Neil Gaiman’s Rescue Dog, Cabal, Has Died

When the author rescued the big white dog, he didn't know he was the one being saved.


If you’re familiar with the work of writer Neil Gaiman, then you already know about the author’s accolades for his books and graphic novels. His works of fantasy, horror, and science fiction entertain and engage us. But there’s another thing about Gaiman that we like so much and that we think merits honor: He rescued a lost dog from the side of the road.

As the author recounts on his blog, Cabal, a white German Shepherd, was running around, scared and likely to run into traffic. That’s when Gaiman came to the dog’s rescue, and after getting the dog into his car, he brought him to a local shelter to be reunited with his owner. That person, a nearby farmer, collected the dog but also mentioned that he thought the dog was a “nuisance,” and that if anyone wanted him, he was more than willing to part with the wolfish canine. Gaiman seized the opportunity.

The dog’s white fur had been stained by the chain he wore while tethered in the farmer’s yard. Also, he was underweight, and he suffered the effects of negligence. Gaiman nursed the dog to health, and he changed his name from Buck to Cabal — after a canine character from the King Arthur legends. The mythical name suited Cabal, who offered Gaiman companionship during some difficult times in the writer’s life.

You know what they say: Sometimes we don’t rescue dogs, they rescue us. Gaiman eventually adopted a second dog, Lola, to keep Cabal company, and he posted so many photos of his little pack that fans created a Tumblr of pictures of the dogs. There is even a Cabal shirt available for purchase here.

At age 9, Cabal died recently and suddenly of a blood clot in his lungs. Gaimain wrote a moving tribute to the big white dog that you can read here (tissue warning). Closing with a poem from Rudyard Kipling called “The Power of Dog,” Gaiman wrote that Cabal was the “best dog in the universe” who will be painfully missed.

Via Neil Gaiman’s blog, photos by Neil Gaiman via Tumblr

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