a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Comfort and Ashes

Friday, April 18, 2003

Comfort and Ashes

Wednesday morning was one of the nicest I can remember in a very long time. I woke up sort of slowly. Dogs always seem to know when I'm waking up, even if I don't think I've moved or changed my breathing. Jake hasn't always been snuggy in the morning lately--well, he was never really snuggy, but he used to come over & check my ears for damage that might have occurred during the night, and to get scritched. Tika likes to snuggle but I have to get her to come up and lie next to me. She often lies down next to my legs and presents her tummy for rubs, which I can't reach because my arms are up with me where I'm lying down.

That morning, she came up right next to me on my right side, and jake came right up next to me on my left side. I turned on my side towards Jake, and he lay over on his side, back pressed against me, head on my lower arm, while I rubbed him gently and stroked Tika with my other hand. I was so relaxed. I gradually stopped rubbing, and we all just lay there, me with my eyes closed, warm dog bodies relaxed against me. I haven't felt that content or relaxed in a great while. I think I like having only 2 dogs, especially 2 who aren't touchy about how close the other dog is.

Last night I called the emergency clinic to find out why Remington's ashes had never appeared. Turns out they've been there, in a cupboard, waiting for me to pick them up, for quite a while. No one had called. Person on duty had no idea why not. I went right over and picked them up, feeling guilty and dumb at the same time. Guilty because Rem hated staying at the hospital, and especially when I couldn't be there with him. And dumb because there's nothing left of him but ashes and memories and I really seriously doubt that the ashes care one way or another where they are. It's only me who cares.

I still don't know what to do with what's left of him. Ashes are sealed in a nice cedar box, currently with his collar and tags wrapped around it, sitting on my table next to his photos and a nice plant that the Mixed Breed Dog Club sent in his memory. Never asked for my other dogs' ashes. Didn't know what I'd do with them. Still don't. Have thought I might try to distribute them out there in nature somewhere where he would have liked to run and play, but I think he would have liked to be with me even more.

Dang, for first time in a while, I'm crying again.

He was such a good boy.

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