Dear Clancy...

This morning was just like the morning that we lost Clancy James.  It was nearly a fall-like day, the early sun was bright the humidity was low and like usually I walked the rounds on the farm in the early dawn, but this day he was not leading me, and I was alone.  I pass his grave every day and will always take a glance and say “Hi big boy.” but this morning his grave was my first stop.  I did sit in the Adirondack chair and noticed that the mound over his gravesite is smaller as if he is going away, I cried like a child.  

After paying my respects and our daily chat, I walked the walk we often took many times.  He would keep guard and watch and see everything along the way, letting every dog know it was his farm and it was and always will be.  After walking the trails alone I finally came to the “spot” where he died, I had to go no matter how much it hurt. 

I bent down to the exact spot where he took his last breath, touched it and cried like a child again but on bended knees.  

I lost it and asked why, knowing there is no answer and there never will be.  Sitting in the wrought-iron swing under the wisteria, I pondered my thoughts.  I first thought of the exact day that he left and watched him stumble over and take his last breath.  I remembered how magnificent he was in everything, even jumping off the diving board which was the last thing he did.  It was odd, this morning because of the temperature change and cooler weather, a mist rose from the water, and it was beautiful with the sunlight shining through it.  Was he there? I don’t know, but he was in my heart as he always is.

Dear Clancy…
I knew this day was coming and I thought I was prepared for it, but I was wrong  It’s been a year since your death, and subconsciously I would watch the calendar knowing it was coming, wow how time flies.  I want you to know that I love you and you’ll always be by my side.  I will forever be grateful for your love, loyalty, and demeanor that you had and shared.  You have changed the lives of everyone you have ever touched, and your spirit will continue to.  I just wanted you to know, but I think you already do.  I love you.

By now, you must know that there is always a goodbye hovering in the shadows of a dog. We are never here for long, or for long enough. We were never meant to share all of your life, only to mark its passage. We come and we go. We come when we are needed. We leave when it is time. Death is necessary. It defines life.
I will see you again.
I will watch over you.
I do not morn or grieve, but I will miss standing beside you, bound together on our walks through life, even as I know that there is a long line of others waiting to take my place and stand with you.
Thank you. It was nothing but a gift.
And finally, I ask these things of you:
Remember me.
Celebrate me.
Grieve for me.
And then, when you can, let me go, freely and in peace.   Jon Katz

As I write this, a dog that was given up by his owner that had fallen on hard times is by my side.  He was just staying one night because he was being transferred to a Border Collie Rescue in New York that originally re-homed him and he was going back, and we were the layover.  I had stopped typing to wipe my face because of the tears, he knew something was wrong and wiggling his head under my armrest and laying his head on my leg was something I have seen before from my Clancy.  He repositioned himself and put his two paws on my chair arm and pressed his head into my chest, he knew I was hurting and was trying to help me, and he did.  I cradled his face and looked into his eyes and said “I love you Clancy”  he licked my tears and put his head into my chest…How do they know?  At two o'clock today, Elaine has decided that we will be sitting in the wrought iron swing under the wisteria at the time he left us.  I’m sure we will speak of him and the things he did and gave us, but I’m telling you, it will be hard…

We all have a Clancy, you just need to find him inside your dog, I promise he’s there… I saw it today from a dog I had never met before.  Thank you, Clancy, my big “Clancy Man.”  It's ten minutes till 2, that dreadful time.  We're off to the "spot".  It draws us.  Ken