I awoke this morning to the challenges presented by a late winter day with a gentle snowfall. It did not seem that it would amount to very much, and by noon it had nearly tapered off completely leaving virtually no accumulation on the driveway and the roads. Unfortunately, our wonderful dog walker, playing it safe, did not come, so Tresor lost a day with a walk.
Yesterday, I took him to the veterinarian for a dental cleaning, giving the veterinarian the opportunity to remove some oral tumors he had developed. Fortunately, they looked benign, but the biopsy will tell for sure, and I have to wait a week for those results. He is so dear and precious to me, I cannot bear to think of losing him for any reason. I wasted no time having these growths removed as a precaution against cancer. Now, his teeth look very polished and clean, but they were not in bad condition to begin with.
This week, a very popular Harlequin Great Dane passed away, owned by one of my Facebook Friends. She posted news and photos of her life with him almost daily. He recently had surgery to correct a cervical anomaly (pinched nerve in his neck) and was recovering nicely. Then, things fell apart in rather rapid sequence: bloat; surgery for torsion; pneumonia; death. She also mentioned that three months ago, she lost their other Great Dane, his companion. So, one sees a pattern here. One death following another. One complication following another. I believe a dog needs its companion and will suffer greatly for losing it. I also believe, perhaps without empirical evidence, that the more procedures are done to an animal, especially invasive procedures, the more fragile it becomes. These are patterns I have observed being immersed in dogs as I have been over the last 15 years, not that that is so very long. Compared to other people, I am still a “new comer”. But I am a keen observer and a fast learner when I am with dogs. I seem to have “an eye for dogs”, and “insight”, and they have never failed me. So, there were many messages of sympathy and condolences sent. His passing broke my heart. I understand how she felt.
I shared with her between my tears a quotation I have recently seen attributed to Dr. Seusse. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Although I confessed I was not strong enough to believe that myself. I did not know the quote when Opal died in 2008, but it would not have done me any good.
So it was with some trepidation that I undertook the long ride to Washington NJ to the veterinarian for Tresor’s procedure. They are always in God’s hands.
That brings us to today. We all awoke to snow falling but it was not a snow storm. It was enough to cling to the branches of the trees transforming them into white jewels of art reaching outward and upward to heaven. So I got in my car with Jelly and drove through Watchung Reservation to see more of it so I would remember it in the summer when the temperature soars over 85 and then I would be too uncomfortable to go outdoors with her. I drove on the street where I formerly lived, a street with many large trees along the side of the road whose branches meet high in the middle of the road and create a canopy. Some streets are more dramatic than others and this is one of the best. But then again, it is in the Reservation itself. It is that dimension of ancient places, that reaches out and down the mountain to the south across Rt. 22 into Westfield, and continues to the north, across Rt. 78 and into Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights. I am in the middle in Mountainside, in an enclave with my borzois, along the side of the mountain with so many hills and majestic trees where I just wander up and down and around to see where the roads takes me. And I wonder, the questions that are so frequently on my mind of late, could I ever really leave here? ~ and, how am I going to go on without Jelly and Tresor to love?