Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Letting Go.....

....and saying goodbye.
She is the one on the left in the picture.
Her name was Cleo.
We have had many dogs over the years here...
thirty one years this summer.
We have had a beloved Boxer,
hard working Border Collies,
when we had sheep,
my youngest son's adored dog,
a treasured cat,
and even a sweet wee mouse.
They share common ground.
It is just across the fence
under cedar and fir.
Yesterday we said goodbye
at the vet clinic,
in the car.
It is a testimony to Cleo's sweetness,
her patience and goodness,
that both vets, all office workers,
lab technicians and vet assistants
were in tears.
It was oddly comforting.
 I have come to understand
that they all knew what a wonderful soul she was.
She was too young in years to go,
but renal failure can quickly
shut the doors,
close up the windows on a short life.
She knew my moods.
Was always there to take care of me.
When I broke my leg, when I cried,
she was there in my lap, kissing my face,
guarding me, always beside me.
She guarded the grandchildren
swimming in the creek,
even as a puppy.
No going out deeper than your knees the first summer!
Summers later, "Swim boys!"
"But remember I am here to take care of you."
Walking back through our pastures
she would rush back down
to count people.
Was anyone left?
"Let me be sure."
"I won't come home until all people are safe,
tucked up and accounted for."
"Look at me."
"I can sweep the cloth napkins
off of the dining room table." 
And yes, guard the kindling
for the wood stove, 
put up your bamboo knitting needles...
"I just might, just might,
make the whole mess disappear."
We were and are
blessed to have her.
I am eternally grateful.
And I am bereft.
Would that I was as poetic as Lord Byron
on the death of his Newfoundland.
best to all, e.


furrybees said...

Oh, Ellen. Am teary just reading about her. What a great life to have shared together. Am thinking of you in your grief. May it sit more gently with you as time goes by. Big hugs from Canada.

jackie said...

oh ellen, i'm so sorry! what an amazing dog she must have been, quite beautiful too. she could not have asked for a more kindred soul to share a home with. It's so hard to say goodbye to pets...please know i'm sending you hugs.

robyn L. said...

I'm so sorry, Ellen. She sounds like she was such a wonderful companion and guardian angel. Thinking of you.

Ginnie said...

She was gorgeous, Ellen. Renal failure is so unpleasant. I'm sure it was the merciful thing to let her go ... but what a loss for you. I'm so sorry.

belogkiter said...

sorry to hear that..

Ginnie said...

Ellen, I'm so sorry. It's such a difficult thing to let go of a dear companion & friend.