Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rest in Peace

Actually, we don't really know when Bonny was born. She'd been an abused dog; my wife got her from the humane society. She had relatives that worked there and said that she might make a good dog for us. They'd taken her from a home where she'd been locked in the closet with a half dozen or so of her puppies. The puppies, thankfully, were all adopted prior to Kim going to meet her. She was our Valentine's Day gift to each other soon after we got married.

They were wrong about her being a good dog for us, though. She was the best.

Quiet, gentle, and friendly, Bonny weathered all manner of changes with us--new homes, new jobs, new babies, life and death. In great health for most of her relatively long life, this year was a bit of a struggle for her, she had developed a number of ailments that meant that she would not be with us much longer.

A month or so ago I took her out for one of our midnight walks, and somehow she slipped the leash. I live next to a very busy street (even at midnight), and in the past her infrequent escapes would be major cause for alarm, and I would typically give chase as soon as I knew that she was "off the hook", usually catching her in an open field about a half mile down the road when she was too tired to run anymore. I was always amazed at how my fury and rage at her unwillingness to stop would give way to thankfulness that she hadn't been squished by a passing semi the moment I scooped her up in my arms.

Anyway, a month or so she got away. You'd think I'd be able to outrun an arthritic, 112 year old dog (human years) with kidney problems, but not so. She was off like a shot, the Bonny of old, and down the hill before I even knew she was gone.

I didn't take after her that time, I just sat down under an apple tree in my yard. About twenty minutes later she came bounding up the hill, a look of pure joy on her face as she slathered me with her tongue. This was a dog who had not been able to get up the stairs for the past few months, leaping and dancing around like she'd discovered the fountain of doggy youth (and not sewer run-off, like usual). She was spry as a puppy when I brought her inside and gave her a treat, although about ten minutes later she zonked out on her bed and slept straight through until morning.

She looked about as happy as I'd ever seen her after she returned that night, about as happy as she when we first brought her home and she realized that my wife and I weren't monsters who were going to lock her in a dark closet.

I didn't realize it at the time, but now I know that I was every bit as happy as she was.

Goodbye, Bonny.


sandi said...

I'm sorry.

Isn't it crazy how a big ball of fur can wriggle its way into our lives and hearts? My dog is starting to show her age. I don't want to think of our lives without her.

Thanks for posting a lovely tribute to your puppy.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh. i am sooooooo sorry. my dog died 4 days before my birthday last year. i know how you feel. i wish i could make things better. all pets (most) are our family.
best wishes,

Doofus said...

I'm sorry to hear about Bonny):
That entry filled my eyes with tears.

Anonymous said...

Aw. I'm sorry about your dog, Mr. Waters =(

God Bless,

Sophie said...

Sorry for your loss. That moment with her bounding out of reach, one more time is beauifully written. You've reminded all of us of those wonderful pet moments we've had.

Fran Friel said...

Dan - I'm so very sorry to hear about Bonny, and at the same time I'm very glad she was your dog. It's fully apparent in your piece how much you and your family loved her and it sounds like you all made out equally well in your rich and doggie-joy-filled relationship.

Dogspeed to dear Bonny in her journey through heaven.

With Love and Care,
Fran (and my sister-dog, Sandy)

nadine said...

i'm soo sorry about your loss.
but at least she went away peacefully.
may her soul rest in peace.

Stone said...

Sorry Dan,

Sorry about Bonny. By sound of it, her last few days were some of her very happeist. The way you dicribed her running around out side, doing what she couldn't do in the house, showed the strength that she had in her for the Wild outdoors.
In the way you explaned it I think she new that her time was comming and was trying to do every thing that she could to make her and your family happy.

She's got to be one of the happiest dogs up there ^.


Anonymous said...

Daniel I know how hard it can be to lose part of your family. I think she
was happy before she died because she
wanted you to know it was her time to
go and to celebrate here life and not
mourn her loss. so celebrate the time
you had together and be thankful she was there to change your lives
so sorry

Carrie Ryan said...

What a fantastic memory -- I'm all teary. I'm sorry to hear about Bonny, but I'm so glad she brought you so much joy!!

Anonymous said...

My mom has always adopted rescue dogs, and they have been the most loyal, loving pets you could ever imagine.

Anonymous said...

I'm not exactly sure what to write here. I'm reading these comments and a lot of people said things like, "I'm sorry" or "God bless" So, I guess i can say those things to. I'm sorry that Bonny died. God bless her wherever she is. Thay might sound unsympathetic, it wasn't though. I just didn't know how to say it in a way that would sound stupid or uncaring. I guess I didn't accomplish that though...I apologize

Liv said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. My dog died around a month ago from cancer. It's amazing how a dog can become so woven into our everyday lives.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to lose a family member, even the canine. It sounds like bonny brought a lot of happiness to your lives, and you to hers.


Josie said...

My rabbit died the same day. Genghis was a kind and loving rabbit, and perhaps he and your sweet dog will become friends in animal Valhalla.

abscae said...

My family's had two cats (I realize a cat's not the same as a dog, but I believe it's the love that counts) and both died pretty young. Tiger, our orange tabby, died due to a heritable disease and Alice, a greyish/whitish/goldenish tabby, died because of a common cold. Those two times were the two hardest ones in a long time, and it hurt so bad. But I have to admit, the memories I will treasure most about them is when they were running around, having a catty of a ball, and acting like unadulterated kittens.

Rest in peace, sweet Bonny

Suzie Williams said...

Bonnie sounds like an amazing dog and I'm sorry for your loss.

It sounds like she lived a long, wonderful life with your family. May she rest in peace at the Rainbow Bridge.

Anonymous said...

i think you shuld make a book about it. i know that sounds weird but i think u should. it might make things easier or something. i know this is really late, but o well.