Death came this week, but not for me. It came for one of our oldest and most beloved Pits, Rapunzel, aka Puzzle, aka Beast.
She was a massive, low-slung blue-black dog with an insanely cheerful disposition, and not an aggressive bone in her body. We found her almost exactly eight years ago, in a snowstorm. She'd been used for breeding, and when her usefulness was over, she'd been dumped/
I wanted to call her Snowflake. I was overruled.
Puzzle and I had a game, when we were both well...it was called Bouncy Dizzy Bull. I would pick her up under her forelegs, and let her 'bounce', Tigger-style, on her hind legs. She could get some decent air time! Then I'd spin her around, faster and faster, until neither of us could walk a straight line. She had a giggling laugh, like a child.
She always had a horror of cold, and we tried to keep her sleeping crate as close to the fire, in winter, as possible.
She lost ground quite quickly since the first of the year, and we decided to let her die at home, with her friends.
She could still walk, slowly, to her last few hours, and her death was peaceful.
I had to bury her. There was no one around, and once I tripped and fell into the open grave, looking up at the sky.
It took several hours, and I collapsed at the end of it. Not that strength which I once was, I guess.
Came time to say goodbye, and I told her not to run too far ahead, that I'd be there presently.
It's tempting to draw parallels, to say that I see myself mirrored in her ending, and while it's true...I do...it really serves no purpose, and somehow hijacks the singularity of an individual death.
It wasn't about me, except in one way. She had eight years of a happy life gifted to her, and that was my doing.
Absent all the books I never wrote, the projects I never completed, absent the kind of husband I tried to be, and fell short, I made a difference to a creature who knew the meaning of loneliness and fear and love and fun.
There's little I can do now to make the overall picture of my life a success.
But I'm glad I met Puzzle, and I'm glad that I could be her friend to the end. There may be no major victories, but I would not trade away that small, quiet contentment.
For the music inspiration for this post, give John Fogarty a listen...Puzzle was the original rock and roll girl!
As a PS...the word this week is NEWS.
But aside from what I wrote, I don't have any, other than to saythat news of my surrender has been greatly exaggerated.
I will be fighting on.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links (they're 99 cents each). And if you'd like a free PDF, please email me at tempusfugit02 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll gladly send them