Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye

"...And he was jest a dog, Lawd, but such a dog as ain't never been on dis-yeah green earth....It ain't for no common field hand like me to know what kind of 'rangemints you got up yonder, and maybe dey ain't no allowance made for dogs and such. But in time I heard birddog folks say you got a plantation leased up yonder, and it's a thousand miles long and twice as wide, and dey ain't no briers ner rattlesnakes, and it ain't never hot and ain't never ground-froze, and de birds is golden birds with sapphire eyes and dey don't run, and dey don't flush wild, and ain't no night to spoil de hunt, and no whistle to call de dogs in; and dat's where de good ones go when dey die...."

Wesley's prayer for Old Sam.
Two of a Kind
Vereen Bell, 1943

     Austin passed today. I'd made the decision to end his suffering. Though his condition had worsened over the last ten days, he'd only started to loose the sparkle you see in his eye a couple days ago. Part of me felt I could nurse him, and have him with us a bit longer, but knowing what was happening I made the appointment. When Austin was a pup I had committed to being his care-taker, and whenever something was wrong he looked to me for help. And I always helped him. This weekend, whenever I looked him in the eyes, I could see that he knew something was wrong, that he needed something, though he didn't know what it was. I'd scratch his ears, and he'd lean on me, and he knew daddy would take care of him. And today, in the vets office, he drifted off, away from his pain, with me scratching his ears, and him comforted knowing I was with him, taking care of him.

     I've lost dogs before, and it's something one never gets used to. When we loose a dog, we are really loosing a piece of ourself. Our dog has become what we've created, and is who it is because of us. Existential beings that they are, we are amused by their antics, amazed by their abilities, and very often humbled by their forgiveness. Often wanting little more than a scratch behind the ears, they stand loyally by our side, sometimes crawling onto the bed, and readily accept us as theirs, though we spend their entire life time molding them to what we believe they should be.

Austin 6/23/00 - 2/15/11  RIP

     Thank you for being part of my life, part of me, for the last ten years. I couldn't have asked for a better pal. You put a smile on my face everyday, and were a sympathetic ear when I needed one. A more endearing dog you couldn't have been, and I'm proud that you reached the hearts of so many people, and worked so tirelessly to make people love you. I certainly did. I would have been happy to have you as my dog for the rest of my life. Happy hunting, my pal.


1 comment:

  1. Larry,

    Sorry for your loss. We'll never get used to the lose of these creatures we call pets. They are much more than pets.