful.

    Here’s to the next homeless dog that adopts you and another blessed life together begins.

  16. josephine_b says:

    14 years.

    My longest relationship.

    My only experience of maternal love.

    My constant companion.

    My best friend.

    Ditto to all of the above. Had to put our two gray in the muzzle pups to sleep this year. Thank you for your words. They are so right on.

  17. Daro Felch says:

    They’re more than just pets’ they’re Family, they really, really are.

  18. Gerie says:

    Dear Sarah, I am so sorry you (and all) have gone through this. It has been over a decade since I lost Norton & not a day goes by that I do not think of him & find the pain (and the love) renewed. When these tragedies occur it always puts me in mind of these words from Romeo & Juliet (somewhat altered): “When they shall die, take them and cut them out in little stars, and they will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night”. Gerie

  19. bob danon says:

    Sarah- your beautiful and wonderful tribute to DUCK brought tears to my eyes. When I put my CHARLIE to sleep five years ago, I sent out the letter you will find below, to my 1,800 name email list, and many knew my boy because my coffee house was named after him. I r ecv’d over 150 cards and emails of condolence. I cried reading them, because like my CHARLIE, the sender was now telling me stories of their great dog. And aren’t they all great?

    I hope my words about CHARLIE bring warmth and rememberances of DUCK to an even greater high of true wonderment. Ater all Sarah, there really is only one great dog.

    With love, respect and admiration for DUCK…

    bob danon

    July 29, 2008
    “There’s only one great dog…”
    So says Mary Ludington in her book, The Nature of Dogs.
    Charlie was my “one great dog”, as was Reebok before him, and Sally and Jason and Duchess.
    Charlie – Charles Chandler Rodman Danon, born February 19, 1996; put to rest, July 29, 2008. I wanted to name him Charlie, or Chandler- In memory of a great friend. My daughter Kate wanted to name him Rodman, after you know whom. I went with Charlie.
    Most of us who are dog lovers totally get it- these great, tail-wagging creatures are our one true loyal, all loving companion, totally devoted, with unconditional love. Charlie was true to all of those qualities, always and forever.
    Charlie was a gift for my daughter Kate when she was in 8th grade. But I knew then, and I have always known, he was “my dog”. He loved Kate dearly and the Reiter family and their dog “Bob” and Lyndal; oh how he loved Lyndal. In the end, Lyndal cared for him and nursed him through his final days. Charlie was so much a part of who we are, as is her dog Desi, Charlie’s best four-legged pal.
    I used to tell people who stopped by my frame and art store in Wilmette, that Charlie was “the hardest working dog in Wilmette”. I would say that, as Charlie lounged in his blue canvass chair, reaching out with his paw to “high-five”.  He often walked around the customer or friend who stopped in to say hello, purposely bumping into their legs, looking to be petted. Back then Charlie was a world-class schmoozer. He worked the customers and their children like no other…
    After I opened CHARLIE’S COFFEE HOUSE (named for “you know whom”), next door to the frame shop, Charlie would on occasion, sneak in- for a little schmoozing. Village ordinances didn’t allow dogs in “restaurants”, but what the hell. Charlie would work his friends on both sides of the wall, and work them well. Quite possibly, Charlie’s single greatest moment at CHARLIE’S was the last time Tom Dundee sang there, almost two years ago. From the frame shop next door, Charlie howled two verses of City of New Orleans, with Tom. Now that I think about it, it may have also been one of Tom’s greatest moments.
    At the end of every performance, Charlie had a way of sneaking into CHARLIE’S, as the musicians walked past him, as they returned to the frame shop and their guitar cases. Charlie would strut around the room, schmoozing and sniffing for snacks, which fell to the floor. It was so funny; when Cathy Reiter or Lyndal were in the room, Charlie knew it, and he would seek them out. God how that dog could work a room. What the hell!
    At any rate, the little guy had style. He really was my “one great dog” and I will miss him terribly. If there is a heaven, I’m sure Charlie is up there now, schmoozing, rolling in the grass, and playing with Reebok, and other “great” dogs that you and I have known and loved.
    How fortunate I have been…, Bob

  20. Daro Felch, Bedford,NH says:

    Amazing how a little dog can just melt all our hearts. We indeed are lucky to know the love of a pet, most people miss that train. WE are, our pets.

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