Gary heard Jack was making his last trip to the veterinarian, so he stopped last Friday to say goodbye and to comfort me. “The only thing I can say is what my vet told me when he put our dog to sleep,” Gary said. “He told me, ‘You’re sad, but I’m not. Because I know this dog was loved. People bring me dogs all the time to put down because they just don’t want them any more.’ ”
As he spoke we looked across the lawn. Jack had lain down facing us in the grass, under the shade of a massive ginkgo tree. Everything has flowered at once this glorious spring—even the dogwoods and the redbuds together—and the breeze was perfumed with the mingled scent of lilac and crabapple blossoms. An acquaintance had just told me, “I’m from New England and we lived in Hawaii. There’s nothing like Ohio in Spring. You have to pay attention, because once it’s gone, that’s it.”
We buried Jack the next afternoon in the backyard between two aged crabapple trees, their limbs a bower of airy white blossoms. He was an old dog, at thirteen, but he was a little dog and we thought we’d get more years.