Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Poems for Frodo

(I posted these last week on my facebook page, but wanted to post them here as well.)

I borrowed the first lovely poem below from a friend's facebook page. I remembered him posting it when his sweet dog Sophie died, and thankfully my mental post-it note included the general month and year so I could find it again. The second poem I recalled from my own love of poetry as a perfect ode to losing someone special.  

*I may add to this post as I discover other poems that help me through my grief.  If anyone has poems to include, feel free to send them to me or comment below. 

Oddjob, a Bull Terrier

You prepare for one sorrow,
but another comes.
It is not like the weather,
you cannot brace yourself,
the unreadiness is all.
Your companion, the woman,
the friend next to you,
the child at your side,
and the dog,
we tremble for them,
we look seaward and muse
it will rain.
We shall get ready for rain;
you do not connect
the sunlight altering
the darkening oleanders
in the sea-garden,
the gold going out of the palms.
You do not connect this,
the fleck of the drizzle
on your flesh,
with the dog’s whimper,
the thunder doesn’t frighten,
the readiness is all;
what follows at your feet
is trying to tell you
the silence is all:
it is deeper than the readiness,
it is sea-deep,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Remembering Frodo

One week ago I had to say goodbye to the best dog, and friend, I could imagine.  Six years ago, when I had to let go of my sweet rabbit Grizzy, I immediately wrote out a eulogy for her.  It was comforting to write, and in the years since it has been comforting to read, and to send to others when their animal companions died.  But with Frodo, my dog of eleven years, I have been unable to complete more than one or two sentences about his life and how much he was loved.  In part, I believe, because that love was so huge.  But also because there are so many good stories, that distilling them all into one email, or Facebook post, seemed impossible.  I suppose I could have just placed my memories between the pages of a journal, but I have been touched by so many who have shed a tear for Frodo -- either because they knew him, or had heard stories, or just suspected from that sweet face that he was as great a dog as you could find -- and so I wanted to share more of him.

So, a blog is born through the death of a friend.  I hope I can honor him even half as much as he deserves.  

And, because it still rings true, here’s the eulogy I wrote for Grizzy. 


Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Grizzy (aka, Griswold V. Connecticut) died last night, peacefully, in her sleep, after a recent illness and stroke.  She would have been 11 years old this June, and has been our beloved pet since August of 1996. 

I'm sending this to all of you because you have known her, helped care for her, loved her, or simply heard stories about her.  As I have been reminiscing about her in the last few days I am reminded again and again what an amazing bunny she was.  She survived copper poisoning due to eating a lamp cord, moves to six different apartments and houses, a fall into my downstairs neighbor's ceiling, and a well-intentioned but unwelcomed addition of a sister in Emma Goldman, the gray lop-eared rabbit some of you knew.  I have gone through countless lint rollers, Radio Shack cord wraps, bags of litter, and bales of hay.  She never tired of her favorite diet of cilantro, mango pieces, broccoli, and phone books. And inside an apartment at 1841 Roanoke Ave, someone is wondering what on earth happened to the wallpaper in the kitchen.

I will remember her through the holes she chewed in my t-shirts, the bunny-pee stains on my kitchen floor, the six-inch stack of photos I unearthed last night.  I will remember the memories of her hopping, jumping, lounging around on her side, washing her face, and cleaning her ears.  I will remember her spunky spirit and her sweet disposition.  I will remember her soft fur and her adorable spot.  She was loving and she was loved.  Not a bad way to live your life... we should all try to do more of each of those. 

It is times like these that I remember how grateful I am for my friends and my family, and for the unconditional love of the companions we bring into our homes as pets.  Someone told me yesterday how courageous the people are who take in animals, knowing that they will, in all likelihood, die before we do.  How true. 

Thanks to all of you for your love and support.  Grizzy would want to thank you too. 

love always,
March 23, 2007