"...I want to get leaner and meaner, sharp-edged & earth-colored, till I fade away from pure joy."
This is part of a verse written on a plaque that a friend gave me a few years ago. I thought of these words as I strolled beside Charly this morning on our walk.
Yes, he's still scrambling up to go on our walks. He's weak...we stopped for breaks a few times on the way to the bend this morning, and each time I offered to go back home, but he would just stand for a few minutes (and I'd rub his ears and belly) then head off again, determined to go all the way.
But the verse came to mind because he is just fading away, right before our eyes. He's getting leaner and more sharp-edged (as in bony) each day, since he's barely eating. And if "meaner" indicates a strong, determined will...synonymous with "stubborn"...then he's getting meaner every day, too.
He has always been earth-colored...the same whites, tans and yellows of our caliche road...and joyful, especially on our walks - sniffing the breeze, following the trail of a rabbit or deer, or running down the road with Max. Watching him brings me joy.
He's an outside dog. A country dog. We brought him in last night and probably will again tonight because of the cold, but for his sake, I hope when the time comes for him to fade completely away, he's outside on his bed, with the sound of the birds and the creek in his ears, the smell of Max, Frankie and the critters of the woods nearby, and the knowledge that he's done a good job in his sweet heart.