Saturday, March 31, 2007

Early Spring Without Sparks

These are some of the days when I miss Sparkey alot. It's early Spring, and the weather is starting to warm, but it's still a little chilly, especially in the shade. We feel drawn outside to the sun, but know that it's not quite as warm as we would like.

Mary and Tina settle in for a weekend afternoon nap, but I feel the need to at least get some sun on my face and stretch my legs. When Sparkey was alive, these were the times when he and I would head for the outdoors, leaving the two females of the household to enjoy their sleepy bliss. With water, a snack, a book in hand, and loyal Sparkey at my side, we would stroll out the door and head for the trails. Sometimes, I wanted to stretch out in the sun, or just read for a while. He'd sit beside me, smell the breeze, watch the horizon, sometimes wandering off for a few minutes' parambulation. When he was a little younger, I'd hop on my bike and he would jog effortlessly alongside.

Sadly, today I had to head out that door alone, and simply feel Sparkey's spirit beside me, imagining his golden body trotting alongside, tongue hanging out, eyes soft and warm. I returned to the house, sat by his grave, talked to him in my mind, and came back in to wake Mary and Tina from their slumber.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Tribute to Pookah the Wonder Dog

On 3/3/07, 12:45 pm, Pookah theWonder Dog, at the age of 18 ½, took her last breath with the assistance of a local kind veterinarian.

Pookah was raised by Niki, Renee, Andy, Leslie and Jeff Staudinger next to a horse farm in South Royalton, VT. Pookah and I became the best of friends 10+ years ago.

She was extraordinary.

She would…

run next to only the family cars as they left home(clocked at 25 mph) for years.

Bunny hop in deep snow

When she was young her whole body would shake when she was in cars- after I came along she loved hanging her head out the window and was always eager with the words, “wanna go for a
ride Poo?”

She raised many kitties in her life and would groom each one of them with tiny nibbles as though massaging them, making them hers.

She loved rolling on her back, frolicking, scratching, in the hay fields near the house on our walks- (This was such a pleasure to watch)

4 or 5 years ago she had a stroke or an inner ear infection that had her walking like a drunken sailor for a few days. ( She recovered near fully---the only residual being that she was less fastidious in her plate-cleaning abilities.)

She would purr as her kitties had taught her.

She would run for miles as the alpha dog in the neighborhood, going on horseback rides with the
neighbors' trail rides with their pack of 5+ dogs.

She loved getting treats I would buy or be gifted for her from the local cafĂ©---Mocha Joes. She loved RB’s Deli.

She would be given treat of bagels from neighbors and carry them home to bury them beneath Renee’s pillow.

Her last Thanksgiving we expected her to sleep up in Leslie’s room but instead she was in the center of the action---eating and being social for hours.

She loved Nancy Zoe’s seders and meals and the gourmet treats from Pat and Ralph at the Greenfield Contra dances.

Her picture hangs in Rivendell Books in Montpelier---maybe two.

At her visit to the Long Island Sound in CT, on the occasion of my Mother’s funeral, Poo drank from the salty water and was confused.

At the end she weighed nearly half her healthy weight.

Skunked once---porcupined once.

Rumor has it she was well mannered and never received table scraps while at the table until she met me.

Such regal qualities she had.

Rarely in the past many years when we would head home, would I not say repeatedly , “ I hope Poo’s ok.”

In the heat of Summer, she would dig holes beneath the shrubbery to lie in or lie beneath the vans’ back wheels.

I have an extra heavy winter coat with a rabbit fur hood lining that Pooh was fond of eating in her younger years.

She often got burdocked in the fall.

She loved chocolate, wasabi rice crackers, coffee cake,chocolate chip cookies, smoked-peppered mackerel fish skin, ice cream.

Her snout often got caught in 6-ounce yogurt containers or pints of ice cream. Towards the end she developed a remarkable jaw grip, release and spin technique to get all the way around an ice cream pint without letting it down.

She used to get stroked by Andy so softly so as not to disturb her.

Niki often had the refrain…”Oh look at her Mommy. She is sooo Cute!!!”

For the past year or so she has had no hearing and little sight but today, she sure lifted her ears when Leslie walked in saying “Hi Poo, how are you honey?”

Today before the last ride to the Vet’s, Poo feasted on many of her favorite treats,

Today was the day because yesterday was the first day she could not maintain her balance or stand or walk for any length of time.

She did not deserve to suffer---prior to yesterday she showed me few signs of distress as she could get up, eat, drink, etc. of her own accord.

Today she was in no apparent discomfort.

Thank you for honoring her and me in reading this.

Thank you for your love Pookah.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Memories of Snowy Days Past

Today marks six months that Sparkey has been physically gone from us. This photo brings back such memories of winter days past, when Sparkey would want to play in the snow for hours. The wind would lift his ears, crystals of snow dotting his forehead, and it seemed like he might fly off, squinting eyes and all.

Tina has become our joy, our wiggling playmate, but Sparkey is still sorely missed. I think of his body in the front yard, resting in the cold and damp winter earth, reminding myself that that body is not really him. He was a spiritual creature, but his earthiness was just so visceral and palpable. His smell, his solid body, his pointy head, his musky paws, his little wild eyelashes, that neck that you could hug and hug---his physical presence was such a comfort.

It's now half a year since he left this world, and before we know it a year will have gone by. I could never have imagined life without him, but here we are, and life goes on. We love him still.