"if it's good news, it must be someone else's"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

(from the files) 341. a good friend dying

(this post was originally written on 8/14/07. the good friend never did succumb, that is until earlier today. he was one tough guy!)

we were the best of friends, taking walks, playing frisbee, getting into trouble for a half dozen years.
even shared a bedroom for most of it.
then circumstances changed.
i moved away.
but we've kept in touch ever since.
i'd bring him birthday and christmas presents.
he'd occasionally stop by every year to visit me for a day or two, if i was lucky, sometimes a week.
and when we got together, it always felt like the time between was fleeting.

well, i learned two days ago that my good friend is not doing so well.
his blood is filled with cancer these days.
he has a few weeks, maybe a little more, to live.
i visited him yesterday, and other than his new haircut and oddly shaped belly, he seemed the same.
he gave me the hearty welcome good friends always give each other.
then, without so much as a moment’s notice, like a thousand times before, he screamed at the approaching mail truck in protective defiance.

his name is comet.
he's a black-gray-brown cairn terrier.
he does stuff like that—they all do stuff like that.
he returned to my feet, scratched my leg to remind me that i now owed him a little thank you stroke under his chin, which i obligingly did—after all, that’s what good friends do.
then i had to leave for the day.

he doesn’t know what i and others know, that this clock that ticks can not be stopped.
it is the one downside of bringing a puppy home that we never reckon with until it is upon us, and for good reason—it is gut wrenching.

i am hard pressed to write anything for the time being.
it all seems trite, when a good friend is dying.


Josie said...

I am so sorry. They are truely our best friends, and their passing is every bit as important and any friend's moving on. I don't know about "the hereafter," but if my beloved dogs are not there, I want to go where they went. I like the belivers who say your old friends will be there to greet you. That's my kind of heaven!

itsmecissy said...

I've lost 3 feline best friends over the years and it's just like losing a member of the family.

I have a plaque up here on my wall that (substituting the word dogs for cats) defines the word Heaven:

"Heaven - Where all the dogs that ever loved you will be waiting at the gate."

I'm so sorry bob.

Keaton's Mom said...

I have always hoped that I could be half the person my dog thinks I am. Saying goodby to our old friends is the hardest thing we will ever do. I'm old now, and I have at several old friends waiting for me. If you tell me they won't be there, then I don't want to go there either. I want to go where they went. I am so sorry that Comet has left this place. Those old friends do live forever in our heart though. I promise you that. I have "Copper," "Sinbad," "Cassy," "Jazero," "Snowbird,"and"Kiersten"I see them in the eyes of my Lucinda all the time.

Keaton's Mom said...

I always loved that picture of Comet with Annabelle. Looks like he is whispering sweet nothings into her ear. They give so much more than they take...but they take away our hearts. It's the best we have to give.