The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

A Dog on his Master

As young as I look,
I am growing older faster than he,
seven to one
is the ratio they tend to say.

Whatever the number,
I will pass him one day
and take the lead
the way I do on our walks in the woods.

And if this ever manages
to cross his mind,
it would be the sweetest
shadow I have ever cast on snow or grass.

-Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003

Views: 21

Comment by Chig on September 2, 2009 at 2:28am
Sigh.... Beautiful. You understand all too well.
Thank you.

Only seven months.... This was a tough one. I am trying to write it all down... I need to work out what I am feeling. I just know it is not regret.... well maybe the first day she died it was regret . I wondered if there is anything I did wrong, or if I would have woken up when she came panting to me... could I have saved her if I was awake? Did she throw up and something get stuck in her throat?

Then I recalled her health went down for the last couple weeks. She was uncomfortable with what ever was happening inside her body. She had a lot wrong, but was never uncomfortable like that. She was still eating to the very end. She was still wagging her tail to the very end. I know she was very very old. I know I would not have taken her to the vet this weekend if she wasn't having difficulty. I don't think her breathing was showing any signs of improvement. I took her to the same Vet who I took her to a month before to run all kinds of tests which came back normal. The Xray showed her trachea was oddly shaped. He said she could be 16 or 17 years old. The day before she died this same Vet assured me her lungs sounded clear and her heart sounded fine for a dog of her advanced age. He agreed though that it sounded like she was worse than when he last saw her, and we probably were dealing with tracheal collapse. We started her that night on three pills which he prescribed and I was to take her back in a week for follow up. They were scary pills, but they were to make her breath easier. I canceled the appointment the next morning after digging her grave. I think I woke up minutes right after she passed and we found her. I may have heard a noise. So many bad thoughts about that night.

I am writing the whole story all down from the beginning when we agreed to adopt a senior dog, because I need to recall why this was such a good experience for me, and I certainly hope for her over all. I knew we had a very limited time. Seven months... hard to take.
I am still not quite up to thanking everyone personally, but for you.... this is the closest thing I could come to do at the moment. Thank you. I so very appreciate this poem.
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on September 2, 2009 at 9:08am
Beautiful. A keeper.
Comment by Pypermarru1 on September 2, 2009 at 10:50am
You are a kind lady to put this here for Chig and the rest of us animal lovers. The crush grows.
Comment by NatureJunkie on September 2, 2009 at 2:16pm
@ Chig: I do understand all too well. When I lost one very special dog, a soul mate to me, I held him in my lap in his final hours and I told him the story of his life as I knew it. For such a short, little life, it took a surprisingly long time to tell. I think writing it all down will help a lot.

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