the dogs

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What made the tufts of grass
so wonderful I couldn't say.
To me, as always, it was merely grass,
but especially on that last walk,
she studied it
with such care that you could almost
imagine that she guessed
the meaning of life in those sprigs of grass.
Did she feel death or something
terrible coming, and every aroma on every blade
suddenly became the finest in her life?
Or could she lose herself
in a timeless moment, and hold death
at bay by concentrating hard enough?
At any rate, time was short
that day, and we had to hurry on, though I
promised her there would be other walks. Death
made that a lie, and now I wonder how she knew.

– Randy Wilson
Mazie lost her sight at about two years, and lost her eyes at ten. And with the rough and tumble of a gang of dogs vying for attention and within the rattle and drone of everyday life, Mazie's natural tendency to hang back meant that often I didn't have much opportunity to interact personally and individually with her, although with so many dogs to care for, that was a general problem as well, and not just unique to Mazie.

But after Manda died, Vonnie and Mazie were the only old ones left alive, and since Vonnie didn't much enjoy walks, suddenly Mazie and I had plenty of time to take nice, long, peaceful, satisfying walks together, which we continued to take advantage of after she was diagnosed with lymphoma in October of 2000, right up until the day before she died on April 11, 2001. These times were beyond price.

Photo by Bryan Stover. Thanks, Bryan.