Thousands respond to heartbreaking Facebook photo of director Kevin Smith with his dying dog

Kevin Smith posted this photo of himself with his beloved dog, Mulder, on Wednesday.
Kevin Smith posted this photo of himself with his beloved dog, Mulder, on Wednesday. Facebook

Thousands of dog lovers sent condolences and cyber-hugs to director Kevin Smith on Wednesday upon the passing of his beloved canine friend, Mulder.

The “Clerks” director posted a photo on his Facebook page Wednesday morning of himself cradling family dog Mulder. The photo was taken on Tuesday as Smith carefully held his buddy to help him breathe easier.

“Dark day in our household: our oldest dog Mulder is dying,” Smith wrote in the first of several posts.

“As I've spent the last year carrying him around like Hodor, I'm not taking this terribly well.

“They never tell you when you get a dog, but there is a price to pay for being the recipient of 17 years of unconditional love, loyalty and companionship: they take a huge chunk of your heart with them when they go.”

A few hours later he posted this update: “He's gone. RIP Mulder, my Buddy-Man. Thank you for 17 years of sheer joy and affection. It took a dog like you to make me a better person.”

More than 50,000 comments have been posted on Smith’s Facebook page.

Most expressed the sentiment of fan Matthew Rusche, who wrote: “You'll probably never read this, but I feel your pain man. Your movies have brought me so much (joy) in real dark times. If it were a just world I would be able to do the same for you. Just keep your head up and know, that dog knows how much he's loved and take that with him no matter where he ends up.”

A little dust-up briefly popped up on Reddit when someone posted the photo of Smith and Mulder there, prompting some people to call Smith an “attention whore.”

Smith posted a response on both Reddit and Facebook, saying “I guess I can see that perspective, but I had posted the picture (and an accompanying explanation) on my FB, Twitter and Instagram pages because those folks who follow me have been hearing about Mulder for years.

“And call me callow, but I just wanted to unload the emotional burden a little by sharing with the folks who'd enjoyed all the Mulder and Scully stories I'd told over the years.

“This wasn't about look at ME – this was about look at HIM ...

“I was in pain and I just wanted to hear from people who knew that distinct pain of losing a dog. And I'm glad I did, because I got to read some amazing stories people posted about the lives and deaths of their pets. It was therapeutic for me.”