Dice by Roberta Culver / Best of buddies always

As near as we can figure, you were born around 1990 of unknown to us parents and on what day and journeyed here in physical form until August 24, 2004. You looked to the entire world to be a blond cocker spaniel. You always thought everyone who came here had their sole purpose to greet and pet you. This attitude and belief was part of your charm and allowed you to be so tolerant. Life, as much as possible, revolved around you. In almost every instance car trips, even to the store, were planned around you. In the Summer, we went early in the morning before it started getting too hot to leave you in the car.

You were so very special, no matter how many times I forgot to tell or demonstrate it to you. I guess I just took you for granted, an all too common human frailty. You were my constant companion and friend, through thick and thin, good and not so good. Before me, you were my mother’s, who “rescued” you from the Columbia-Greene (NY) Humane Society.

You tried so hard to please the human race, hopefully realizing that sometimes it was not possible.

You were so sensitive it is unbelievable the amount of your love and caring for the humans in your life.

You sensed when Richard, a friend of mine who’s life we both did what we could do to improve, was having a petite mal seizure well before the repeated brain dysfunction became apparent. You did what you could to comfort him and be there for him, going and sitting next to him and coming to me to ask my help for him when there was none I could give. I knew without question that if I woke up in the morning and found you asleep outside his bedroom door, he had experienced a rough night from his temporal lobe epilepsy. Even after his soul had transitioned from this plane, you slept outside his bedroom door as if standing guard over a friend who hurt so terribly much on all levels in the end. You had become his friend too through your continued love and giving.

I will never forget the day when I was down to Richard’s house, packing things in the office as part of the what he had left behind when his soul departed and you insisted you had to go out. I told you what I good boy you were to come from the other part of the house to get me as I let you out the back door, thinking you had to tend to yourself. As you left intent on your mission and seemingly oblivious to me, I told you to come back on the porch as you had always done. After a passage of time, all of a sudden I realized you had been gone too long. I searched and searched, calling and calling with increasing panic about you as your hearing and sight were very poor with advanced age. Were you lost? Nowhere could you be found. I went back inside trying to think who I could call to come and help look for you. This friend’s house was over and hour’s drive from where we lived. For a reason unknown to me, I suddenly looked out an office window to see you slowly trotting in front of the tori gait, obviously exhausted and tongue hanging nearly to the ground. I was so glad to see you when I ran to meet you, I “forgot” to scold you for taking off. In sheer wonder, I realized that you and Richard had been for a run. What a glorious event knowing that Richard was so crippled he could barely walk, sit, stand or lie down for any length of time from the pain in his lower back his final day in physical form.

When I asked Harold to bury your body out behind the house where you exclusively spent your final days, he told me what a smart and loving dog you were on the few times he had been asked to take care of you. You endured much hardship with advancing years, pain from your neck and hip problems as well as pain from the “cocker ears” which sometimes would get ahead of me. You had neurological problems and your so-giving heart was showing evidence of being tired from the long journey. That last Winter of your journey when I was so sick I could hardly get out the door to walk you, you sometimes had to fend for yourself and remember not to go onto the 55 mph highway in front of the house. All this without a complaint or demand on your part.

You never ceased to fit in no matter where we traveled on my life’s journey. You were accepting of their presence of other dogs, cats, etc. in their home, sharing time and attention with them. You had to go stay with Nancy, a friend of your rescuer’s, for a period of time while I was moving from one residence to another. Not a peep of complaint. When I would come to visit you, you asked to leave with me and then gave every appearance of accepting the “not yet but soon” reply.

As further indication of your awareness and sensitivity, when your rescuer’s soul passed over, you said good bye, barking incessantly, until her soul departed the room to move on. As the nun from the nursing home indicated at the funeral, your rescuer loved you so much she came to check on you. You never barked after that.

You had your own issues of abandonment, going back however far no one but you knew, to cope with and did your best. You had been left at the Shelter as a mature companion by someone who believed
that to be the solution.

My mother had left you to go into the Hospital and finally to a series of nursing homes where you regularly went to visit. After another short stay in another not-so humane society Shelter because the woman who had agreed to look after you didn’t care, you came to live with me, having endured the indignities of that particular Shelter.

Visiting the various nursing homes where your prior companion now lived, you unquestioningly shared your attention with other residents who showed an interested in being your friend. I often wonder what went through your head as your rescuer, not wanting to be where she was in life, withdrew more and more into her dementia and failed most times to recognize who was there to lovingly visit.

That last afternoon, I can still see you sitting in front of me with those big brown eyes, asking me in the only way you could to help you. I didn’t know what to do. I did the best I knew how, never realizing the decision I would have to make at the veterinarian’s later that day. Once they had your pain under control, you ceased to think about you and instead attempted to console me while I made the inevitable decision. I remembered how all the times when your following me so closely that if I turned I was in danger of tripping over you and those times I told you to stop that and go somewhere else. You only wanted what every living being wants, to be close to another who meant so much.

You gave your all in the end. And, like the humans in my life and I in yours, you celebrated with dignity, love and compassion being a fellow-adventurer on the journey to illumination of the soul. Our reciprocal gifts were of friendship in hopefully its most glorious and enduring meaning and this a wish for happiness, love, peace and all the best that is available to you through eternity. May we meet again at the rainbow bridge and guide me to where you now live, to be with Richard?

Kat told me the last time we talked that you were now “young” again, free of physical pain that goes with having a physical existence, and at that point in time sleeping on the end of the couch across from where I was sitting at my desk during that phone conversation. You continue to
follow me everywhere and especially did you like to follow into the kitchen. I can especially feel you lying next to me as I watch a movie or drift off into or wake from sleep

I thank you for coming and spending the last years of your physical existence here with me and being there through so much, making my time here much more bearable. I know that part of each creation which can never die is here still and I’m grateful. There will never be another one like you. That is why on the addres-sing-ife.com web site you are given credit for being one of my life’s greatest teachers. For you surely are and continue in that most treasured teaching role along with being the never to be forgotten everlasting friend. You still stand guard just inside the front door via your pictures and in your continued action as my power animal. Your love and devotion, like you, are never ending as I appear to the rest of the world to be all alone now.


Roberta Culver