Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The pet cemetery in Hartsdale, New York was built at the end of the 1800's. Acres of pets are buried there, their headstones filled with the love of their owners. The pain of losing a loved companion is palpable as you walk through the paths between graves of yesterday and today and in some strange way that makes the pain of saying goodbye to your loyal friend a bit easier to take.(King Claudius' line in HAMLET came to mind again today as it did when my Dad passed away fifteen years ago, and I paraphrase, "Know not that your father lost his father and he his." It doesn't take away the pain, but it somehow puts it all in perspective.

We had Willie cremated and took him home to the city. His ashes sit on a shelf in the bookcase in the living room overlooking whatever we do. Whatever comfort there is, is to know that he is with us again, safe at home for as long as we live.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Everyone who owns a dog feels that theirs is by far the most beautiful and smartest creature ever created. In my case, it was true. His name was Willie and I adopted him from a shelter in Pennsylvania in 1998, one day before he was going to be euthanized. (The shelter had thirty cages, and if the dog in the first cage wasn't adopted, he would be put down and the next dog in line would take his place.) When I first saw Willie he was in the first cage slowly wagging his tail as he saw me approach. It was love at first sight and it stayed that way until yesterday when, after suffering from lymphoma for a number of months, Willie in the safety of his home, surrounded by those who loved him, was put to sleep by a kindly visiting veterinarian. Tomorrow he will be cremated and his ashes will be brought back to the city that he loved and that loved him. It is astonishing the amount of joy a small animal can give you and the amount of pain you feel when he is taken away. He was one of a kind, the beautiful part Golden, part Spaniel, part Australian Sheep Dog, part Collie who was all love. I will miss him until we are together again.