Friday, 6 August 2010

Doggone it

My day began at 5:30 a.m. with a dog's wet nose next to mine.  I had slept soundly since 7:30 the night before exhausted by teaching and the humidity.  I like moderation ... especially now that I am older.  I dislike intense heat and sopping wet humidity, but I am not a great fan of frigid temperatures or winter-dry air either.  I like having something to keep me alive intellectually but I become stressed by too many demands on my time.  I hate crowds but like people in small doses; value privacy but like to have the silences broken occasionally.  This morning at 5:30 I realized that we were being granted a reprieve from the rain forest climate we have been enduring this summer.  I headed off with the dogs for the first walk I have actually enjoyed for ages. Kenya bounced for the first time in a while, and the two dogs, Kenya and Tango, dashed ahead in typical doggy fashion zigzagging from woods to lake all along the road. I chatted with a friend I had hardly seen all summer while the dogs rooted about in his garden for mice and feinted with one another.

Roger arrived a little late to class yesterday.  He had slowed down to accommodate Kiwi who was exhausted by her very long run in the humid air.

On a much sadder note:  This afternoon we will be burying Teddy in a lovely spot near the gravel pit owned by friends.  He always loved this lake so it is fitting that he will rest here forever. I will post photos of Teddy and the spot later.

Teddy was always one of those special dogs ... the sweet natured ones who wanted nothing more than love and the occasional cookie.  He walked with a spine twisted by a car accident when he was a puppy, and lived with pain from all kinds of probably related health conditions for nine years. 

All of us who loved him will miss his smile.  Yes, Teddy smiled, and wagged his whole body  even when he was suffering.  And he loved blonde female dogs right up till the end.

My father's grave marker says simply, " At rest in the mountains he loved" ... I am glad that Teddy too will be at rest in the hills that he loved.


Barbara Carlson said...

So sorry for your loss of Teddy. Our animal friends can leave larger holes in our lives than some people.

I have left two notes on your August 5th entry.

TechWood said...

I just recently met Teddy and spoke of what a nice dog he was to some friends. I'm so sorry he's gone before I could see him again.

Barbara Carlson said...

Hmmm, my third note on your Aug 5th entry didn't stick. Here it is again. Re the worth of our inner voices in living deeply...

"The Unspeakable State of Soliloquy"
William H. Gass, writing in Harper's Magazine (May 1984, pp 71ff):

"Our thoughts travel like our shadows in the morning walking west, casting their outlines
just ahead of us so that we can see and approve, or amend and cancel, what we are about to say.

This is the only rehearsal our conversations usually get. That is one reason we fall upon cliche
as if it were a sofa and not a sword; for we have rehearsed bits and pieces of conversation like
"Good morning" and "How are you?" and "Have a nice day" to the point where the tongue is like
a stale bun in the mouth...

Indeed, it is true that prefab conversation frees the mind, yet rarely does the mind have a mind left after these cliches have conquered it.

For our Gerberized phrases touch nothing; they keep the head hollow by crowding out thought; they fill all the chairs with buttocks like balloons; they are neither fed nor feed, they drift like dust; they refuse to breathe."

and, "I try to find words for the feeling. Without words, what can be remembered? Yesterdays
disappear like drying mist."

Oma said...

We will all miss Teddy, but no one as much as Carlos and Tammy will.

I like the quotes you have included here, Barbara ... must look up this essay.

IrishGirl said...

Tammy and Carlos, and everyone who loved Teddy, I am so sorry. I know how special Teddy was and how difficult it is to lose these treasured friends from our lives.

Oma said...

Thanks, Irish Girl. I know that you understand this very well. I cried for Teddy when we buried him ... but my tears were for all our puppies because death is inevitable and our dogs live such short lives, almost always leaving us much sooner than we are ready to accept their loss.