Saturday, February 27, 2010

the furry cripple in our garage


written on 2/20/2010....
Jane Eyre is on the television right now, you know, the old/young William Hurt version. Griffey is barking, barking, crying out. I’m pretty sure he is ready to go home, but when I suggested the idea to mom the other day she frowned and pushed her lips together, putting a period at the end of the unfinished sentence hanging between us. I can’t seem to stop going out to the garage, just to see if he’s still there. I open the door slowly, find him lying on his deflated pillow, and make sure he’s breathing. His chest barely moves up and down anymore, it’s very hard to tell. It takes special skills. Skills that involve an insane amount of love for that big, scruffy rug of a dog. I want to feel his wet nose up against my freckly one and remember him chasing me across the snowy field behind Jordan High School (which, ironically, no longer stands, just like Griff). I want to scratch his tummy and watch his legs go up and down jubilantly; now, they just hang expectantly in the air, aching for the resurrection. I do believe that all dogs go to heaven, just like the movie says. But my knowledge comes from a deeper place, the same place that gives me joy when I’m feeling pain. The same place that makes me smile at myself in the mirror despite my red patches, and my undone hair (it’s haircut time again). The same place that causes me to weep tears of joy when I think about Lizzy’s engagement ring, and tears of sadness when I think about Lizzy’s engagement ring. So when the day comes that my parents call me to their room or call me on the phone, and tell me quietly that they’re going to put him to sleep, I’ll draw some reserves from that same place. I’ll probably go on a walk, or go to the park, or get into my car and drive somewhere, just for awhile. I know I will cry. That’s inevitable. Ever since I renounced my “heartless loser” title I cry a lot. I never knew one person could have so many tears in them, but it’s a gift of the Spirit you know (excuses, excuses). After I get that overwith, and I talk to my Heavenly Father for a little while, I’ll go home. I’ll go to that dog’s side very carefully, even on my tiptoes because I think spirits that are close to the veil deserve a little bit of silence. I’ll rub his tummy, his ears, his nose, his bony back, his stuck-out ribs. I’ll cry into his greying fur, and then I’ll say I love you, goodbye, just for now.

6 comments:

shawn rowley said...

i know this story. i have been there. it will be ok someday. i promise.

Em said...

Oh dear. I'm having a bit of a cry now. I hate goodbyes.

Brit said...

What a beautiful writer you are, I cried and I've never been an animal person, but I think I'm getting softer towards them as I get older.

Terri said...

That was very stirring and poignant Kenz. I have begun my cry with you. Bless his tired heart. Sometimes we go for a walk and pass the tree where we buried Nana and we chat about our protective irritable beloved family member.

Amy said...

Oh Kenz. I'm sorry.

Ging said...

I don't think I can comment. My lips are pushed together in a frown and my eyes are blurred.