The Last Wagon Ride

Occasionally I see people pulling a utility wagon with a large dog on it in a park.   It is a lovely sight.  It shows how much the human loves the dog.  Walking is our most important time together.  Many of us become very attuned to our dog.  We are like two energy body tethered to each other and eventually become one.  When a large dog loses mobility due to age, some of us would do anything to make up for it.

However, I rarely see the same wagon with a dog again.  I had been wondering what happened to the wagon.

Now I know.

My 80+lb dog started to refuse walking more than a block.  He wanted to go out and walked several yards to finish his business.  Then he turned around and went home.  Sometime I could entice him to walk around the block, but not to the dog park he used to love to go.  The weather was great and I wanted him to spend some time in the dog park, where he was loved by senior humans.  I thought for a while and decided to buy a utility wagon.

Every morning for a couple of weeks, I put him on the wagon and pulled it to the park.  He walked around, got treats from his friends and lay down. Then I put him back on the wagon and pulled it back to home.  It was a physical work.  People loved to see him on the wagon looking around.  “My dog has a chauffeur,” I told them.  He looked happy and content.

Then my dog suddenly collapsed in my apartment.  He defecated unusual amount of poop.  He lost control of his lower body and rolled on his feces.  I didn’t think any taxi would take a poop covered dog, so I put him on the wagon and pulled him to the ER for 20 some blocks.  On the way to the ER, I promised him I wouldn’t let him suffer.

Long story short, I took him home and spent a night with him.  The next day I took him for his last wagon ride.  It broke my heart but I knew it when I ordered the wagon.

He didn’t suffer and he passed in my arm.

With my last dog and cat, I let them suffer because I couldn’t let them go in time.  Not this time.  It was the gift only I could give him.

Then I realized that it was how I wished I would go.   Unfortunately being human, only I can give the gift to myself.

Layer of Touch

I wish I had a lover who would allow me to touch.

A quiet night in early summer I would lay you down on the slightly wet grass

My hands will follow the lead of your skin

To the superficial fascia that stores the sorrow and joy of your being and that

Forms your form you present to everybody else but to me.

Lead my hands, My Love, toward your deep fascia that holds

The strength and vulnerability of your physical being.

My hands travel over the ever-changing topology of your muscles

In awe of a wayfarer who has found the land of grace nobody ever touched.

My hands are a witness of the grace unfolding

Layer by layer you allow me to touch,

And then I hold your heart in my hands

And dance the heart dance to the beat of our heart.

Then I will let you go, My Love,

Your peaceful skelton to the waves of the ocean that caress the sands

Where our castles once were.

I had the most profound learning experience in Integral Anatomy Workshop.  This poem is dedicated to “Tony” and  Dr. Gil Hedley and Somanauts.