Jacques, my best friend
Today I am burying him.
He collapsed and died suddenly last night. He’d come down with a killer virus a few days ago. (edit: I now know it was a bacteria called leptospirosis that’s recently come to the Willipa Watershed. I had the wrong vet, the other vet knew and knew enough to make sure her animal clients got a vaccine, so the tragedy of this loss is multiplied by a veteranarian’s lack of professional concern for his role in the community, because the information was out there for him to share with us. Jacques last got his shots just three months before he died. I should have been warned.)
I wrote things about the joy of Jacques and they are precious to me. They
were moments of awakening. This too is that moment. As I process through I realize this is not about me, not even this notion I lost my best friend. What’s irrevocably gone is the joy of life he shared and my ability to share that with him, to continue to support him in his daily adventures on our walks in the woods. I know he had much more to live and I’m sorry for him he can’t do what he loves. It’s trivial that I can’t be a part of that ever again.
Jacques made many friends, and he would have made more if he could have. Even some who didn’t much like dogs loved his spirit, his gentle exuberant presence. He could fill the whole outdoors with his love of life. He was my ambassador of good will where ever we went.
directly with full awareness, not trying to dodge, brings about some of
those richest-of-moments experiences. Sadness is the true essence of life and not to be
avoided. Life is ephemeral. Without sadness there is no treasure.
I give Jacques the gift of my sadness from the depths of my heart. I treasure our friendship. It does not die.
not that I intend to be contrary
It’s just that
Aside from being cursed with this not-wrapped-too-tight mind
Aside from being born under the sign of Libra
With a compulsion to keep everything balanced
I also was born riding my horse backwards
So, if I was a Cheyenne warrior
And in some small diluted part of my past I … well
I’d be a Contrary
As anyone can see it still runs through my family
We do many things backwards
Some days even sanity
So I just don’t agree with your assessment of my friends
And I don’t have a clue to your notion of community
If we can’t be ourselves
Then to say I understand what you are talking about …
well that’s just meaningless
….. And that’s why I have my friend Crazy Dog!
–Ren, December, 2006