One year ago today I took my dog, the Mighty Gu to the vet for what I thought was a digestive issue. Sadly, it turned out that the Gu had a developed a sudden, serious heart condition. The soft spoken Dr. Davidson spent almost an hour with me talking about the nature of her heart issues and how this diagnosis will affect the Gu's quality of life. In a nutshell, Gu's heart was filling up with fluids and she had at best a few more days to live. I was shocked , because Gucci had gone almost overnight from being one of the most animated delicious dogs into one that just wanted to sleep on her bed.
So I made the difficult decision to put her down, as the doctor suggested. Gucci had many adventures in her lifetime; she was in a Shad music video, she almost drowned in a river in Stowe, Vermont. I will never forget my shouting to the Mighty Gu, "Gucci, you can make it! Just keep climbing!" She has made literally thousands of women, men and children smile and squeal with the pure delight of her radiant presence.
Some people are afraid to own a pet because of the inevitable pain of their death, but for me, I would never trade my grief for a Gu-less life. She was very sickly when I first rescued her and Dr. D was not certain she would make it; but I knew that this dog was a fighter and not only was she going to make it; she was going to have the best doggie life possible and for almost nine years; she did.
I know that Gucci is now with St. Francis and they are playing Frisbee together, Francis furtively feeding the Mighty Gu some liver from his secret stash deep inside his robes.
Gucci Love, I thank you for opening my heart and teaching me about the true meaning of unconditional love. Our souls will always be together, I in this world ; you in the other; until we are reunited again.
What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It's full tonight.
So we go
and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself
thinking how grateful I am for the moon's
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were just as
as the perfect moon.
"The Sweetness of Dogs" by Mary Oliver