Bye, buddy


May 17, 2000 ~ May 14, 2017


I am suddenly jealous of anyone whose dog dies abruptly and young, because although they felt a different kind of pain, this was the kind of long goodbye they never had to say.

We were improved, indeed, by Cagney’s presence in our life. Dogs are not human, like spouses, children, or close friends, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have important roles in our existence. Cagney and I found each other at a moment when it seemed we both were destined to be strays, and in an instant, we were not strays anymore. We learned trust, found a home, and made a good team. We saved each other.

Very soon, he’ll find a sunny place to lie on our Hill Country place, and we’ll come to feel his presence more than we feel his absence.

But as fate would have it, a human friend—a gentle soul—also died this weekend, and it comforts me to think maybe they’ll find each other. Cagney was good company.


I will lend to you for awhile a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives 
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for 12 or 14 years, or maybe for 2 or 3
But will you, till I call him back,
take care of him for me?