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Three score and ten or more

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have written of my son's dog. She has been staying at my house during the days while my son is at work. This evening, just before he arrived home I went out in the yard to call her to eat. She just lay there looking tired. I actually went and got her food and fed it to her with a big spoon. She ate, licked my hand, but still refused to come in the house. She has been so weak, since her surgery that I hated to force her. My temptation was to bribe her with ice cream, but she had already eaten and that was a task, so I left her lying on the lawn.

I went up to my office and was making a phone call when my son came in. He looked like he was seeking the dog, so I told him that she was lying on the lawn in front of my workshop.

"No," he muttered, "she's gone".

For a brief moment, I thought that I had left the gate open and she had wandered, but then I realized that he meant that she had died. I just just fed her a few minutes ag and it was hard to believe, but he led me outside, and she had crawled up to the gate, stretched out, and died. She was not pitiful, but stretched out in a dignified way that was typical of her. We took her home and laid her to rest under a gardenia bush. My cheeks were wet when we finished, and my son and I hugged each other because we both loved her deeply.

I have been sitting here trying in futility to get some work done, but my heart isn't in it. For two or three of her 10 or 12 years she was MY dog while my son was training and deploying and things like that. We ran together (well, jogged) for twenty or thirty minutes every evening, and almost every morning. She won't jog again, and I am not up to that very much either. It was while jogging with her I got a pain in my right arm that came back three days in a row and led to my quadruple bypass. In a sense she saved my life. I wish I could have returned the favor.


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I'm sorry to hear that DD is gone. Give Stuart a hug for me.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Of course we all grieve over our beloved dogs but I'm glad that she died so peacefully. I pray that all my dogs die like that. I never want to have to put down another dog ever again.

PS I said this to you on my blog about Roy Campbell:

Richard, here's good place to begin your new adventure:

Violence and exquisite beauty – the aesthetics of Roy Campbell.

And here is one of my favorite poems of his:


I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.

Already now the clanging chains
Of geese are harnessed to the moon:
Stripped are the great sun-clouding planes:
And the dark pines, their own revealing,
Let in the needles of the noon.

Strained by the gale the olives whiten
Like hoary wrestlers bent with toil
And, with the vines, their branches lighten
To brim our vats where summer lingers
In the red froth and sun-gold oil.

Soon on our hearth's reviving pyre
Their rotted stems will crumble up:
And like a ruby, panting fire,
The grape will redden on your fingers
Through the lit crystal of the cup.

At 5:06 AM, Blogger The Appalachianist said...

DD sounds like she was a heck of a Dog.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

It's always sad loosing a dog but I sure wouldn't change the ending for all the good times in between.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Norma said...

Such a dear friend.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

Dogs are very special. They give us more loyalty than many people do. I'm sorry to hear about DD, but as with every living thing, I suppose it was her time. Remember the good times you had with her. That's all any of us can do. I absolutely hate the fact that they live such short lives though. :(


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