Thursday, April 18, 2019

Day 3402

Godspeed Dash. I'll see you on the other side. As Janet and I prepared to say our final goodbyes, I couldn't help but think that we'd done this way too often. We got up early this morning and prepared to make the long drive to the crematorium. These places all seem to be located in little rural communities, far from the city. It was still raining when we left the house and I was hoping that we wouldn't encounter a hailstorm. Our first stop was to pick up Dash at the cancer center. Two of his favorite nurses helped us place him in the car. They'd been with him through thyroid cancer, vestibular disease, a blood clot in the heart, and much more. We all knew this was the end of an era.

I wish pets didn't have to be placed in a freezer after they died. It must be a health regulation. Dash's fur was still soft and silky, but he was very cold. Death still seems strange and mysterious to me. The body looks exactly the same. It seems natural to want to talk to the dead, but you never get an answer. I read an article recently saying scientists now think that the brain lives on for a short time after death. I'm not sure if I like this. If Dash was still aware for a few additional moments, I hope he was comforted knowing that the two people who loved him most were still right there with him.

When we arrived at The Pet Loss Center, we wrapped Dash in his favorite blanket and sat quietly in a dimly lit room with him for a while. We remembered the good times and the bad. We probably only remembered a very small fraction of our time together. The other memories will come and go for the rest of our lives. Life with Dot and Dash was unique and special. Although both Dot and Dash were sick toward the end of their lives, they were basically very healthy dogs. We did so much together.

Since we didn't want to make the long drive to the crematorium twice, we stayed in the area while Dash was being cremated. After watching as Dash's body was placed in the retort, we had lunch in a small country restaurant the crematorium staff recommended. While we waited to pick up Dash's ashes, we enjoyed one of the best meals we've had in a long time. This family restaurant has been in the same location under the same management since 1956. The menu and prices were like traveling back to our childhood in a time machine. Our Moms made this kind of food.

There are now six little urns on our coffee table. Each dog had their own personality, but they were all definitely Dalmatians. There's something special about a Dalmatian that you're not going to understand until one of these dogs joins your family. Fun times. I just wish dogs lived longer.

I took a long walk after we returned to Dallas. I need to get some better walking shoes, but I think I'm going to be doing a lot of walking this year. While I was out today I met a photographer who was taking pictures of owls. There were two large owls, a Mom and a Dad, who were keeping guard over a nest with two baby owls. The guy said the babies weren't ready to fly yet, but that occasionally they  would stick their heads out of the hole in a dead tree where they were living. We traded stories about animals we'd seen in the park and then I continued on my way. Maybe I'll come back and take pictures of these owls someday.

I took the trash out to the curb tonight. It was the only thing that seemed normal about today.

Mattie is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day