October 22, 2011

Goodbye Alice..

It seems I am assailing you all on these pages with glimpses into my personal life, complaining because my schedule will not permit my blogging, etc. I apologize if this borders on the maudlin, but I wanted to say goodbye to a family member here.

Alice, 1997-2011

Back in 1997, I had a growing son and I had some health problems, and -- somehow -- these two factors coalesced into the need/desire to add a puppy to our household. I always lament these decisions because it adds an inevitable day like last Thursday to your life.

Briefly, we resolved to rescue a puppy from an animal shelter here in Southern California and made plans to visit no less than five this one day to survey all of the prospects and repair home to analyze and make a measured decision, etc.

Long story short, in THE VERY FIRST PLACE we walked into, there were two young girls who were dropping off someone they found at a swap meet in Pasadena with her brothers and sisters a week ago. (They had managed to give away all but this one.) She was an adorable little black mixed-breed (mostly Greyhound) who melted our hearts from the very start.

Thus ended our search and Alice -- as she was named by my son -- became part of our family.

Since we did not know her official birthday, we backdated her life and ascribed Thanksgiving as the special day. Each year we would have roast beef and she would get the bone as a birthday present. I guess, at first, we eschewed the traditional turkey for a change and then this tradition stuck with us as a coincidental celebration of Alice's birthday.

She was graceful, sleek, could run like the wind (her Greyhound heritage), and spent the better part of her life in good health with a cheerful spirit. Each morning  I would wrestle with my son over the necessity of walking and feeding her. Somehow his activities would conspire such that the walking fell to me and the feeding fell to his mom. But it was a duty I undertook, once engaged, with great cheer. And, for the record, when he walked Alice, he did cheerfully for he loved Alice as much as we.

Alice's and my special times were Saturday and Sunday mornings before the others waked up. She and I would go to a local school yard where I would throw a ball to her for a time and then I would sit beneath a tree while she explored the grounds she had staked out many, many times before.

When she reached the absolute farthest point in that yard she could get from me, she would pause from her sniffing and look up. I would wave to her and she would make the maddest dash you would ever see back to me, stopping a few yards short and incessantly barking until I obliged and threw the ball again for her to chase.

When she tired of that, she would come over and quietly sit by me as I read and relaxed. Presently, we would head back home to rejoin the waking family. The picture above is of her on one of those days.

So, after a life that would seemingly go on forever, last Thursday she lay down, coughed a few times and seemingly stretched out to take a nap..

..and was gone.

I took her to a vet to confirm her passing and was assured there was no pain. My son and friends visited her while she was at her final rest and my mom and sisters and sons (who all knew her) all sent their regrets and sorrow, etc. I must conclude that she was loved and will be missed.

But now the loneliness of a Saturday morning without a walk with her closes in and I must write this.

My hope is that when my time comes, I will go to heaven and that there will be sunny days and a schoolyard close by and a nice tree to sit under..

..and a ball to throw to Alice.

-30-

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

My dear Scooterite friend - I surely know what you are going through having lost so many 4-legged loved ones!
Unlike humans, their love and devotion comes with no constraints, no demands, just unending devotion and love.
The bring so much happiness into our lives, but when we lose them. the heartache and pain leaves us vowing we will never have another pet and suffer this agony again.
Until we fall in love with that next beautiful furry sad-eyed creature that is calling us to take them home and show them the love they desire, yet give back a million-fold!
Yes, my friend, tears of loss and pain, yet when we recount what happy times we have shared, we know we are blessed in that time together!
blessings in your loss, your grief, but also in knowing what that the same unending love is that which our Saviour has for us.
Though there is nothing to state we will be united with our pets in heaven, it is one item in my evening prayers that I long for to be real and true.
God Bless you and your loved ones WP.
OneWay-Jesus! (my Scooter ID)
(Alastair in Oz).

The War Planner said...

God Bless you and your loved ones WP.

..and God bless you for your kind words and thoughts. I sincerely appreciate it.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Happy Saturday Alice!

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, TWP. She was lucky to have you all as her family.

The War Planner said...

Odie and Ima,

Thank you for your wishes as well and *we* were lucky to have her.

..and you all are good friends!

wirecutter said...

She's got lots of good company - she's playing tug with my Punkindog and Hillary right now.
Sorry for your pain. It sounds like she had a great life.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

War,

Alice joins my recently departed Bailey and they await a reunion with us to be sure with tails a waggin' and a ball at the ready.

God Bless you and yours.

The War Planner said...

wirecutter and Christopher,

My condolences at your losses as well. I used to take Alice to a dog park and always envisioned that is what heaven would be like for the. I only hope yours and mine will be up there having the joy and fun that only these wonderful creatures can have!

Thank you both!

stopsign said...

Such a beautiful tribute to Alice.

Your heart felt post brought back memories of my lab "Buddy" and his name truely fit him as well. I could always talk to him about any problem I was having and he never complained.

You and your family are in my thoughts & prayers.

Brian said...

What an excellent piece. Hard to stop a freight train like emotion..I like to think of it as writing from the heart. You just can't make it up.

God bless ya WP. I am glad I found ya!

The War Planner said...

Brian and all: thanks again for the wishes and I share your sorrows at the loss of a pet.

Brian, hurry back; glad to have you visit and comment.