November 14th 2008 3:22 pm
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From the Portland Oregonian, Sept. 11, 1925.
By Ben Hur Lampman
We are thinking now of a dog, whose coat was flame in the sunshine and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or unworthy thought.
This dog is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree or an apple or any flowering shrub of the garden is an excellent place to bury a good dog.
Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer or gnawed at a flavorous bone or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter.
For if the dog be well-remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where the dog sleeps. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pastureland, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog and all one to you, and nothing is gained and nothing is lost -- if memory lives.
But there is one best place to bury a dog. If you bury him in this spot, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again.
And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth knowing.
The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.
(sleep well, sweet Maggie)
May 22nd 2008 8:12 pm
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I have to write this for Maggie - she's in a place we can't hear her aroo (but Maggie's were more like awroh)
I took Maggie to the vet today, Wednesday, and was with her for her last breath. She was brave going in...didn't seem scared at all. It was only when they put the needle in her arm that she decided not to give up the fight (and tried to bite the vet) - they tried twice in her right arm before going with her left...and when it came, it came quickly. Maggie just laid down and slept.
I can't believe she's not in this house, laying at my feet, following me like a shadow, reminding me that she hadn't been fed (or if she has been, hasn't had dessert). It was only 5 years ago that we got the call about a little lost scottie and brought her home. She had heartworms but made it through the treatments with barely a problem. In October, we found the melanoma tumor in her mouth; she flew through the radiation treatments and never once complained about our 7 hour round trips to Dallas (well, except when I stopped in Lindale and got a sausage biscuit on the way...and she got nothing) - she should have beat this cancer...so a second one snuck up on her and attacked her liver. It was almost 2 months since the mass was found in her abdomen and the melanoma returned. She was having good days and bad days. She LOVED chik-fil-a nuggets Saturday and Monday...hated them Tuesday. She wanted to eat but she didn't know what she wanted and in the end, had me running around like a bad waiter "...you don't like the tuna, try the turkey...turkey burgers..no? ... try the chicken ...baked? ...sliced? ...boiled? ...fajitas?" Max (the now pudgy westie) got all the leftovers - plus yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter, liver and a wide variety of canned foods and hard treats. For a dog that never met a meal or treat she didn't like, the pickiness with her food was the start of the end. Monday and Tuesday she just looked tired (still hungry at times for the right craving) but car ride to get more nuggests wasn't fun for her - and when she was outside, all she wanted to do was stand by me. She didn't trot or sneak off like a ninja...she just watched my feet and stayed close.
Last night, she slept on the bed all night and didn't get up at what had become, in the last two weeks, the usual routine of 1 am and 3 am - waiting instead until 5:52 am. She didn't stress or pant, but when she wouldn't raise her head after we came back in, I knew it was time - when I cleaned up a little blood in the diarrhea, I was afraid I waited to late ....but she ate a good breakfast and then went to the office for a little while and said her goodbye's. She gobbled up the bits of chicken fingers I saved from lunch, but got really tired right after. She made it through the morning without the tramadol (she vigorously fought taking that everytime and I've got the bruised fingers to prove it) and actually seemed to flinch less. I know it was the right thing (and only thing) to do...it just doesn't make it any easier. I just want her back.
She was a good girl -- she discovered riding in a car and loved it, sitting in the front seat side-by-side with Max looking forward; she tolerated the costumes and the tricks, because she loved the parades, the pet stores, the nursing homes and occasionally, the attention. She wasn't a fan of small children but knew that when the Girl Scouts where tugging at her to get their picture taken with her, it was ok -- just something she had to endure. She preferred to sit and watch and didn't like to be bothered by loud, rowdy dogs (or yorkies that nipped at her butt) ....but a chill in the air would get her acting like a fool...running with stretched out legs, hopping over holes, and doing drive-by's just to be silly. For a dog that spent a good part of her life ignored in the back yard or yelled at, she was a loyal, lovable, opinionated, bull-headed, calm, old soul. She was a happy dog who was loved by many.
It's weird not seeing her stretched out sleeping (10 pm is way past her bedtime - life in the backyard taught her up at dawn/down at dusk). Max is dealing with it ok - I actually think Kitty misses her more. In the mornings when I used to lift Maggie on the bed to rub her tummy, Kitty would come looking for a scratch, so I'd hold out Maggie's paw and she'd rub up against it purring. Maggie put up with me using her paws to scratch the cat and would just lay there, smiling....waiting patiently for me to let her go. When I came home today they both sat on the couch beside me and just looked at me as if to say, "where is she?"
I know she's up there, laying there waiting, like she laid by the door, waiting for us to come home.
Someone from the Therapy Dog group sent this:
I explained it to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here,
Outside the pearly gate.
I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark,
I'll be very patient and wait.
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much, if I went in alone,
It wouldn't be heaven for me.
September 11th 2006 7:37 pm
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Way back, in March Max and I passed our Canine Good Citizen test (grandpa asked if that meant we could vote now....I reminded him I live in Louisiana, so anything is possible). We also passed the TDI (Therapy Dog International) portion of the test - we sent off our papers and got our badges in the mail....so now we are certified to do therapy visits.
We finally visited a nursing home last weekend and everyone loved us (even if they did tell us we were a little chunky). I felt that it was my duty to make sure the floor the floor was clean (I have the same job at Petco and Petsmart) - I knew Max was Mr. Personality and would take care of the introductions (unless they had crackers....). Being so close to the ground it was a little difficult for some people to see us. Mom would pick me up and cradle me like a baby, so I smiled - that was my big trick (who needs high fives and roll overs!!) We had a good time and are going to do a bunch more visits. We're joining a group called Caddo Caring Canines and those dogs do a LOT of therapy dog visits.
Our next goal is to become READ certified, then we'll visit schools and libraries and let the the kids read to us -- after they've read so many books to us, we'll give them a free book. I've just got to get mom to stop procrastinating and take the durn test!!