Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who's a good dog?!

Deotrich woke up early this morning and I, having not really slept, got up with him. It was a crisp beautiful Colorado September morning. The sky was that blue that never really comes out in a picture.

We talked last night about what I wanted to do with Emma's body. Deotrich's dog who died an number of years ago we took to have creamated. But as I thought about that, I just couldn't do it.

I was very stunned with my response to the idea. I have always thought that cremation was the best thing. I was once blest with experiencing an actual funeral pyre of a dear friend. It seemed so right and primal. Way more instinctivly correct than a funeral home and grave burial. I have made it clear to my friends and family that I would like to be creamated and scattered.

But as I petted my dog, I couldn't stand the thought of it. I couldn't release her body that I had bathed, clipped, brushed, snuggled with, cried into, been protected by, and loved so completely into the hands of a stranger. I couldn't do it.

So my loving husband went out in the early morning with pickaxe in hand to dig a grave large enough for my big dog. Colorado front range is not blessed with much in the way of actual soil so it was a true undertaking.

I lined the grave with old tee shirts of ours plus one that Meriel had given us. (Meriel's on walkabout right now and I haven't told her as I don't want to spoil her vacation. But Emma is her god-dog and would have wanted it that way.)

We put her in her grave as the sun started to warm up. It really is a beautiful day. Warm in the sun but the air is crisp. I scattered herbs on her body. Hyssop which was used to scent the path to the next life, lavender because I love it and love her, and a pretty blue flower that is in full bloom right by where the grave is.

I have in mind to paint a stone with her name and such but until I get it done, I gave her a plain head stone from the old garden. I have always wanted to have some standing stones on the property. I put on at her head.

The place where Deotrich chose to dig is at the head of the old lavender bed. It's a great location. She can still watch over the house but can also watch the road.

Her decline was graceful and slow. Even so, I did fight it tooth and nail. I realised last night all the things that I had been doing to fight off her aging. There were so many things that I did everyday that I don't have to do anymore. I hadn't really realised how many things until I started thinking about not having to do them anymore.

But I hope for this sort of end for me and mine. I got to be with her, she went very quietly and peacefully. She was ready. It's me that is struggling with the end of her life.


jeannary said...

I believe that the hardest part about death in any form is for those of us who must go on living. You were blessed to have such a great dog as Emma and she is still with you in so many ways.

Spike said...

Thanks for your kind words. We get the choice to love and hurt or not love and not hurt. I'll take the hurt for the joy of the love.