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Rei Momo

Yesterday I buried my dog. A patch on my left thumb is worn raw from chopping through the hard clay soil. I was almost alone while digging, observed only by my dog wrapped in a white towel resting in a cardboard box - his eyes unclosing from now until forever. 14 years ago he would have been helping me, scratching at the ground and almost laughing. Last week he would have been sitting somewhere near, close enough to hear with his pointed ears, close enough so he knew I was there and I knew he was too.

It seems I've always been working to keep him close. He was getting in my way when I built his first dog house, but deemed it too far away to actually sleep in. He was near when I built a fence to keep him in, a fence to keep him from running and exploring when I was not home. Next to the fence I planted the same bougainvillea whose purple petals filled the hole I dug.

He was near when I built the gates to keep away the postman who tormented him daily, daring to walk up the driveway and touching the mail slot. He was near even when I walked with him. Of course his version of "near changed over time. What was once half a mile or so shrank to a block and by last winter he was close enough to share the same umbrella when it rained. I had almost retired his leash except as something to carry in the event of meeting nervous passerby's who thought I was walking with a baby wolf.

He was not the kind of dog to sit on your lap. He did not like being held unless it was on your lap while you were driving but even that changed two days ago when he stayed close and lay calm and quiet in my arms. Every minute he got closer, until he was gone. Well, not really gone, but all I have left is what he left inside me. It is a poor substitute.

As the years pass plum leaves, and rose petals and wisteria blossoms will fall over him and he will be quiet and close forever.


Comments (4)

I'm sorry, Jack. It sucks to lose a dog. I've been there. Remember the good times...

Derek Mahlitz:

Great post. Reminds of all the great dogs I've buried. Thanks


A beautiful tribute Jack. I will never again think of my Coco as being too close. Thank you, as always, for your beautifully written words. I am sorry for your loss.


Made me cry this did. My guy was still warm when I buried him. I could feel the warmth through the boot of my right foot...........I still do. Damn. I'll look for him in the afterlife......if thee is one. If he's not there I'll look for someone to answer for that. Damn. I miss him something terrible.

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