In Uncategorized on June 21, 2011 at 3:38 am

Earlier this Spring.

Little  Henry left us on Wednesday afternoon in a favorite spot of his in our yard with a tummy full of tuna, by the day-lillies, & with us by his side. He had an acute worsening of his chronic arthritis and he let Tom know he was ready to to say goodbye & so we called the visiting vet.  We are very sad to say the least. But,  when I feel most sad I remind myself that Henry is no longer in discomfort, that sixteen was a grand age for a dog, and then I remind myself of all his wonderful adventures, and I feel better. But it is certainly a sad time for  us  & we find ourselves missing him all the time. Like now he should be socked out at my feet snoozing…

You know, life is about entrances and exits and the stuff that happens in between. I remember the first time I met Henry. I’d come over to Tom’s house so he could “fix my mandolin”, & I was delighted to meet the cute fluffy ball that came to the door and so I got down on my hands and knees to say hello. So cute. And oh my Lord, soooo smelly. His breath nearly knocked me out. (it got entirely sweet after his teeth were removed some years later!) I remember all the little days coming and going as he’d greet and bid farewell at the front door. I remember when Tom would come home from work and Henry would come charging down the stairs and arrive skidding at Tom’s feet awash in welcome gladness. I remember saying goodbye to him in November 2008 (the day I left for the transplant) and I remember crouching down to greet him again when I came home after the surgery: he wasn’t a face licking dog, but he licked my face then. My legs were weak so I couldn’t stand up and he just slathered me (ah! dog tongue, immuno suppression!). I remember coming home after our wedding. Henry was also not a dog who jumped up on people at the front door, but when Tom carried me over the threshold of the house, Henry couldn’t contain himself until he too was standing on his back legs, right with us, helping to welcome me over the threshold too. It’s every gig I came home from that he yawned and stretched and wagged his tail at me (and then followed me to the kitchen). It’s every time he and Tom would go out on a walk and I’d say “‘bye boys!”. It’s every time and everything in between all the comings and goings that make this sadness and hurt worth the while.

It sure is empty here now with Tom at work and me –alone– for the first time in the house. But am I alone? I have all these wonderful memories.  There’s a song on my record called “Thanks”… so to Henry I say “thanks for taking me down the road to paradise” To Henry, who’s head was so soft, who’s spirit was always so independent but loving, so funny, so cute, so strong, so constant, so deadly even (if you were a squirrel…) thank you. Thank you thank you for being a true friend to me, for forgiving me my mistakes, for sitting by my sick bed, for teaching me to enjoy each day, for teaching me what it might be like to have a real live furry son, for making me laugh, even for making me cry, I love you…..

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