It began as an ordinary Saturday, fall, 1995, for DINKs like us - errands and chores. But then it wasn't. We walked into a local store and looked around. Not for anything special, but then, there she was,special. Sitting huddled and frightened. That day we said hello.
We asked about her. This was her last day before being put down at the dog pound. She was only two.
It was early and we had places to go. We said we'd come back at the end of the day and if she wasn't adopted we'd take her. Don't put her aside. Let others look at her.
People of our word, we went back. She was waiting for us. Home we went. And, with the exception of vet visits and a few, out-of-yard running episodes, including the infamous one two years ago that put Ed in a near-death hospital situation, home is where she stayed. Our vet and family cared for her. Our pet sitter fancied her. We loved her and learned about her.
Turns out she wasn't so frightened. She was an investigator and a commentator. Her feet came off the ground when she barked. She was unbending, just plain awkward, when she ran - more like a rocking horse than a Beagle. She was always a happy clown. She made everyone play and smile. She snored freely, as if it was the greatest pleasure that came with laying down. In recent years she was Precious' eyes and encouragement, a role someone else will take up undoubtedly.
It began as an ordinary Saturday, fall, 2008, for retired folks like us - up early for coffee and chores. But then it wasn;t. Today we said goodbye.
Scout is at peace. God has her in His lap.
Today, I am told, is the feast day of St. Francis, the saint who acknowledged kinship with all creation, particularly animals and nature. Around the world there are "Blessings of Animals" ceremonies. Here is John Galsworthy's prayer for gentleness to all creatures:
To all the humble beasts there be,
To all the birds on land and sea,
Great Spirit! sweet protection give,
That free and happy they may live!
And to our hearts the rapture bring
Of love for every living thing;
Make of us all one kin, and bless
Our ways with Christ's own gentleness.