|This is Tasha, my Sheltie. She was born in the Summer of 1990 and lived to the age of 15. She was my best and truest friend and I loved her very much. She shared my home and the crusts of my sandwiches. She rode happily in my pickup truck and kept me company on stormy nights. She loved tummy rubs, getting brushed, the ocean, the park, cookies, and me. I didn't deserve to have her, and I didn't deserve to lose her. This dog was wonderful, beautiful, elegant and cheerful. No human has been more tolerant of my defects of character, or more inspiring of my love. I will miss her forever.|
|On August 12, 2005, just before 6pm, my Tasha went on ahead up the path. She was only 15, just had her birthday. She was with me 14 years, but she was still my puppy. I'm incredibly grateful to God for the gift of her life and companionship, but it wasn't nearly enough time. I would have spent the rest of my life with that dog by my side, riding shotgun in my pickup, listening to me read my poems ... I guess that's not the deal, is it? We have to give them back, after such a little while, pay with a broken heart, and start over. In time.
Tasha had CRF -- Chronic Renal Failure -- but that was under control with sub-q fluids, herbs and acupuncture. She was blind and had a stroke, was losing herself, having panic attacks, trouble standing and walking, was disoriented. I had to let her go. Worst, most terrible, most selfless and loving thing I've ever done. I'll never forgive myself, except that it was exactly the right and good and loving thing to do. See? Heartbreak makes lots of sense.
I've known a lot of great dogs, and I've always felt loved by them. Dogs make me feel special, accepted. But Tasha was the first that was truly and completely Kyle's Dog. She wanted nothing more than to be with me, anywhere, anytime. No human has ever been that loyal and unconditional.
I'll always remember, back in the years when she could jump up on my bed and sleep by my feet, that often she would creep up beside me in the dark. I would put my hand on one of her front paws, and she'd lay the other on top of my hand. And so we would sleep. Some men might think that's pretty sissy, but I felt like a man in the world, protected and true to those who love and trust me. If a man can't be trusted to take care of those who are little and vulnerable, he's not much in my book.
I am very sad. I have no dog now to keep me company and the nights are long. If I had a sandwich, there's no one to share the crusts. No reason to take up a leash and go out in the night, smell the breath of the ocean. (Except that my folks' Happy comes to spend the night from time to time.) So I'm heartbroken, but Tasha is/was worth it, and that's the price. I'd pay it again, and I will. There's another little one who needs me. In time.
|Tasha eating a cookie on her birthday,
August 6, 2005
Click here or on the image to watch
a movie of Tasha eating her cookie
|1990 - 2005|