Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tim's Tribute: My Friend

In Memory of Elvis Bogart Wales
July 2, 2000 - July 29, 2013
Monday evening I said good bye to the person who I originally described as "my dog who is my friend" but became "my friend who happens to be a dog." Elvis was low on energy yesterday and did not have interest/energy to get into the car for a ride this morning. So I called the vet and made an appointment for after work. Having a strong sense that this might be the end, I took him to work with me - he... spent the day resting in the car - - his favorite place. I had lunch with him, visited him several times, and he ate a bit of my banana bread - his favorite.

The vet looked him over, took an x-ray, and found huge cancer inside - likely on the spleen and starting to spread. I was surprised by the cancer, but not by the terminal nature of his condition. I was with him when he was injected and died.

What a guy - - what a friend. What a great 12 years we had together.   Realizing the timelines, I had been concerned that I might lose Elvis and my parents close together. He died two years after them. His death and the death of my parents produced a "good grief" -- a grief that is expected and "should be". It's a grief that in a strange way deepens and is even "life giving" - much as Jesus' parable of the seed that must die in order to give life back.

I had no intention of getting a dog when Elvis and I met. He came into my life and enriched it and together we enriched many others. I now will "do him honor" by waiting for another such enrichment. Likely not another dog since commuting 30 miles to work may preclude that. But maybe something else just as great and just as unexpected. Life is rich - in joy and in grief.

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