Puppy Love 25


Grief aged Miss Molly. Maybe she wanted to hurry time so she could join her mate sooner. Her sad eyes drew me in.

“You won’t always be apart,” I said, “and when you’re together again, it will be in a place with no time, for all time.”

Lucas knew Crackers’ turn would be soon. He and Caleb were litter-mates, after all.


Since Bartholomew, we’ve always had at least one dog who liked to sing. Emery’s keeping the choral tradition going.


While the household mourned Caleb, he sang soulful songs. Have you heard a dog sing “Swing Low?” It’s enough to make you long for that chariot to come soon.


Dustin tried to cheer up his uncle. I could see that Crackers’ old joints weren’t up for  a game of pounce, and neither was his spirit.


I wonder sometimes what Lucas learns about form and formlessness, about the slow grinding passage of time, about the quiet stillness of the timeless moments. Watching so many of his four-legged friends move on has got to be changing him in some way.

The crack of thunder–the smell of sulfur–the rising column of ash: Does Lucas think, Here we go again? Or does the out-of-time profundity still make him stop in his tracks?


A passing is both sacred and everyday. But, no matter how often it happens, it is in no way mundane.


I never tire of the rising of spirit. Something in me rises, too.


I never weary of the silent witnessing. Somehow, this sacred duty makes us stronger. It quickens the living to the passing moments. It reminds those passed of what they’ve left.


I don’t know why sadness accompanies this–at least for those of us who come from the After. I understand the sorrow of those left behind, for they don’t know what waits, what lasts.


I understand their anger, too.


Emery and Dustin, like two white sentinels, flanked Nibbler, the beagle who, with Bobie, started this long line.


The flash! The light. Emery and Dustin shared a glance.


They watched the greedy shepherd to ensure he handed Crackers’ light-sphere to me.


I received him, to set him free. Where we are, there is no time. There is all time. There is no space. There is infinite space.


We roam through no dimensions. We wander all dimensions. This is all true, simultaneously. We can’t keep dichotomy, and that’s why we have no form but the memory of who we once were.

Dustin doesn’t understand, but Emery, I suspect, does.


And Chloe doesn’t care. She’s seen the robed one often enough to have lost all fear. While he lingered to watch the old movies on the TV, she joined him. I don’t suppose he understands dog. But if he did, he’d know that she was asking him whose turn was next, and when it would be her turn.


She offered him friendship. And, as few are brave or cheerful enough to befriend Death, he accepted.

I’ve stolen a glance at his ledger. I know he’ll visit a few more times before he comes for her.

How can it be that the divide between form and formlessness becomes such a barrier, such an ultimate separation?

For Chloe, it’s nothing to fear.

For Emery, I suspect, it’s not a barrier that’s real. And there between the sadness, bravery, and wisdom, extends Emery’s view, which, I suspect, lies closest to the truth.


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