Haven’t told y’all a good tale in awhile and I have been quiet for awhile and so I shall share a story. This week deserves this story but you must bear with me as I start it with a mind not running properly and anticipate finishing it worse for the wear. We shall see but, before we start, settled in and ready to listen?
Once upon a time and not very far away at all there lived a beloved man and his wife. They lived beside his small country shop. He walked out with a hug and kiss in the morning and back into the same in the evening. As is common, they aged and he worked slower but he never really closed. It was less a business than a gathering spot but that doesn’t really matter does it. In good time, time passed as it always does and the lady passed with it.
This was a great loss to the gentleman as one might imagine and it was wondered how he would manage without her. After awhile some joy appeared we thought. A small bundle of fur was seen in his shop. Turned out he was as delightfully crusty as ever. “It may show up, it may follow me but I ain’t keeping it” he declared. Well, that puppy kept following him and he kept complaining. He even refused to name it on the grounds that “you only name something you’re keeping”. Okie dokie…
Well, one day about six months later he had an epiphany. He had told the dog it was time go to work, time to eat, time to go home and time to go to bed so many times that it answered to dog! Thus was the name Dog born and so it was to be. He later declared that he must then keep the unwanted dog as he had inadvertently named it. Nice try ya’ curmudgeon, you love Dog, Dog loves you and we all know it.
Turns out the gentleman noticed Dog’s unique skill and intellect. They spent the coming years doing performances for school kids, nursing homes, being in magazines and going on TV. Not bad for a Dog and an old man previously confronted with a lonely future. They were quite the pair and always together. But, as always, in good time, time passed and shows slowed as Dog aged.
We worried for Dog and we worried for him. Everyone figured the loss of one would kill the other. What would happen we wondered. Sadly, one day, we found out. The gentleman awoke to a deceased Dog one morning. He called for help digging a grave. The answering end let her husband know and then got on the phone. Naturally the community knew of Dog by breakfast. We all respected his privacy and wishes but we were all sorry to hear it. It was later that morning that the kicker came.
The gentlemen had done their duty and were closing the grave when the stress of the morning overcame the old heart of an old man. He fell dead beside the grave of Dog. It was the only fitting end I suppose but one I’ll always remember. Had time to ponder it late into the night earlier this week as I beat a grave through rock and root well into the night. What will probably prove to have been the best dog of my life needed a fitting place to lay. As I toiled, I envied him. Must be nice to walk into Heaven with such a friend beside you.