My Pleasure

It is my pleasure (if also my pain)
To turn and wait,
as you amble along
stopping to rest here and there
pretending to sniff
when we both know you’re quite tired.
I remember well how you used
to turn and wait
cocking your head
as I tried in vain to keep up
with your racing paws.

It is my pleasure (if also my pain)
to forgo the kibble you have eaten all your life (17 years!)
but do not eat anymore
with your old dog teeth.
You may have the
tastiest morsels of meat
from our table
you have earned them.

It is my pleasure (if also my pain)
to clean up without fussing
when outside is too far
for old hips and thin cartilage
between well-loved joints
that have carried you so many miles.
I wish we could do them all again.

It is my pleasure (if also my pain)
to curl up in your bed with you at night
to rub your ears and scratch all around and over
the tumor that grows and grows
on your fine neck.
And to wipe your crusting eyes
and to remember old stories
of wonderful things we have done.

My sweet Why?lee,
what wonderful things we have done!
The places we’ve gone,
the people and animals we’ve met and loved . . .
how lucky we are to have enjoyed so much together.

It is my honor (if also my near to unbearable pain)
to know that this must be our last adventure–
your growing old, and my trying (if failing)
to let you go.

One thought on “My Pleasure

  1. Anonymous

    I know that journey all to well and you write it so beautifully and as I write I have those mists of tears making my screen blurry as I have so many wonderful memories of Whylee and being privileged to be there from the very beginning. As I wrote when Watson passed away – all those things that drove you crazy on a daily basis you suddenly miss and wish to call back – such as Watson barking at EVERYTHING and then the house was too quiet. Whylee is the grandest of grand dogs and I know this last journey will be enveloped with every ounce of love between he and you and Carl and T – but mostly for you – whose side he never, ever left. I do believe they linger in spirit Jess so watch for signs. After Casey B passed away and I walked those foothills on the farm with tears streaming down cheeks for a few days – I know….I know I heard a ghost dog beside me as it was summer and no wind – no animal in sight yet those miles of wheat colored plants moved and rustled where ever I walked, side by side. I know it was Casey – checking and making sure I would be okay before he finally left…and the night he died all the coyotes came up and yodeled at the end of the drive way in a chorus (never happened ever before or after) – and I watched thru tears with these coyotes at end of driveway, silver backed in the moonlight singing for me and Casey. I pray for Whylee and you all for these precious and though hard, blessings of being together on this last journey, My favorite memories of you two which are numerous and the same – are being at the farm and Whylee off an some adventure and you coming out in the front yard and standing, cocking your head to the side and then as loud as you could call WHYLEE!!!!! and he would come racing across a field and watching him streak like thunder, jumping obstacles -stopping a bit to chase something and to finally “weave his way home”, tongue lolling out and that so expressive face of his with “whats up?” And finally there are never, ever any words that ease or make these times easier so I can only end with what I wrote – as they are memories that can make us remember and smile, and that as a fellow dog owner knows and understands the last journey is the hardest and each of us as well as our dog are so unique we travel that road in different ways – yet the emotions are shared and bond us with understanding. Give that wonderful old boy a kiss on the head from old Bren who he saved me and saved my dogs so long ago and we’ve always been in his ever-lasting debt!

    Liked by 1 person

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