Saturday, July 04, 2015
YESTERDAY I HELPED A FRIEND DIE
He always loved to ride with me in the truck
We laid him to rest in this lovely setting
stayed with him all night
This photo gave me a spooky surprise. At the very spot of his grave appeared the shadow imprint of a dog in the bushes.
And before we left we found another surprise--this touching sculpture of a dog angel atop another doggie grave--only steps away.
Luke has company
Yesterday I helped a friend die
the way I'd like to go;
loving hands holding me;
pink fluid sending me to eternity in seconds.
He was my companion's dog
but I loved him as my own.
We'd traveled years together.
I've known him in the sunshine of his days,
content as only animals can be;
bouncy, playful, grateful to be alive;
giving and taking love from one and all.
Rescued deep in Mexico 13 years ago
from unhappy prospects;
taken on a lifelong adventure---RV style
'round the continent;
walking a thousand trails with his mistress;
dancing a thousand dances for his treats;
sleeping thousands of nights at her feet;
knowing no greater joy than her approval;
fetching with the gusto of a being on fire with purpose.
He bounced as he walked, tail high in a curl
communicating when need be with the clarity of spoken words:
hanging back with a reluctance that shouted
"I don't want to go!"
One day he found a dried up smelly fish
and would not give it up
she exhausted herself trying--then gave up.
Luke said: "I really really want this."
He seemingly yearned for a male in his life,
and when I was around, it was me.
He would literally knock at my door with his paw,
knowing he was welcome and treats given.
He had a bearing as regal as a king.
You would mistake him for the dogs in Egyptian art.
Sometimes, atop a boulder he posed like Rin Tin Tin.
He was cared for but not pampered;
having a place in the scheme of things;
responsibilities and rules like the rest of us
but confident always that he was included.
He trembled uncontrollably at gunshots and fireworks
till cinched up tightly in his thunder suit.
At age 98 he was stricken with a fatal tumor;
the Vet said only days remained.
We made them days of much love.
When the pain came we let him go yesterday as I have said.
I watched his last sad steps with his mistress
and my grief came heaving out.
I hardly made so great a scene when Mother died.
Leaning on the hood of my truck I sobbed unashamed;
astonished at the depth of my sadness.
The Vet and his wife consoled with great skill.
We carried his body in my truck to a beautiful spot
overlooking Georgia O'keeffe's famous Ghost Ranch.
Together we dug his grave and placed him in sleeping posture facing East.
We layered his body with sweet sage
and included an heroic Jack London dog story.
We went back today to complete our goodbye with incense
and beautiful sounds. We tied his leash to a nearby tree.
I hope there is a doggy heaven!
ADDENDUM: Carl has pointed us to a youtube poem about dogs that will swell your heart. See it here