We said good-bye to our beautiful collie dog Beau last week. As usual, Beau was in charge. He refused food for six days and rested on the seventh. We had time the evening before and morning of to caress him and speak softly into his open ear. I know he heard me. He was almost gone when the vet arrived. Very peaceful and gentle. Just like Beau.
Collies cannot be forced. They do what their loved ones want – or suggest – because they love to please, as long as it makes sense to them. Beau, having been abandoned twice by two former “guardians” (and I use the term loosely), was not anxious to go new places or do new things. I had the strong impression he feared being abandoned again. When Beau and Bella first came home, they consented to walk for two days. (Even though at age five, they did not know how to walk on a leash.) On the third day, Beau refused to leave the premises. I had to drag my 89-pound collie a few feet to take him on a walk. The neighborhood grew to be OK, but the park, the highline canal, and other dog-walking highlights were a “no-go” for Beau. Stick close to home and everything will be fine.
The one exception was Beau and Bella’s beloved cabin, the favorite place on earth for every one of our dogs. Wild and open, with plenty of ground to roam, and elk, deer, moose, bear, fox and squirrels to sniff for and birds to listen to.
Here are some pictures from B and B’s time there. The first is probably my favorite photo of Beau, surveying his domain from a nearby hill.Here’s another of Beau and Bella on a hike. Two are from the day in February we first took them to the cabin. Our road is impassable by car in the winter, so we walk or ski in about a mile. As we turned the corner into the cabin, both dogs came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t see their faces, but Beau’s demeanor indicated clearly to me that he felt he was in paradise. Beau was a collie, and therefore elegant and dignified. But not always. Here is Beau upside down, in a rare moment of abandon. I’m pretty sure Beau has met up with Bella and is now romping around doggie heaven, sniffing for squirrels and chipmunks. They and my other doggie dear ones will know me when I show up there one day.
This poem is about Beau:
No Kisses for Valentine’s Day
No kisses today I’m sorry to say I saw you about with a squirrel in your mouth a very dead squirrel you dropped at my feet a Valentine’s treat So I must remember to let time go by How long does it take for bacteria to die? Impatiently waiting anticipating… No kisses for me but what do I see? that nose in the air so soft and so fair resolution be naught I already forgot.
I’m going straight to doggie heaven
Better wear earplugs when you arrive in doggie heaven
poems are from Bright Moon Wandering, Environmental Love Poetry