Tuesday, January 8, 2013

RIP..... one fine dog....


If you are lucky you get that one four legged beast that shows up on your door step and you know you have been blessed. We have been super lucky and had two of those beasts.  Zeus was one of those beasts.  He arrived homeless and in need of a new family as his old owner had died.  Zeus had guarded the mans body for three days before the fire dept. showed up; figured he didn't snack on the guy so he had to be a good dog...... little did I know.  He hated cats and ground hogs and loved the lake, end of story.  He came with more papers, pedigrees and certificates than my kids had....... we ruined him in a week.  Yes, we fed him from the table and let him get away with murder.  He was a dogs dog.  He stole all the toys at the doggie beach and didn't share.  If you tipped over a glass of water he was jubilant, it was H20 and it was on the floor so it was his.   I paddled my kayak out in the lake one Sunday morning as Butch and Zeus waved from the beach.  Past the break wall I heard what sounded like a tug boat chugging along...... it was Zeus.  Some how we both got back to shore and I remember Butch saying...... That dog would die for you.  And so it went for the next many years.  When I left for shows I would get the phone call...... he stopped eating.  Arriving home I would dash in the house and after a raucous greeting his food bowl was empty.  He laid under my throwing stool in the studio, he drank slip, and ate a toad throwing up on my bare feet, he lived large and unapologetically.  

Yesterday I helped him out the back door, towel under his backside to aid his arthritic hips that no longer worked.  It was icy and we both went down in the driveway.  There we lay on the icy driveway, me laughing and him face down in the snow.  He looked just looked at me ...... here we are again, we had been in these situations before.  I ran in the house and got another towel for his front legs as I became aware they were now worthless.  It took us 45 minutes to get back in the house, he had watered my boots, my jeans and sleeve.  We made it to his bed and he had a drink of cool water, both of us out of breath and panting.  It was time to make the call.  We had a good day, a bit of toast of eggs, another drink and the sun came out.  Butch came home at 3 p.m. to spend some time with him and  3:40 pm we loaded him in the backseat of the car.  I rolled the window down so he could feel the sun on his face and breeze on his face, I could not deny him this last joy.  I sat on the floor of the sterile office and held his head as I closed my eyes and breathed him out.  Behind the darkness of my eyes I saw the rainbow bridge and three old friends sitting perfectly waiting for him.  He crossed the bridge and was greeted by the Miller pack.  As they ran off into summer fields they turned to look....... I waved and smiled with the sun on us all.   He went peacefully and the pain was over.  Five of us stood in the vet's office weeping at the loss of one good dog.  

We got in our car, no blankets, no open windows, no dog.  We drove home in silence, as we pulled in the driveway neither Butch or I could bring ourselves to go in the house.  It would be the first time in 15 years we would not be greeted.  We stepped off the porch and went for a walk, steeling ourselves to the empty house.  I ran around gathering up toys, food, beds, bowls and meds.  All will be distributed in the morning to shelters, he had good stuff.  

We cracked the bottle of bourbon, poured two stiff drinks, grabbed a box of Kleenex and headed down to the lake.  We walked the beach.  The lake was so still, the birds soared, called and bobbed on the swells.  At 5:15 pm the sunset and on stillness of the beach, the Coast Guard Station played Taps to conclude another day.  We broke out the Kleenex and toasted to one fine dog.  

Today........ my first day without a dog in a very long time.  And yes, we will do it again just not right away. 

Run hard big dog....... you were loved. 



14 comments:

Cat's Ceramics said...

My thoughts are with you at this sad time..... what a splendid dog you had in your lives. They give us so much our beautiful beasts and you gave so much to him x thank you for sharing a bit of Zeus' story x much love x

Tracey Broome said...

Oh Sandy,I am just sitting here with tears dropping onto my iPad screen. I too have buried pets,each one painful to let go, but I have such sweet memories of them. I have one right now, 13 years old and showing his age. I am so sad for your loss, but I loved reading this post. I felt the joy of having had this sweet animal in your life and the loss right with you. Sending healing thoughts to you and your family
Xo

Sandy miller said...

thank you so much......

Sandy miller said...

Hi Tracey, gonna be a week here at Happy Acres, whew. thank you....... all healing thoughts are much needed. Keeping busy is helping and more walking, much more walking.......

B. Rogers, Alchemy of Clay said...

Your sharing this difficult but inevitable ritual with such love is making me cry. All of us who have gone through this experience know how dear and blessed our little ones have been, and what an impact they have given our lives. We will continue to feel that as we go forward from here, keeping their spirits connected to our lives by each memory. Sending you supportive energies as you adjust to filling the empty space now.

Sandy miller said...

Hi Barb, thanks so much to you and everyone who has struggled through this post. I am so grateful to have an outlet for these journeys along the path. Hard to put this in a few words for a post on facebook....... do ya hear me Tracey :)

I have learned over the years these guys sure take the edge off the trials and tribulations we get handed...... including the daily news report.

Blankets are washed and I am off to the local shelter........

thank you everyone I can't tell you how it helps...... blessing to all and to your furry ones especially.

Kim Ranly said...

I know exactly what you are going thru unfortunately, since Jasmine was about a month ago. They were both troopers, and both were some of the best dogs i have had the pleasure of having in my life (for more than half my life!). Rest in peace Zeus and Jasmine :( Hopefully they are running around a beach together in the best doggy heaven imaginable. Hang in there, mammy..

Theresa Yondo said...

Oh Sandy and Butch,
Big tears and lump in throat.
Sigh, I hope your broken hearts heal quickly and only joyous memories remain.

Sandy miller said...

Oh Kimmy, best doggie heaven ever! Have to say taking all his "stuff" and food to the shelter was the highlight of my day. It was very much needed and appreciated.kept his leash....... Gonna be hard getting a leash on those chickens :)

Sandy miller said...

Oh Theresa those are the only memories to have ........ Big thank you. The house is just too quiet at the moment. Think we have shed enough tears for everyone, now time to celebrate his life :)

Food, Earth, Friends, Wine said...

Sending so much love. Trying to see the keyboard through the tears. I know, sister. I would not have traded one single moment of the joy to save myself from the unbearable grief of losing my Etta. They are part of what make life worth living.

Xoxo

Sandy miller said...

Hey there FEFW, Amen!

emilysincerely said...

I stopped by to see your blog after replying to your comment on my post over at Not Dabbling in Normal. WOW! Zeus! I can barely see the keyboard. I can feel the love you had for Zeus and understand it as well. What an amazing boy! What wonderful moments and memories. My thoughts are with you and Butch.

Sandy miller said...

Emily, thanks for stopping by and dropping a pebble in the blog pond. Later I will be posting on potatoes, new pots and Jerusalem Artichokes.
He was one of the good ones, thank you!