Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Feeling (for) Blue

My dog is my companion, the constant who is with me while the rest of the household scurries about with their lives. He listens to my useless, baby talk blabber without judgement, takes me on walks every day, keeps me grounded and disciplined. Together we traverse the neighborhood soaking in the coolness of summer mornings and warmth of winters’ afternoon sun. On these walks we encounter wildlife in their habitat, listen to the incessant chatter of birds, stop to smell the proverbial roses (and sometimes real ones too), or admire a neighbor’s garden. Our paths vary daily, based on what Jazz’s nose picks up in the air – to pay our respects to an unfortunate squirrel that came to an untimely demise crossing the road, or to follow the track of a neighborhood bunny, or to just follow the scents of other dogs. Our steps are determined, yet leisurely as we admire the beauty of the blue above and greenery scattered around the concrete and brick. Our mission is to seek out hidden sounds of nature while trying to drown out the rude noises of aircrafts, cars, lawnmowers and the like.

The routines of twice daily walks are refreshing welcome to my otherwise fluid days. His stubbornness, the prance in his step, the unsuccessful chases of small creatures, all these I will miss. You see, my dog, this beautiful creature who is my best friend, who gives me unconditional love, tolerates me without any judgement, my constant companion, has cancer. Surgery has bought him time, but not long enough.

After he is gone, what will I jump out of bed early for every morning or be dragged away from my screens for his daily walks, who will sit on my lap or paw me to demand love, how will I stay disciplined? Who will make me feel needed? Cuddle time, baby talk, being silly, rough housing, unsure whether to laugh or be angry at a naughty behavior, all these things will fade away from my life after he is gone. How can I keep him with me forever?

So I heard on the radio this morning – I can clone my dog! Yes, I can keep him with me for always. Isn't that just dandy? I can have my cake and eat it too. Jazz can live with me forever. Except, it won’t be him but one that looks and behaves exactly like him. The clone may even get cancer like him, but it won’t be my Jazz.

I love my dog, there’s no doubt about it. But isn’t an important part of love, letting go? Jazz, my handsome, stubborn, sweet, regal, blue beagle will always be one of a kind, and even though he will not be with me for much longer, he will forever be in my heart. No cloned version can replace my Jazz!