A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Requiem for Chester



I lost a friend of 13 years tonight. Chester was my Golden Retriever.
He was a kind of retro-hippie type dog, happy go lucky. He was always willing to forgive the errors of my ways. I met him when I ran over him with my VW bus in 1992. I went back to check on him, and when I opened the door to the VW bus, he jumped in. He was covered with ticks, burs, was wet and stunk like hell. More like a sasquatch than a dog. It appeared he had been living on his own for quite a while. I took him to the vet, patched him up, ran an ad in the newspaper. Nobody answered, so we became pals and he decided to move in.
He lived with me, watched over me, tried to steer me right, and taught me the value of love and devotion for thirteen years. He picked out my wife for me, and he protected my daughter from what he feared most, thunder. He was innately everything I would like to be remembered for. Brave, intelligent, loving. A noble beast.

My daughter and I composed a song for him a few years back.

He's Chester the Wonder Dog,
He goes through rain or sleet or fog.
He never gives up,
He never gets down,
He's Chester the Wonder Dog!

He was indeed a wonder. While I was typing up my last entry in this blog, Chester placed his head on my knee to say goodbye. The old "golden nudge". Then he went and laid down beside my wife and daughter. He died quietly and without pain. After he died tonight, I buried him. Outside our window, so he will always be near. He would like that. I need that. He was my Dog.

"Old GreybeardTears & Laughter" by Gene Hill.

He's just my dog. He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds.

He has told me more than a thousand times over that I am his reason for being -- by the way he rests against my leg, by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile, by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along
to care for me).

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another person.

With him, I am all powerful. He has taught me the meaning of devotion in loyalty itself. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.

He has promised to wait for me ... whenever ... wherever ... in case I need him, and I expect I will, as I always have.

Who is he?

He's just MY DOG!

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11 Comments:

Anonymous ericn said...

its 11pm and I just got off of work. I think Ill take my dog to the park.

those are the dogs you keep in your heart forever.

ericn

12:50 AM  
Blogger LDF said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

I just discovered your blog today, and was impressed with what I have read so far. I'll be back for more soon.

Keep up the good work!

1:43 AM  
Anonymous c. delancy said...

Godspeed Chester

6:55 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

Dammit, I'm not in the habit of crying this early in the morning...

I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

7:19 AM  
Blogger Cowboy Blob said...

Dude, that was beautiful. Sorry for your loss. Now it's time to squeeze the weasels.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Words fail me today. I know how you feel.

There's an old folk song that goes "when I get to heaven, first thing I'll do, is grab my horn, and blow for Blue."

Chester will be waiting, when you get there, too.....

1:00 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

May Chester's heaven be full of squirrels.
Take care,
BH

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

I've dedicated this week's Carnival of the Dogs to Chester :)
Thank you for sharing him with us.r

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

My heart goes out to you. I too have had to say good bye to dogs that I have loved. I understand how difficult it is.

Your post is a wonderful tribute to Chester.

I would like to leave you with this quote:

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."
Irving Townsend

11:30 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. This post is a wonderful tribute to Chester.

1:09 PM  

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