(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.