Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dog time

Now that I live in a house with a yard and walls at least four feet high, I am only a driveway gate away from partnering with a dog. Looking online and thinking a lot about dogs I find that I think a lot about Duck, Sydney Duck, gone now these forty years. But in order to relate fully to a new canine partner I know I will have to relegate Sydney to a true past tense lest my expectations of the new dog become burdensome and odious.

I guess I need to bury Sydney, which upon his death I didn’t really do. The night that Sydney’s Vet explained the cause of his sudden death, Joe, age 6, and I took Sydney’s lifeless body in a box to the West L.A. trash incinerator compound. I don’t know, but don’t think this environmentally unfriendly operation still exists today. Smoke was pouring into the night air as we approached the gated entry. I told the guard on duty what I needed to do. He passed me through and directed me to an active furnace glowing deep within the complex.

I opened the iron door to the hot, orange flames and tossed Sydney’s makeshift coffin into the fire. That may not seem like much of a disposal, but it was personal. And heartfelt. And then Joe and I went home.

I am going to tell some stories about Sydney on this blog, just a little at a time, from time to time, not really to bury Sydney of course, but maybe to entomb some of my grief in order to find room in my life for another boon companion. I am looking forward to this resolution.

The Kid and Syd in '67

Going through the pictures with Sydney one thing you notice is that he doesn't take much notice of others in the shot. Sydney would never make up or play up to anyone; not even for food and never for affection or attention. And that included me.


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