Monday, December 22, 2014

Time passing

The lack of activity here over the last few weeks is not an indication of apathy or boredom, just conflicting priorities. Between a few lackluster dove hunts and one highly unproductive quail hunt I've been tending to an aging member of the family. Finally had him put to sleep on the 18th, mainly to prevent the suffering that was coming hard and fast.

This one was never a bird dog. Any talent he was born with was stolen from him by his first owner. He came to live with me scared of his own shadow. a foster dog that I was supposed to rehabilitate to the point that he could go live with another family. After a year of steps forward and back he was ready but by then he was part of the family, so he stayed for the next 15 years.

As a youngster he would run in circles in my backyard for hours, literally to the point that he made berms in places. This returned in his old age but the circles were much, much smaller and the motion was a turtle's pace. His affinity for escaping the yard and spending the night out also returned, as I wrote about earlier this year.

The last few months were spent alternately soaking up sunshine and struggling with the basics. There were times, more frequent toward the end, when he could only point his nose toward some tangle of objects and become trapped in or under them. When the neural switchboard guides you away from open spaces and into things from which you cannot escape on your own, something is very wrong. His legs were slowly giving out and it occurred to me that it had been a long, long time since I'd seen that nubby little tail wag.

Where his soul goes from here is nothing but speculation. I'll disagree with anyone, though, who claims dogs don't have souls. I've seen too much to agree with such nonsense. His is now freed from a worn-out old body, free to jump on the bed and dig through the trash can and run in circles again. Godspeed, old man.


  1. Oh God, my master,
    should I gain the grace
    to see thee face to face
    when life is ended,
    grant that a little dog who once pretended
    that I was God
    might see me, face to face.

    Sorry for your loss; it's a big one. Gil

    1. Best part of the afterlife is a chance to do it all again with my dogs.

  2. Mark - When time is gone it is hard. And it gets harder with every loss - a cumulative effect or a reminder of our own mortality. Or both.

    Sorry for your loss man.

    1. Much appreciated, Mike. I've noticed that these days I look at aging dogs with a different eye, one that sees bits and pieces of me down the road.