On Monday, I said goodbye (for now) to my sweet dog Hayden. He was the purest of souls, made entirely of love. I will miss him terribly, but know he is happy and at peace. I saw a cloud yesterday that reminded me of him (albeit with an extra-long tail!). I want to share some pictures from my time with that precious dog. I blogged quite a bit about him, as you might remember. This picture was taken right after a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law that I would adopt Hayden from them. Such a happy moment for me. Soaking up the sunshine. I LOVE these pictures of him. This is how I picture him now, running fast and joyfully. When I would jog around my parents’ backyard in Texas, he would frolic about with me. Soaking up that sunshine again, this time on the move to North Carolina. Being such a wonderful work companion, too. He brought comfort to an awful lot of my church folk on pastoral visits. I took this picture of him his last day when, after feeling so rough, he stood up for just a moment and fluffed up his ears and looked at me with such amazing love. Here is the last picture I took with my little guy before heading to the vet to say goodbye (for now). What an angel. I’ve always loved Mary Oliver, and she had a bichon named Percy, whom she wrote a poem for when he died. I needed to read that today.
For I Will Consider My Dog Percy
For I will consider my dog Percy.
For he was made small but brave of heart.
For if he met another dog he would kiss her in kindness.
For when he slept he snored only a little.
For he could be silly and noble in the same moment.
For when he spoke he remembered the trumpet and when he scratched he struck the floor like a drum.
For he ate only the finest food and drank only the purest of water, yet he would nibble of the dead fish also.
For he came to me impaired and therefore certain of short life, yet thoroughly rejoiced in each day.
For he took his medicines without argument.
For he played easily with the neighbor’s Bull Mastiff.
For when he came upon mud he splashed through it.
For he was an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For he listened to poems as well as love-talk.
For when he sniffed it was as if he were being pleased by every part of the world.
For when he sickened he rallied as many times as he could.
For he was a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For we humans can seek self-destruction in ways he never dreamed of.
For he took actions both cunning and reckless, yet refused always to offer himself to be admonished.
For his sadness though without words was understandable.
For there was nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there was nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he was of the tribe of Wolf.
For when I went away he would watch for me at the window.
For he loved me.
For he suffered before I found him, and never forgot it.
For he loved Anne.
For when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue about whether or not God made him.
For he could fling himself upside down and laugh a true laugh.
For he loved his friend Ricky.
For he would dig holes in the sand and then let Ricky lie in them.
For I often see his shape in the clouds and this is a continual blessing.
Love you, Hayden. Always.