everywhere you look

there are reminders of her. This place is entirely steeped in her beautiful, joyful presence. In each room, places to rest or to play. Her toys are here and there, her beloved bed, and her stroller is parked by the front door. The stillness of that alone is terrible; I will spare you more than to imagine it empty.

Here, on a much better day …

Happy used her stroller often in the past year – and daily in the last month – because she was getting on in years. And there was heart trouble, kidney disease, an ulcer. Still, she was a dog who lived to ramble, to amble, to run and run. And to ride! Oh yes.

Hard to believe those two photos were taken over a year apart, and that in the second she was already in treatment for so many things. Still smiling, still Happy.

I know, I take too many pictures with the silly phone; only 1.3 megapixels and the exposure usually sucks. Here are a bunch of better ones.

I guess those who read this blog but don’t follow the blogroll link to Happy’s Trials may not know what’s been going on. That’s our dog’s blog, where she posted her final entry Wednesday 7/8, just hours before her gentle veterinarian came to send her ahead to the Rainbow Bridge.

Happy was diagnosed with “renal insufficiency,” meaning early kidney failure, in April. She got a few fluid treatments and seemed to do better until late May. Then we thought she had a stroke, because she was staggering and stumbling. That turned out to be a thyroid imbalance and she rallied again, until an ulcer was diagnosed in early June. Then followed a course of acupuncture, herbs, etc., with a holistic veterinarian.

Throughout June, Happy had ups and downs, challenges with energy and appetite, longer naps … but there were good days, you know? Here’s a little video of Happy running through the yard and around the deck, on June 20.

We thought she was doing pretty well until this last week, around the 4th of July. The ulcer seemed to have healed, her heart was beating strong. But she got more tired, lethargic, weak. So on Tuesday she went for lab work and x-rays. I prayed that it was just a little something with her heart, because in the past we’ve been able to adjust heart meds and make her feel good. But the news was very bad. Complete kidney failure. Nothing could be done. The vet said, “you wouldn’t be wrong to let her go,” and “she’s suffering.”

Well, when you hear that, you have to do what you have to do, right? I mean the difficult and devastating thing, the brave and loving, almost impossible thing.

Now it’s Friday and she’s been gone for two days, and the house has come unstuck from earth. It seems to rise and fall, adrift on a sea of her absence. The silence, without her barking at birds or for cookies, is infinite.

This is not a tribute for my friend; I’ll post one to my Web site when the time is ripe. Because with this sorrow there is a life so much to celebrate, and gratitude for a wonderful, enduring gift. Just thought you’d want to know the strange weather, now the wind has turned.

If you have a fuzzy little friend, remember: time flees.

She Loved

Lord, at the ending of my life

the sun which You have made

will shine. The road will rise to

meet me, and so Thy Kingdom

come. Please send this dog to

lead me, Lord, who stood

beside me long on windy

bluffs to guard against despair.

She loved to walk and in her years

she learned to let the binding

leash hang loose. And since she

always barked for love, would in

Thy songful Heaven sing so well.

© 2000, 2005 by Kyle Kimberlin

3 thoughts on “everywhere you look

  1. " . . . the house has come unstuck from earth."

    Yes, this is exactly what happens. When my cat, Spook, in Oregon was killed by a car, the house sunk into the snow. I went with it.

    My mother just lost her beloved Chihuahua, Bingo, last month and it's been a terrible score of heart to settle. Last week, she heard a dog bark in the middle of the night from somewhere in her retirement community and thought it was Bingo and reached over to shush him only to feel the vast acreage of the empty bed beside her.

    "She loved to walk and in her years
    she learned to let the binding leash hang loose."

    Lovely, this. Says so much about her and us. I just met a woman who runs the animal rescue center in Santa Ynez and she's got two fundraisers coming up. I offered to do a short reading with animals being the topic and I think you should be part of that, Kyle. More on that later.

    A lovely tribute here, nevertheless, and as always, felt through the toes of your soul.

  2. I'm sorry. Such great love brings great grief. May you be one with God in the silence. I think its a thin veil between you and Happy and the unity of all means we are all joined in spirit.Happy is still here in a different form.

  3. More tears and lots of wishes for you and for Happy. The memories and the love won't ever leave you.

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