Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Day After

One day down.......... twenty something thousand or so more days to go. I like to believe that when we die we get to see the people and animals we have loved during our life once again. I think I believe we do, but at a time like this, I would like more proof.

Well, the house is clean again and rid of all the signs of a sick dog. The pee pads have been put away. Dog beds are back where they belong. The ex pen is out of the kitchen. Everything looks normal again except there should be a red boy lying behind me as I type this..... maybe he is, but I just can't see him. I have been thinking about this all day and maybe Travis simply wasn't built for old age. Maybe his plan all along was to sneak out while he was still on top. For the last year, I had told my agility friends that if they ever saw Travis jump funny or studder step to please let me know. I did not want to be one of those competitors that continue to run their dogs long after the dog should have retired. But Travis never faltered. His agility work never changed. He loved every second of it.

One thing that I really loved about Travis is that he always ran like it mattered. Even when we were training alone in the backyard, he ran like he was always trying to beat the clock. Some dogs run better in certain settings. They run well at home, but are nervous at a trial. Or just the opposite like my Teresa. Teresa said to heck with the at home practice. She loved the trials and the people watching her. But Travis was always the same dog. It didn't matter if we were indoors or out. It didn't matter how the judge dressed, where he or she stood, or if the judge was male or female. To Travis, "what judge? I didn't see a judge." He was always so focused. When you stepped into the ring with him, it didn't matter what was going on outside of the ring because we never saw it. When we stepped into the ring, only he and I existed. The world was shut out.

I also really loved his head. He had this big, beautiful head. His forehead was quite broad and he had this huge black nose he would rest on the crate bars so you could see his front teeth. I always wondered if he did that on purpose to get my attention. But his big head was all in proportion to his body. His lips were so pliable. You could stretch them far out to the side so he would look like he was in a wind tunnel...... and that curled tail. I loved his curled tail and his "furry hams". No bald thighs for Travis. Most of all, he has the most beautiful,ageless eyes.

Reagan has some big paw prints to follow in. I'm not sure I'll every touch that kind of success again, but I'm sure going to try. I don't want all that Travis taught me to go to waste.

I have put in a request for no drama for 12 months. I simply can't take anymore. I've asked for no paralysis, no illness, no amputations, no bone cancer scares, and so on. I want 12 months of peace.