Today we had to say goodbye to my precious little man, our dog Sparky. Last Saturday marked 14 years since we adopted him from the shelter.
He was a scared, skinny little guy, who had been there for a couple of months, having been brought in by someone who had him with a car. He blossomed into a handsome, well-behaved dog who loved to romp in the yard and go for long walks. He was a brave, loyal, protective, affectionate wonderful member of our family and we are heartbroken that we had to let him go. We will miss him sitting between us on the couch, where I also shared naps with him on many a day. I will really miss that! We have so many wonderful memories, and even with the pain and grief we feel today, I wouldn’t have missed a minute with this outstanding creature. I thank God that we were blessed with him in our lives.
It is just over two years since we lost our precious big beautiful Dana, who was about 14 when she passed, on December 2, 2014. At that time, you might remember, I shared this poem, which gives me some comfort. “Deep love endures to the end and far past the end.” Indeed.
The House Dog’s Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)
I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.
So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.
I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.
But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.
You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.
You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.
Robinson Jeffers, 1941