Over on http://www.bushbabe.blogspot.com/, BB has been talking about her dog, Cosmos, who's gone on to run in the canine version of elysian fields. Any person who has a dog who suffers from arthritis will be comforted by that picture.
My dog is a big old stray that I found and hauled home. We don't know much about Buck except that he is a very well trained dog who's been abused. He's still suspicious of men. I don't understand that. Who spends so much time training a dog, and then abuses that dog, ultimately dumping him off along a country road? Anyways, I found him trotting down the middle of the road as cars swerved to miss him. I went home for a bucket of dog kibble. (My own dog had died just two days previously - how strange is that?) and followed this dog for some distance. Finally he stopped, and at a church. I parked the car, placed the bucket of dog food about 10 feet from me, and pulled up a piece of ground. The dog was hungry. This kept him close. I began to talk while I waited. I told him what a fine dog he was, and how smart he looked, and I told him about my dog Kooj who died. Eventually, he dared to come close enough to begin gulping food. Now people say that I could carry on a conversation with a stump, and that particular day it came in quite handy. He wolfed food, and I talked on about this and that and whatever else came to mind. Eventually his hunger was sated just enough so that he was able to stop wolfing, and to chew his food some, studying me while he chewed. I talked on. The time came when he was full. I was still talking. He stood there staring at me. Suddenly, he came over to where I was sitting cross legged on the ground and stood staring at my face. I stopped talking and I stared right back. Without warning, he buried his big old dog head in my neck making nervous whistling noises.
This is how I got Buck-the-amazing-wonder-dog. He is the best dog I ever had. There is something profound and binding about watching another being make that decision to trust you. I could never break that trust. He knows it.
Buck struggles up the stairs to sleep outside my bedroom door. Tim still makes him nervous after all these years. He wants to be close by in case Tim decides to act up in the middle of the night, I guess. The thing is, I've been trying to convince him not to come up stairs. Buck's getting old, and he's getting stiff. He fell down the steps three times this week. I give him his pain relief that does not seem to work all that well, and I feel a little sick inside, because I know what happens next is going to break my heart. But I was looking in his eyes when he made that decision to trust me. I love that dog, and when the time comes, I will do the right thing. And I will hold his big dog head in my lap, envisioning him running in the canine version of elysian fields.