LOVE AND LOSS

Facing Approaching Loss of a Beloved Pet

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Facing Approaching Loss of a Beloved Pet

And of our own ending

Some photographers take pics of graves.

Some painters carefully render still life images of a bowl of fruit and so on.

So I guess it’s alright if I think about and type up this:

Our old dog Ruby…

… older than I am in that 7 times 1 calculation of dog time to human time, lies here near me on the floor of my office. The soft Berber carpet cradles her old bones as I type this.

This is the exact kind of relationship I’ve always wanted with a dog and now that I have it I hope and pray to a higher power in which I don’t believe, that Ruby has a much longer life.

Much.

Longer.

And yet, as I said, Ruby is even older than I am. I’m a human, in my 70's. She’s a canine, in her 10's. We both tire more easily than we once did,

We are both still capable of great and passionate engagements with life from time to time inspired by, or perhaps because of, our deep capacities for the fatigue of the aged. So why worry about this now? Because when I look at Ruby who injured herself the other day and who exacerbated that injury by refusing its recognition and chasing two other dogs she found annoying, she seems so tuckered out as to be close to death.

In fact, just yesterday she struggled even to rise or manage the stairs; we had to bring her food bowl to the side of her bed where she could eat lying down. She seemed to be on her last legs.

Until now, today she’s regained a bit of strength and appears simply elderly once more.

So, what about Ruby and me?

A few moments ago she walked slowly downstairs and lay down near my office door. I hear her breathing and she glances at me, smiling as always, and I ponder what immortality we may someday see.

Or not… Maybe not… Probably not…

But then again neither Ruby nor I know anything for sure.

And if wisdom is an informed and detached concern for life itself in the face of death itself — Well, I can easily convince myself that Ruby and I are hot on Wisdom’s trail and getting closer every day to our happy endings.

I envy the hopeful and stupidness of their “simple faith” because sometimes facing the obvious truth is almost too much to bear.

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