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Transitions

May 18, 2005
by



This lovely lady was last featured on the blog on January 23, but I can’t find it in the archives right now. A Blogger snit of some kind. Bear is her name, and she came into my life in November 1991 (top picture) when I adopted her from the NYC ASPCA, and she moved on this Monday, May 16th – at 13 years of age. She was very youthful for her age, and optimistically* I had just renewed her city license for two years, having no reason to suspect she had any other plans. As it turns out, Hemangiosarcoma doesn’t allow for much planning. This household is reeling. (*amended to note that our confidence wasn’t completely unreasonable.)

We have learned over the years (with two dogs and 2-4 cats) that there are some mighty fine animal people at the San Francisco SPCA hospital; think of them, or your local nonprofit animal medical center, when you’ve got some extra nickels clanging around.

Many apologies for the long dry spells here. It will probably continue until June 1, although abc will try to freshen up the place occasionally. I must finish three more papers, one grant report, and complete a move, by the end of the month. I will try, however, to update the links on the right, including adding the Progressive Christian Blogroll from the Progressive Christian Blogger Network. Your patience is appreciated!

I leave you with this old Rudyard Kipling poem, which a friend sent hoping it would bring me comfort. It hasn’t, but it certainly resonates…

“The Power of the Dog”

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie —
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find — it’s your own affair —
But . . . you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit hat answered your every mood
Is gone — wherever it goes — for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept’em, the more do we grieve;

For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long —
So why in — Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 26, 2005 3:31 pm

    May she rest in peace. And, may you rest peacefully, knowing that you did the right thing.

    Thanks for the poem. I have it on my cubicle wall, now, and it provides me insight and comfort as I watch my own dear Miss P deteriorate (she’s lost most of her hearing now).

    Take care of yourself, friend, in this busy time.
    B

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