"For, nature is not always tricked in holiday attire, but the same scene which yesterday breathed perfume and glittered as for the frolic of the nymphs, is overspread with melancholy today. Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it. Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. The sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We said goodbye to an old, dear friend yesterday, the day it rained in Kiambu. She was 50% Corgi, 50% Beagle, and 100% "I don't give a damn because I know I'm so fabulous." We adopted her in Nashville in 2002. She would have been 15 years old this August.
Enough about me, she would have hated hearing about my feelings (booooring!). Let's talk about her.
She was smart. When we adopted her, she came pre-programmed with the standard "Sit. Stay. Come. Don't pee in the house." So I taught her how to roll over. And then I taught her how to die a dramatic death on her back when I formed my fingers into a gun and pointed them at her and said "BANG!" She really was quite dramatic about it. Not because she grasped the existential meaning of being shot and facing her final moments, but because she never wanted to do the trick yet still felt obligated to comply. She looked pathetic.
She was more popular in our student organization than me. I'd let her loose in the building when I arrived for meetings and would lose track of her for a few hours while she wandered into different rooms full of people. During our all-member meetings, she somehow knew to sit still and pay attention. She'd pick an empty chair next to someone and hop up and sit for a while, until the thought of licking the kitchen floor became more interesting than the speaker. One of my friends even found a dog sweater that matched our organization's jersey, and Mabel always wore it with pride.
She shed. A LOT. After college, my friend and I shared a room in an old house that had a window A/C unit. At night, it would circulate the air around in such a way that if you sat up on your elbows in bed, you would get a face-full of dog hair within seconds. Mabel also snored like a grown man. But she also was great with kids. In fact, she was great with all people; she'd go home and live happily ever after with anyone if she could. One morning in college, I didn't keep a close enough eye on her and she wandered off. A few minutes later, a large, burly, bearded man in a hoodie came stumbling sleepily towards my apartment. He was cradling Mabel in his arms like a baby and Mabel was looking quite smug and satisfied with herself. She sauntered back into my apartment without so much as a "thank you" to the nice man.
Here are a few of her other hobbies:
|Playing in the Snow|
|Pretending not to notice french fries|
|Long walks on the beach|
Mabel, I hope you know how well-loved you were, and still are, by all of us. I'm so glad we got thirteen wonderful years together. The world, which had seemed at my fingertips just a week ago, seems a little less grand now that I know you're not in it anymore.
I'll miss you. You were a very good dog.