Luke was 16. He was barely getting by until yesterday when he started seriously failing, suffering. We let him go gently on the sunny west porch.
"There are various places within which a dog may be buried.
We are thinking now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine,
and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy
thought. This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of
garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green
lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering
shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath
such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a
flavorous bone, or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These
are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it
touches sentiment more than anything else.
For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps
through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking,
laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long
and at last. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring,
or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of
a pasture land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to
the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost --
if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that
is best of all.
If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you
must already have, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over
the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and
to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they
should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he
People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of
grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere
audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then,
for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well
worth the knowing.
The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart
of his master"
by Ben Hur Lampman
Master and I buried Luke under the lilacs. It was hard to see the dirt through the tears.
All the graves, so many good dogs, so many memories, faithful friends that don't live long enough.
Gwen, Farley, Teak, Becky, Hank, Kip and now Luke. Arranged in a row under the lilacs. Cinder doesn't have a grave. She was cremated because of the deep snow and I have an urn for her ashes.
Gwen came home with me in 1992. Farley was her puppy, born in 1995.
Teak was given to me by my mom in 1997. Becky was given to me by my mom two years later, when she was a year old. Cinder and Luke were Becky's puppies, born in 2000.
Hank was Cinder's puppy, born in 2004. Kip came home with me on an airplane from his breeder in Michigan in 2002. Traveling with a year old child AND an 11 week old puppy by plane is not an experience to be envied. They were pretty good though, considering. Even when the plane was delayed by 4 hours.
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