a task, sorrowful and unexpected...

befell me this morning.
Our wonderful and beloved old hound, Sheba, died in her sleep last night. I awoke very early for some reason and knew what had happened immediately; the smell of death permeated the house. Death does not have a good smell, no matter how short a time it has been since it has taken someone. I came downstairs and it looked like she was just sleeping peacefully in her favorite spot in the dining room, but the signs were obvious. She was cold and still, but her eyes were closed and she looked comfortable, so I don't think she suffered any pain or even knew, perhaps, that her end was come. She was very, very old and starting to fail. Her eyesight wasn't very good and she was having a bad time getting around, especially in the morning, but she was always happy to see me when I came down in the morning or when I came home from work. We'd still go wandering in the woods out back when she felt up to it once in a while. But mostly she would just lay in her favorite spot outside these days, under the shade of our red maple. From there she could survey the gardens and back walk, as well as keep an eye on the front yard. So, that is where I dug her grave this morning and laid her to rest to keep watch over her yard for all times.
I'll tell you, there is nothing wonderful or poetic about death, damn the poets and damn those who think so. There is nothing settling and there is no closure in burying a loved one, human or pet not withstanding. Sheba was a loyal and loving friend and there was never a more gentle soul that walked on four or even two legs and I shall miss her all the rest of my days.
There is a big dog shaped hole in my heart right now. I need to go wander a while, but I'll wander alone this time. I am really, really sad right now and I can't type while I'm crying, sorry.

wander with me...


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