Tribute to an old friend


A couple of weeks ago, our old friend Scout the Dog went on her way to whatever place God has set aside for beloved pooches. She belonged to our friend Boo, my apple-picking buddy. She lived a good long life, accompanying Boo through many years and changes. She was a young-ish dog when we first met her, in the late 1990s, and she lived to welcome and be a good first dog to Boo’s kids.

Tilt and I each lived with Boo and Scout for about two years, in our sequential stints at our friends D&M’s cooperative house in Chapel Hill. Scout was a good housemate. She was deeply devoted to Boo (and then, when he came along, to Boo’s boyfriend and then husband), so she was always a little glum when Boo wasn’t around, but she was good company anyway. She liked to sit in laps, and she had a famous knack for putting one small hard paw right on a person’s bladder. Scout especially liked to curl up in bed with anyone who happened to be sleeping. Boo had a job for a while where she had to get up very early, and when Boo left, Scout would come scratch at my door. When I let her in, she would come crawl in bed with me and keep sleeping until I got up. She liked to burrow down under the blankets to the very foot of the bed – we always wondered how she could breathe.

Seems like a lot of good old dogs have been saying goodbye lately. Our friend Steve’s dog Jasmine is gone now, and my cousin* Shadows and Light bid farewell to her beloved Scamp last month. Letting go of these old friends is hard for their humans. We’ve always tended to overlap dogs, in my family of origin, so I hardly even know what it’s like to have a dog welcoming you at the door one day, then no dog the next. But all these dogs lived to ripe old ages, and died peaceful deaths, attended by people who loved them. I can’t be too sad about deaths like that. May we all be so blessed.


* Technically, Shadows and Light is Tilt’s cousin, but I ran into her at the Episcopal Church’s national General Convention last summer, which I think indicates a deep spiritual kinship transcending any lack of blood ties.


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