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Barry Crimmins

words to live near


Lloyd The Dog

Sniffing for hope Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sniffing for hope

Our sweetheart

The story with my blog is simple. I write about what's on my mind. So any writing I do at the present time will somehow reflect what's most important to me: the health of my beloved pal, Lloyd the Dog.

At times like this my patience and attention span for the pettiness, venality and high crimes of politicians and their coterie of pilot fish, reaches absolute zero. If you want someone to refute the details of their daily outrages and hypocrisies this probably won't be the place for you -- at least for the time being. My reason for this is simple: I am barely hanging on. I am so heartsick that exposure to obvious lies, and the low motives that provoke them, could set off nausea and then Lloyd would start worrying about me.

I also need to maintain as positive an attitude as possible. Focusing on the above mentioned self-serving traitors of the public trust can only make me bitter. The few stellar individuals in politics and other walks of public life are not included in my complaint but they require no exemption. As compassionate individuals they understand how people already in agony must remove themselves from noxious environments.

That said, there are other things that one sees with clarity at times of profound sadness. I was walking with Lloyd this morning and although he's slowed down a bit, he was still out-pacing me. He was fully engaged in his daily search for signs of life. It made me realize how much he loves and cherishes his own life. He licks and preens himself several times a day. He gets plenty of rest and drinks only water. He always stretches when he gets up so as to keep himself remarkably limber. Just watching him roll in the grass so as to soak up its varied scents and textures is to learn of a true appreciation for life.

The other morning, before we got the horrible news about his cancer, Karen brought his medical records down to the Bath Animal Hospital. It was very early and there was just one person there, who happened to be walking Lloyd. Karen was shocked at his appearance. Our sweetheart was encumbered in an Elizabethan collar to keep him from gnawing the IV needle from his leg. He could barely walk because his heart was surrounded by fluid that made it impossible to do its job. He didn't even lift his head when Karen petted him. This crushed her, not because of her ego but because she was so sure of Lloyd's love that his failure to respond was cruel proof of just how sick he was. When recounting it to me Karen said, " He didn't even look up, he just kept sniffing the flowers."

How awful. How lovely. Even when he was facing what would have been his last few hours on earth had we not gotten the fluid drained from his heart, he still had the desire to smell and connect with life. He was looking for some kind of hope, some sign of other dogs or creatures, some fragrance from the flower bed that reminded him of those that permeate the beautiful gardens he patiently watches Karen tend. He was looking to find a trail that would lead him from his pain.

So am I, which is why, at least this morning I can't foul my delicate nostrils with the vile stench of the power-hungry and the greedy. I hope you understand.

Barry Crimmins

updated: 15 years ago