“An August Love”
We will call this a story of love, “An August love.”….. You will understand more as we go along. Anyone who knows me and my wife Sharon also knew our blue heeler August. He was an important part of our life and many had known him through our business of selling antiques and collectibles for many years. He traveled with us to antique markets in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Florida. He had friends from everywhere, including Europe and Japan, who visited at our home. Even if you weren’t a dog person, a little exposure to August and his charms would wear you down. He had this “shit eating” grin (whatever that means in Texas vernacular.) Actually, I think it means looking as if you just got caught doing something you knew you shouldn’t be doing, but you enjoyed it, so you did it anyway!
As part of my business, I visited a local flea market every weekend and with no thought of wanting or needing a dog. One weekend in the fall of 1990, I came home with my new purchase, a 6 week old blue heeler puppy. After showing my new prize to my mother, she remarked he was the most pitiful, sickly looking little thing she had ever seen. But to me, he was beautiful and in very short time my mother loved him very much and thought he was beautiful also, as did all my family.
Not long after that Sharon also entered the picture and we all fell in love very quickly. Sharon professed her love to me, but then maybe it was August who really won her over. We all have lived a good life together with the usual trials and tribulations but always bound together by that grin that August was so quick to flash!
Unfortunately, the life span of dogs and humans so drastically vary. August became sick at the beginning of the month of August in 2005. By the way he was also born in August. I never knew the exact date. I picked the 15th and that was what we celebrated as his birthday.
After a visit to his doctor and an overnight stay with iv’s, injections etc., the doctors told us his liver was failing and we should bring him home. That was on Saturday the 6th. We brought him home and nursed him the best we could. He was failing fast, would hardly eat or drink, could barely walk, but he could still grin and still did…….
Yesterday morning on the 8th, it was cool outside and we kept him out in the backyard for a couple of hours. Sharon and I sat with him, talking and comforting him. Two cats that we had never seen before came and sat outside the fence patiently watching him. They stayed there for 30 minutes or more just looking at him with concern on their faces.
Yesterday afternoon, about 5:30 something told me to lay on the floor with him. As I curled around him and stroked him, I began to tell him everything was okay and that it was time for him to go. His gasping for air began to subside and his heart which been pounding fast for days began to slow. He had been struggling to stay alive for us, but now that I was telling him I was ready for him to go, ( that he had suffered enough), it was okay to leave us. He began to quietly fade. I called to Sharon and she arrived just as he took his last breath and a rattle escaped his damaged body as his wonderful soul departed. I, who had been very upset and distressed since he became ill, found my peace at the same time he found his.
I know now that the two cats who had watched him in his last hours were two angels waiting to guide him to heaven.
Thank you God, for his life and love and letting us share ours with his. It is incredible the love that is possible between humans and animals, and I hope you have or someday be lucky enough to experience a love like we did…… “August love.”
Bryant Dalby
August 9, 2005