Friday, August 5, 2016

"Rest in peace, Mama Dog Butler"

Just got the sweetest email saying, simply, "Rest in peace, Mama Dog Butler".

Sounds like a 1920s bank robber name.

We like it.

Here's her smile which I'll remember always...

This Long Goodbye

You know what? Throughout this long goodbye, we were held close and up and every other fine way as we headed toward the Bridge.

I've never felt this peaceful about a farewell, but maybe I'm doing her justice by not over-grieving. This was about her. And she needed me to help her let go...

It's true: We get by with a little help from our friends. To you perfect strangers out there in Facebook Land, I'm blown away by just how THERE you were and are.

Here's to remembering what's fine about our critter amigos. They asked if I wanted her paw print. I think not. I have enough of her fur in the vacuum canister to probably recreate a miniature Mama Dog - she had that Husky undercoat. I'm tacky enough to contemplate it, but truthful enough to know I'd botch it.

Besides, I'm recalling Alan Alda's book title, "Never Stuff Your Dog and Other Things I Learned". A reporter asked him why. Alda replied, "Because they're not THERE."

I know what he meant.

She's right here in our hearts.

And I'm smiling. That wouldn't have happened without y'all.

So there. Please pass it on.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This Girl

Maybe my favorite shot of this girl. She'll be shuffling off this mortal coil in about three hours and we'd both like to thank all of you for the mighty kind,, ever flowing river of sympathy for her passing.

I know we'll see each other again. Just that the space of time and distance seems really big right now.

All fine blessings to you guys.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Truth Behind Us: The Devil Before Us

Joseph Welch said this, famously, righteously, and, perhaps in the collective sense of its content, belatedly, but, by God, he said it. He said at a time that had seen the ugliest of America bubble to the surface with the grimacing, cruel, arguably insane face of one man at its center. He was speaking to Joseph McCarthy when he spoke these words:

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

In years to come, those who are biting their tongues now lest they lose their place on the political checkerboard, will find that their outrageous deficiency of honor will come back, in some other way, to bite them in their hindquarters.

Party loyalty is far less important than fealty to those qualities most treasured and direly needed in our country's highest office. Babies and bathwater need to part ways.

God love this little kid.

When's the last time this happened to one of us? Grown ups, I mean. And the presidential debates don't count.

God love this little kid.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

To you bunch of dear folks playing along at home with the Mama Dog game:

She's certainly taking her time about her mobility issues. After having to be carried up and down the stairs for two days, she's managed for herself today.

If her appetite, lucidity and wagging tail weren't all in top shape, this would be a whole lot easier to decide. So I won't be the pet owner who cried wolf, I'll just write when it's Time. Until then, many blessings for the empathy.

I definitely know I'm not alone now or at any other time and thank you all for reminding me of that. Someone else has to care for her for the next couple of days while I work; She'll appreciate your long distance belly scratches.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In the golden light of goodbyes.

Their mama isn't usually this slow on the uptake. The leaving has been happening for some time now. The various pills are failing her and this big boy will not leave her side. She's very old. And she hasn't wanted to leave me, either. She knows.

Tonight she tumbled down ten steps. And peed when she reached the bottom.

I carried her down the other six but it's more than this. It's her dignity. And I'm not anthropomorphizing to insist that animals definitely possess it.

She's been more of a friend than my silly words can express. And no shortcut around these tears looks feasible. Going right through them, dammit, is just what's on the map. I need some of her courage. And to remember that thing I believe: That we're all more than these bodies we carry around. And that I'll see her again.

It's probably risky writing something this personal only because - ah tenderness in human form! - there will always be that person who assumes something that's beyond their scope of knowing and I'm just petty enough to resent it in the beautiful tide of far more understanding than I could possibly expect to receive if I DIDN'T post this...

Thank you for just knowing. For not writing much other than you're simply thinking of us, that you're kind enough to hold us - strangers afar - in your good thoughts. Because. Really. What else is there to say?

If we're lucky: We outlive the ones we love. And that's the good bounce in this life. That's why holding onto the whatever things that bind us in the unseen - besides hugs and big ones at that - is the only real work before us. Laughter, encouragement, invisible applause for the victories of the young and the sheer grace of the ancient ones.

Ashes. Dust.

And because of all the marble urns and bottles and jars of dogs and cats who have crossed the bridge that are here now: In this one's name, will I find a creek, better yet - that big thirsty Pacific Ocean near me and empty them all into it, thanking the Maker for such companions along the way. And not forgetting the precious ones who are still here.

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