Frankie pecked at the door this morning - "where the heck are you?" - pulling me away from my writing and out for our morning walk, later than normal. I was entangled with words and story, reluctant to stop, unaware of the time.
The sun was already up above the hill, the hollow full of sunshine. We walked through stripes of shadow and light, cool and warm. Dew glistened on the grasses and Frankie's tummy feathers grew damp as he scurried through the clumps, eating the bugs off the wet blades like I would clean the last bits of fudgesicle off the stick. Max hurried ahead of us to the bend - the past few days he has disappeared somewhere, off on an adventure, running full speed to catch up with us before we get back to the house.
For the most part, Charly plods along beside me. He stumbles every now and then, he wobbles when he lifts his leg to pee (but he lifts it!), and his bark has become more of a cough. His sense of smell is still keen, though - this morning he followed a trail into the woods and, on the way back home, stopped for several minutes to thoroughly investigate some weeds on the edge of the road.
This is our routine. I tuck these scenes away with all the others, memories that I hope bring me peace when the morning comes - and I know it's not far away - that Charly isn't by my side for our walk.
Some dear friends lost one of their much-loved dogs this week. They are remembering him, remembering the routines, feeling the loss of his presence, but grateful there are so many times to remember...times that keep him alive in their hearts. I think of them and their loss and I'm treasuring these minutes I have with Charly even more than before.
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you...
I loved you so -
'twas Heaven here with you.
--Isla Paschal Richardson
Rest in peace, Boonie Man.