Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Funeral Tonight

I thought for sure we'd be having a funeral tonight but no, Pearl is walking around and I gave her some canned (!) dog food and okay, it was the Publix brand but hell- what does she know? and she ate it up and she could go on for another month, I suppose.

Lily brought Owen out to say good-bye when we thought that Pearl was approaching the Pearly Gates (haha!) and although Pearl lay on the chair for awhile and Lily hugged her up, she soon got up and began to follow Owen around as she usually does. She's a tough old thing, this boxer dog of ours. Owen hugged her and played and fed chickens and his Bop was here so he was getting hugs and kisses from all sides and Lily and I laid down with him and I read him books and he covered up and drank a bottle but then he wanted to get up and play some more and so he did.

Lily and Owen and Jessie took my mother out for lunch after her doctor's appointment and I'm sure that pleased her beyond all measure. I went to town and ran errands for hours, sitting impatiently at red lights, but being so happy at the nursery where everything was blooming and the breeze was blowing and the giant, deep wind chimes sounded like Buddha voices and I hated to leave but I had to, you know, after I'd picked out my flowers, my herbs, my eggplants and peppers.

And when I got home, Jessie came out and she helped her daddy in the garden and she's staying for supper, maybe the night.

And then it's TOMORROW that Owen is coming out at eight and so it'll be another full day and I am going to be so glad to get to bed tonight. I am weary to the bone.

But I swear to you- I can't even begin to say how precious it has been today to talk to all of my children, to see some of them and Owen too, for us all to draw together for this old dog so lovingly. I wonder if all the attention she got pulled her back away from death and gave her whatever it was that she needed to get up and eat and go on with life. Perhaps she, like me, feels needed in some way. She shares Owen responsibility with me in her doggy way and she's always loved babies and children more than anything in this world. I surely do not want her to go on living if she's in pain or too confused or unable to enjoy her life but for right now, she seems fine and so she has my full approval.

What a blessing it would be if she just went in her sleep, peacefully, curled up and not even aware of the transition.

And for all of us. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Well, it will be what it is, for Pearl, for me, for you. We can't control how we die, mostly. Oh, I suppose we can to some small degree but for the most part, it will happen as it will and I suppose the important thing is not the way we die but the way we live, and if we are lucky enough to be needed, to be part of a group of people, whether blood-family or friend-family, whom we love and who love us, who come together for births and deaths and sometimes just to dye Easter Eggs or to sit on the porch, well, we're lucky.

And you know me. I am.

Unbelievably and sometimes almost unfathomably... lucky.


  1. A beautiful post and a lovely tribute to sweet Pearl. She's lucky to have you and you her.

  2. I'm glad to hear she's doing better than originally thought. I had to be there for Guinness when he went, for all the love he gave me I owed him that much, but he wasn't going to be able to go peacefully in his sleep either. The hardest choice I have ever made, but the biggest show of love I could have ever given to him. I'm still thinking good thoughts for you and yours, and of course for Pearl.

  3. Yea, Harley and I came by to pay our respects and were delighted at Ms Pearl's come back!

    She's such a good ole girl.


  4. you can't imagine how much these words mean to me on this day.

    glad you are all holding each other.

    off to watch the rest of 'cat on a hot tin roof', to which i fell asleep last night.


  5. I suppose the important thing is not the way we die but the way we live, and if we are lucky enough to be needed, to be part of a group of people, whether blood-family or friend-family, whom we love and who love us, who come together for births and deaths and sometimes just to dye Easter Eggs or to sit on the porch, well, we're lucky.--

    Oh, that is just perfect and exactly it. Holy mackerel, I'm glad I found you from Maggie's page. You're good reading after a long day of grading and convincing college students that women, in fact, have identities. Sigh. Thanks.

  6. Mel- You should have seen her begging for chicken tonight. And of course, she got some. What the hell?

    Mr. Mischief- I know. It IS the hardest thing ever to make that decision. You're so sweet to keep checking in. Thank-you.

    Ms. Fleur- Mr. Moon said y'all came by. I'm glad you did!

    Nicol- Yep. Death put off another day. And it was a good one.

    Maggie May- Well, she's losing weight so fast she can't go on forever but she sure is eating.

    adrienne- I'm so glad. Enjoy your movie and then sweet dreams, dear girl.

    Sara- Welcome, welcome! Please come back and play with us. We do have some fun.

  7. Dear sweet senile Pearl. It's amazing the healing power of peanut butter, bananas and little boys.

    Like you, my hope for any of my pets (and myself too) is to just go to sleep and not wake up. Now that's a true blessing!

  8. I'm so glad to hear the old girl is doing all right for the time being.

    Also? LOVE your new header. What an amazing shot.

  9. Yes, it will happen as it will. Glad to hear Pearl's better. I imagine she gave Owen a ton of joy and memories.

  10. I hope poor old Pearl goes in her sleep, too. Although it must be somewhat confusing to pass that way. Have you ever thought about that? I have. If someone I loved died in their sleep, I would feel compelled to shout: YOU ARE DEAD NOW. GO TO THE LIGHT! GO TO THE LIGHT! or some shit like that. I wouldn't want them to be confused about the situation. That could be horrifying.

    I, too, thought of the bad Pearl/Pearly Gates pun, and I also thought of entitling a post: PEARL DEATHWATCH 2011, but I thought it would be in bad taste.

  11. Mel's Way- Pets or people. I would wish it for all of us.

    notjustafemme- Pretty subjects make pretty pictures.

    Angie M- Maybe that's it- Pearl's living long enough so that Owen will remember her. Nice thought...

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- You make me laugh so much. I think it would be the right thing to do if someone died in their sleep to yell at them to go for the light. Excellent idea. Hospice may already employ this technique. And if you want to do a Pearl death watch, I won't complain. Not like I have any taste when it comes to things like that. I'm one step up from trailer trash and pretty proud of it.

  12. To die peacefully, that's a big wish I have for all of us ~ pets, people, wild animals.

    Go in peace when you are ready, dear old Pearl.

  13. oh, my
    I missed all of this...
    poor sweet Pearl.

  14. We don't get to choose how we go. I have let the dogs tell me when they are ready. Sometimes I held on too long. But when they are eating and drinking water and still moving, then they still are okay. I am glad that Pearl is still here.

  15. Ohhh Mary! It's so sad when you lose an animal. Pearl looks so lovely and happy in that picture. I hope when she goes it is in her sleep. She is lucky to have you xx


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