Today I took Benny to the vet to be euthanized. He has been declining for so long I can barely remember when he was the feisty, aggressive, dangerous dog that I adopted from Phyliis because her husband wouldn't have him in the house. Over the many years I had him, he mellowed somewhat, but he was a biter to the very end. I have known for some time that it was time for him to go. He was deaf, blind, and barely able to walk. He was incontinent much of the time. Nevertheless, how I hated to make that decision. How do I have the right to decide that anyone should die? Once life is gone, there is no changing your mind. And who is to decide when non-existence is better than life, no matter what that life is like? The decision to end Lytton's life was in that way easier to make. He was so obviously suffering with no chance of relief. But Benny wasn't suffering physically as far as I could tell. He was just empty of everything that made him a dog. He never knew where he was, couldn't find his way out of a corner, couldn't find his food or water. Touching him startled and frightened him. He slept most of the time, and the rest of the time he wandered around bumping into things and falling down.
Still, death is permanent. Nothing makes that okay for me. And deciding that Benny would no longer exist was very difficult. He was a rotten dog, but he was a little piece of life that I have snuffed out.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
In any case, the first picture is the ad that will be in the forthcoming edition of the Quoddy Tides." The road to its publication has been a rough one for me. Adding my work to Pierre's gallery was something I agreed to do a year ago, but we didn't get around to it until now. The idea of putting me in the ad was something I hadn't anticipated, but I went along with it. "Going along" with things is something that almost always gets me into trouble. I almost always agree to any suggestion, as the path of least resistance. Promises that I wouldn't have any part in the enterprise made me feel confident enough.
Time passes. I find out that my picture is going to be included in the ad. I am skeptical, but I take the path of least resistance and meet with Pierre and the person who sets up the ads at the newspaper office. It's not long before I see that things are getting out of control. The ad gets bigger to accommodate both of us, wording is discussed and argued about, I protest for awhile, and then sit back to watch the ball roll down the hill. The final ad is an embarrassment to me (as one who detests self-promotion). Once I am out of the office, my objections rise to the top and crystallize.. After a tremendous struggle I decide to back out. I screw up my courage and uncharacteristically make a move to assert myself. I email Pierre and Robin (the one who made the ad), and tell them both I don't want to be included. Pierre accepts my decision without argument. Robin, who is coming to take my picture for the ad, doesn't get the email and shows up at my door with camera in hand. I tell her I have changed my mind. She pushes me to have the picture taken "just in case." I acquiesce, of course, with my characteristic reluctance to say no, but tell her my decision stands. She makes up the ad anyway and sends it to me. I reply that I love it, which I do. She takes this as an approval to put the ad in the paper. THE END.
The second picture is an article I read written by a woman whose column I greatly admire. She is an outdoor person and writes about places to hike in the area. It is her relationship with her dog that I so enjoy. My bubble burst when I saw this article about her hunting turkeys. Sorry Aislinn.
The third group of pictures shows the athletic teams from local high schools. Whenever I see pictures like this in the sports section, I am amazed that the school team members look almost indistinguishable from one another. I've seen this over and over and contemplate the "sameness" of youth. They strive to be different, but it is not individuality they look for, especially the girls. They are as like one another as siblings, same long straight hair, same jeans too tight and bare midriffs, same foul language spewing from their mouths......different from the generation of their parents but certainly not from their contemporaries. When I first noticed this, I found it amusing........until I thought about my own teenage years. We all looked alike too, with our puffy teased hair and mini-skirts, our talk of how to "get" boys.
Well, these are the random thoughts that run through my head as I peruse the Bangor Daily News........not the only thoughts, but more benign than the ones inspired by politics and crime (same thing?). So now I will be famous in Eastport, sort of like Thoreau travelling widely in Concord............ except the only readers of my musings are the few who read my blog.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
In the past I have tried to minimize my involvement with death by treating the resulting body as a piece of trash. This time was very different. I decided to bury Henny. I considered putting her in a box, which turned out to be too small, and then a plastic bag. By the time I had finished tearfully digging the hole outside the chicken pen, though, I had decided to bury her as I myself would like to be buried. I placed her carefully in the hole, in the fetal position, and covered her with dirt. Then I carried rocks from my garden to cover the grave, both to mark it and to protect it from animals. I was uncharacteristically comforted by the act of dealing with her body myself.
This makes me wonder if I might consider bringing Lytton's ashes home at some point in the near future. So far the idea of seeing him reduced to a pile of ashes has brought me to tears. Even now, as I think of it, I feel them filling my eyes, tensing my throat painfully. So I am obviously not ready yet, but I feel I have taken a big step.
So long Henny. Good girl.