Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Grand Dog - Eulogy by the hearts he owned

He was a great friend and a boon companion. I remember my daughter carrying him on her shoulders when he was a pup. I remember his earning my undying admiration when early in our acquaintance our granddaughter, as a toddler, ran across the family room floor and leapt upon him like he was an air mattress. He turned his head and licked her nose, as I recall. The kids used to use his great golden body as a pillow while watching television. He always got the last bite at lunch.

I always wanted a dog I could call, from Herriott, "a great daft bugger." If you never met Casey, he was that and more. Purebread golden retriever, he was a head taller and a body broader than the average of the breed. As old age, arthritis and a thyroid condition robbed him of the speed and agility of youth, he got greater and dafter, and more loveable. He was the kindest, gentlest, most patient dog -- except when you were trying to groom him. And even though he didn't play like he used to, chasing rocks and sticks, he was always a comforting presence.

At one time, we had two dogs: Casey and Mary Ann. Mary Ann was small, in counterpoint to Casey's bulk. We called them "Big Dog" and "Little Bit." They were the best of chums. When Little Bit passed on a couple of years ago, we worried about Casey. He mourned his friend for a couple of days until Moose, the grand cat, adopted him. For the past two years they have been the inseparable "blonde boys." It was always a hoot to see Moose curled up in the protective embrace of Casey's loving arms.

I think the only thing we won't miss is his middle of the night barking. My wife, the lighter sleeper between us, always had the duty.

Lately, he's been lethargic, full of tumors, and had difficulty getting up. Yesterday he opened up a tumor on his right foreleg, making it bleed. On our way to the vet, we hadn't decided whether to treat him or grant him. He made the decision when he couldn't get up and walk from the lobby to the treatment room. At 130 pounds and over 12 years of age, he was too much to carry around.

My wife came home from work to see me through it. Thank you.

When Lazarus died, Jesus wept. As Casey went to sleep, I wept.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me this time with a companion who taught me a little bit of how to love You and trust You. I pray that letting him go at this time was the kindest thing I could do for him, and within Your will. Reunite him with his friend Little Bit, and introduce him to Sammy and Charlie, who went before him as your messengers of love and acceptance in our house.

Well done, good and faithful friend.

July 25, 2007

and so we are gathered to remember another good friend to the Malone family:
Casey "Big Dog" Malone
lover of kids, dads, cats and meatball sandwiches.
i, personally, will miss his tail, which would jump up and down in hope and anticipation no matter his state of health or age, whenever anyone walked in the door.
i will remember Casey creeping ever so closer to the edge of the table as my sandwich got smaller. casey's hot breath on my thigh during summer picnics and the drool that would enevitably end up on my jeans. and the times i was lucky enough to be wearing shorts...
i will remember playing catch with him throughout the years, and more point, walk and toss again as he got older. i will remember toys absolutely shredded in hours of bringing home and tossing out the back door.
i will remember dad and the longest army green leash i have ever witnessed when dad actually believed he was going to train a dog to obey his vocal commands to heal and fetch.
i will remember dad saying "we'll give him a place to stay *until he finds a permanent home*" full-well knowing that Casey had already found one.
i will remember my peculiar obsession with blowing into Casey's nose to listen to his lips flap against his jaw. i don't know why, but it still makes me giggle just to think of it.
and i will always remember his large eyes looking up to anyone he loved [and who didn't that dog love?] as if to say "you want to pet me? don't you? go ahead. you can pet me."
he was a good servant, an incredible pet and the best friend anyone could ask for.
we did him well.


1 comment:

Janet Szabo said...

Fran, what a beautiful tribute. Casey sounds like a wonderful dog. Hugs to you as you celebrate his life.