I picked up Tweety's ashes today. They're in a nice little cedar box with a gold padlock and key, and a printed note on the top that reads
"In Remembrance of Your Beloved Pet
Cremation Service Provided for
Anita and Dana Cadonau-Huseby
January 15, 2007"
Several years ago an elderly couple who were my neighbors at the time learned their faithful golden retriever had terminal cancer and that they would need to eventually put him to sleep to prevent their friend from suffering. For several weeks I'd peek through my front window or stand quietly in my driveway and watch as the man and woman would accompany their dog outside in the rain and the sunshine, tossing a ball into the empty field across the street from our home, and every time that old golden retriever would return to them with the ball wedged in his jaw, tail wagging, they'd lean down, rub his head gently and speak words to him I couldn't hear but that I'm certain were filled with affection and love. Words that were often accompanied by tears and a prolonged hug between the man and woman.
One day they told me that the next morning they would be taking their dog to the vet's to be put to sleep. He was in pain, whimpering and limping, and as much as they hated it, they knew the time had come. That afternoon I went and bought a copy of the children's book, "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant and the next morning when they left for the vet's, I took the wrapped book and placed it against their front door. It's all I knew to do for them.
So why did this memory come back to me and why am I telling you about it? I don't know. Maybe just because I'm feeling over-the-top sentimental sitting here beside a small wooden box that holds the ashes of one of my best friends. I'm a mush-ball when it comes to those I love (furry or furless) and I accept that about myself. You should too or face the inevitable fact that at times reading my blog will make you a tad queasy. Chill and deal peeps, chill and deal.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when the copy of "Cat Heaven" I ordered will be arrived to my front door.