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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:11 PM

The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog. Cabal (2003-2013)

Sometimes, these things are hard to write. And sometimes writing them saves my life. This is one of those times I'm glad I have my blog here, and it's still so hard to write...
So. 30th of April 2007 I stopped and rescued a dog by the side of the road.

At the time I wrote...

On the way home from the recording, driving through the rain, just as I pulled off the freeway to head home, I saw a large, pale dog on the side of the sliproad. I went in a couple of seconds from a first glance thought of "Oh, he's just wandering around and knows exactly what he's doing," to, on a second glance, "He's absolutely terrified and if he isn't actually lost he's really scared of all the cars and in danger of bolting onto the freeway," .

I pulled over, crossed the road and hurried across to where he was. He backed away, skittish and nervous, then came over to me, shaking. No collar or information, just a choke chain. And big. And very wet and very muddy. With cars going past, I decided the wisest thing to do was to put him into my car while I figured out what to do. The car was the Mini. I opened the door and he clambered in. The dog took up most of the Mini that I wasn't in and a fair amount of the Mini that I was in. Big dog, small car.s
<snip>
I seem to have acquired a dog.
<snip>
The call went on to say that the dog's owner, a local farmer, who kept him chained up in the yard, and couldn't walk well so couldn't walk him, thought the dog was a nuisance, always getting out and heading onto the freeway and sooner or later he'd cause an accident, and, when the Humane Society lady mentioned that the person who found him rather liked him, he told her that if I came over and picked him up I could have him.
So I did.

(Skip to near the end)
<snip>
I got the phone call last night from Hans, who looks after the grounds and the house, from the vet's. Cabal had had a normal, fun day, and then suddenly got really ill. He was vomiting and having trouble breathing. I'd missed the last plane and was going to fly home this morning to be with him while he was ill. Another phone call: he and Mary my housekeeper were with Cabal, and they were both in tears. They put me onto the vet, who was going to try to get Cabal to the animal hospital. He couldn't breathe. The vet thought there was a blood-clot in his lung. Another call: he wasn't going to make it to the hospital. His heart had stopped. The vet had just brought him back to life, but he was barely able to breathe and she was worried about him going into seizures and dying in pain...

And I wasn't there. If I'd been there, he would have been okay with whatever was happening. If I'd been there it would have been safe for him to go. I talked to him on the phone, intending to say something calming so he could hear my voice, and instead just cried and told him I was sorry that I wasn't there.

I spoke to the vet one last time, and told her to let him go,

<snip>
Kipling said it best:
THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

<snip>
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2013/01/the-power-of-dog-cabal-2003-2013.html?m=1

sigh.....
Bless you Neil Gaiman!


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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Power of the Dog (Original post)
Are_grits_groceries Feb 2013 OP
Quantess Feb 2013 #1
Bigmack Feb 2013 #2
mythology Feb 2013 #3
mrsadm Feb 2013 #4
grilled onions Feb 2013 #5
secondvariety Feb 2013 #6
maryland native Feb 2013 #7
dooner Feb 2013 #8
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #9
Timbuk3 Feb 2013 #10
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Feb 2013 #11
flvegan Feb 2013 #12
Samantha Feb 2013 #13
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #14
baldguy Feb 2013 #15

Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:19 PM

1. Handsome dog! And a lovely story.

I had a pound-dog once, who had been found in the middle of winter wandering around, bony, with missing patches of fur... he was a well trained dog , a purebred rottweiler who had once been a valued pet, but was abandoned. We also had to put him down-

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:20 PM

2. Good dog

Good dog good dog good dog........

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:28 PM

3. They never live as long as we'd like

but dogs, cats, or any pet so enriches your life and they ask so little of you. Just be their friend.

My aunt and uncle, who are allergic to cats and had a traumatic experience when their last cat died were adopted a couple of years ago by a cat. At first it was, the cat could stay outside, but then when they were getting up every couple of hours to turn the cat's heating pad on, they put in a cat door, but kept her out of the bedroom. But recently the cat has so wormed her way into their heart that she now sleeps in the bedroom.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:47 PM

4. My heart has broken so many times...

for all the animals I have loved so much and they loved me back unconditionally. But I always take heart that there's another lonely deserving stray or pet in a shelter that really needs a home, and I get a new pet to love.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:59 PM

5. The Main Thing Is You Rescued Him When He Needed It The Most

To give love to such a creature who asks nothing in return but food and knowing someone is there to keep them warm and safe and love him. He crossed over Rainbow Bridge knowing that someone really cared for him and he will be waiting for that friend to once again greet him and give him a hug.
I have three waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge and if my health allowed it I would have a half dozen more. One cannot ever run out of love or hugs and I have never seen a dog ever tire of hugs or being petted. I am not ignoring the cats and the love that transpires between them and their owners(I simply have never had a cat). But I am reading a great book about a cat entitled Dewey. Cat lovers you should read this book about a cat who took over a library in a small Iowa community.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 04:11 PM

6. Powerful stuff...

Thanks for posting.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 04:58 PM

7. "And I wasn't there"

But you were there. The intuitive nature of dogs is such that to him, you were there. He was with others to hold him.

Perhaps he felt that you could not bear to be there as he passed to the next experience....

Dogs don't measure their lives in years, they measure them in experience, care, warmth from their family, love of life.

Your feelings stem from the thought that you were not able to be with your dog at the most important moment you had together. Not true.

The most important moment together was the first moment when you met, when he needed you most.

You did not fail your dog.

Be ecstatic about all of the great times with your dog and the many mundane but equally important times.

Dogs know about us.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 05:36 PM

8. What a beautiful dog

Neil gave that beautiful dog such a good, happy life!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:29 PM

9. It's amazing how interwoven they become with our daily lives.

I have two rescue lab mixes now. Had two golden mixes for 13 years each previously. Both went peacefully in our arms, two years apart. But, after the second one passed, for about a week, I'd start to get out of my recliner, because he was always under the foot rest. Or you try to open a bag of chips, quietly, because he'll hear it and demand his share.

That lasted about 10 days, and we contacted the rescue agency and got new 9 week old. A year later got her a 10 week old. And, if I don't have them to the dog park by 10:00am every morning, they're throwing tennis balls at me and bringing me my shoes.

They know who the boss is.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 AM

10. Thank you

...for everything you did for that dog.

The dog had a good life.

I'm sure the dog wishes you have the same.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:17 AM

11. There was so much love in your story. Thanks for

 

sharing it. The loss of a beloved pet is an absolutely heart wrenching pain. It's the price we pay for the love they filled our hearts with.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:24 AM

12. A thanks from me, and a Chumway tip of the cap to you.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:16 AM

13. Your thread is heartbreaking

Last edited Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:22 PM - Edit history (1)

I read it last night and could not even post a note of consolation because I could not find the right words. I was ashamed I left this thread without saying anything.

I came back this morning to say just a couple of things. The love you feel for that dog will never die. And while he has passed to another place, I believe his love for you will also live inside you forever. It is true that we all lose people, pets and even things we love, but the absence doesn't obliterate the love that lingers on.

You rescued that dog from a miserable life and you gave him a wonderful home and much love. You were his hero.

Peace be with you, my friend.

Sam

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:50 PM

14. Dogs are angels.

They are the most wonderful creatures in the world.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:17 PM

15. There are people in this world who want to help our fellow creatures.

And then there are those who just want to harm them.

The first group exemplify what's good about humanity. And my suspicion is that the second group has no humanity.

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