March 1996 – November 25, 2009
The best dog in the world — ever faithful, constant, loyal, loving, eager to please. Accomplished dead-squirrel catcher, python-like whole baby rabbit swallower, lap swimmer. The cute-iful to Trixie’s beautiful. He was my constant companion for a good 12 of his almost 14 years, there with me every day of Double R Brand and beyond, through countless changes, never bothered by any of them as long as we were together. He was well-loved and gave back more. Good to the very end.
We had as good a last day together as we could, given the circumstances. He rode in the truck with me to Uniontown, with front-seat privileges. He didn’t complain about going with me, or going to work these past difficult weeks for him, though I know he would rather have stayed quietly at home.
His coat was wet with many tears today, from Luke and Nicole who chose his name as we sat at dinner at Bullock’s in Westminster, our three-month old pound puppy. From Natalie, who took him in as her own, quickly won his love and devotion, and nursed him at all hours of night and day, never too tired to take care of him even when she was too tired to take care of herself. And many of my tears, too. He is missed so much already, and I can’t in this moment imagine life without his cheerful wag and eager smile.
I’m glad that we could all be there together with him at the end. He waited for Nicole to return for her first visit home since leaving for college. I was worried about her going through this, but ended up being glad she did.
I had prepared his grave last Sunday, knowing the time was short. He had a proper funeral procession, including Trixie, and I found the perfect stone to mark his resting place. This is what we read at his grave, from Walt Whitman:
I think I could turn and live with animals, they’re so placid and self contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.
Farewell, our beloved Welsh-golden-Cocker-Corgi-basset-beagle. We will miss you deeply, but revel in the sweet memories you leave us.
Thank you to all who loved him so well. And thank you, God, for sharing him with us. Please keep him well.
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