Dog Gone

April 28, 2015

I think there must be a specific moment that the spirit leaves the body.

A single second when the living becomes the dead, passing from one realm to the next.

But Omie’s spirit left her earthly form as imperceptibly as my grief had been creeping in over the past two months.

I built a sheet fort on the porch.

In the last two days of her life, she was unable to walk in and out of the house.  I would lift her into the yard when she needed and then lift her back onto the porch.  All the strength in her legs completely gone.

I covered her in her favorite blanket.  I fed her roast chicken and turkey.  I palleted down next to her on the floor.  She slept through the night with her paw in my hand. I watched her sleep.  Memorized her breath.  Drank in her dreams.

The sun rose.  The vet came.  Omie laid her head in my lap. She was asleep before I knew.

There were lemons in the air.


It’s impossible to summarize your best friend.

She broke a lot of wine glasses with her obliviously happy helicopter tail.  She brought smiles to people all the way from The Grand Canyon to Central Park.  She adventured across 11 different states and several national parks (not too shabby for an Appalachian pound puppy.)  She had gigantic paws that made her look like a lion.  She would clumsily hold things in her front paws and chomp at them like a bear. She took extra care to ensure bones were hidden when burying them, patting the dirt repeatedly with her nose. She cocked her head when she heard the guitar or the harmonica.  She had the softest ears.  She had a white patch on her chest that was the magic spot.  She had one grey streak running up her nose that formed when we left Abingdon.  She had golden eyelashes that fluttered like stardust when she was dreaming.  She sounded like the Cadbury Bunny whenever she yipped in her sleep.  She ran fast and hard in her dreams, pawing madly at the air.  She could run faster than all the other dogs at the park when she was younger.  She would swim for hours believing she could catch a duck.  She would hunker down, waggle her butt in the air, throw back her head and let out a joyful, “Roo roo roo,” when she wanted to play.  She sounded like Chewbacca if you got too close to her right hip.  She ran from fireworks.  She whined at cats.  She hid under the bathmat during thunderstorms.  She could fart so loud she would wake herself up only to look around at her rear end as if to say, “Where the hell did that come from?”  She listened better than anybody else.

She was my guardian and my charge.  The keeper and the kept.  The watcher and the watched.

I cannot express how much she gave me.  How much she taught me.  How even at the very end she was demonstrating to me how to allow for grace and peace.  She was reminding me how important it is to put others’ needs before my own. Gently coaxing me to have the strength to hold her until she passed.

Pure.  Irreplaceable.  Love.

I know people love their dogs.  Most people who love dogs and have dogs think their dog is the best dog.  But much more than I know this, I know that some things are meant to be.  And I think the fairies and the elves in the universe who work very hard to help things along that are meant to be are the very best at helping the right human and the right dog find each other.

Omie and I were kismet.  She was the most perfect dog in the entire world.  For me.

I miss her every second.

So far, life is unbearable without her.

I still feel her everywhere.  Call me crazy, but I can sense her, looking at me with those understanding, naturally makeup-ed eyes and urging me onward.  “Now’s the time, momma.  Now’s the time to do all the things you couldn’t while I was there.”

Here is the first picture I took of her:

bringing omie homeAnd here is one of the last:
And here is the song I sang her as she passed from this realm to the next:

She was the best thing I ever had.

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