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Old 06-09-2016, 05:22 AM   #11
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Post Echoing Memories...

Originally Posted by Gatto Nero View Post
Great story and timely for us. We had to put our "Dwarf Lab", Eddy down just yesterday after 14 great years. He was my youngest daughter's 10th birthday gift. It's amazing what those little guys mean to the family and how much it hurts to lose them. My daughters took the day off from work yesterday to be with my wife and I when we took him to the vet. Together we made a tribute video to him, as much for our own therapeutic reasons as anything else.
I watched your video-tribute, and noticed how much your "Dwarf Lab" resembled our mini-dachshunds. (Even to the toed-out feet and "studied" demeanor). While I'm not much on writing essays, your video reminded me of a tribute I'd made to a mini-dachshund I'd been given as a puppy after my four-year stint as a Communications Technician in the US Navy:

My old dog Fritz stood by the front door after his dinner.

It was the "wrong" door: We had a perfectly good back door with only a single step into a huge fenced-in yard . Fritz was 16 years old -- blind -- and three years past having heard anything at all. Sensing my approach, he wagged his tail as best he opened the door he had selected. He waddled down the four steps into a darkness that was equally black to both of us.

He wouldn't want to go far... the yard was wet and, though this was Florida, a very cold, windy, drizzle had dominated the evening. I left the front door slightly ajar, so Fritz could "nose" his way back inside; after all, he was trusting and trustworthy. A long-distance telephone call from an old friend interrupted.

It was the second call in as many days regarding the U.S. Navy's U.S.S. Stark, patrolling off Iraq's coast. A friend had been aboard the ship participating as a civilian field representative when it was struck by two Iraqi Exocet missiles -- with 27 fatalities.

I couldn't hear the caller very well now, as the rain had become hail -- rattling firmly on the skylights of our cathedral ceiling.

I sat down on the hallway floor, changing to a portable phone on the way. Our friend was, thankfully, uninjured. Comforted by the good news and, after commiserating for a few minutes with the caller, I dropped into my overstuffed chair with relieved thoughts and re-opened my book.

Then came this distant faint wail: "Ah-Oooooooooooo" -- Holy Moly! Fritz!

Fritz' wet footprints were present, but Fritz wasn't on the front porch.

Another "Ah-Oooooooooooo" -- now from next door.

Our neighbors had left on a cruise, and there stood Fritz sitting below a dim porch light -- once again at the wrong door!

I splashed over in cold and wet stocking feet, and scooped up my dog. Fritz was even colder and wetter than I, and seemed to be shivering his last. Getting him home, I firmly rubbed his coat dry with fresh fluffy towels. (My spouse, an RN, had switched on an electric blanket in the guest bedroom -- no small sacrifice on her part).

Under the electric blanket, he gradually regained normalcy -- with his ears actually warm for the first time in years -- and by morning seemed none the worse for the experience.

He continued soldiering on for another six months -- unconditional love personified -- collapsing at last in our hallway.

Two decades later, on a black -- and bitterly cold -- autumn evening at Lake Winnipesaukee, I step out into the blackness to retrieve a few logs for the woodstove. As I pick up the last log, I hear a wail, "Ah-Oooooooooooo".

It is the sad, mournful, voice of a Loon -- of course. "Ah-Oooooooooooo" -- fainter this time.

Arms full, I close the door behind me with my heel, place the logs next to the stove, and dab at my wet eyes with my sleeve.

It's been twenty years, but...

Sounds carry.
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