Monday, June 15, 2009

Farewell to Two Friends

One day, 2 years ago, I passed by a neighbor's house and saw this little dog. He reminded me so much of Harry, our family dog of many years ago. The dog's name, I was told, was Pom-Pom, and I offered to take him for a walk. So began a daily ritual, every morning, to arrive at Mado's door to take Pom-Pom for his pee & poop walk.

Mado, who is 85, had no children and lives alone; she rarely leaves the house. She has difficulty walking. She sits on her little porch with Pom-Pom, taking the sun, listening to her radio, reading, or doing crossword puzzles, watching life go by on the street.

Yesterday I learned that she is being moved, at the end of the month, to an elderly residence, for those who can no longer take care of themselves. Her house will be sold, and her niece, Social Services and concerned neighbors are all scrambling to find a new home for Pom-Pom.

Mado has become very forgetful lately. She does not realize what is happening. It will devastate her not to have her beloved dog with her.

Imagine leaving a house in which you have lived since birth. Eighty-five years of memories in your kitchen, in the views from your windows. Your closest and dearest companion, suddenly gone. You wake up one morning and don't know where you are. Nothing is familiar. Everything you know and love has been suddenly removed and replaced. Strangers surround you... you are no longer in control of your life.

The latest news is that someone in the neighborhood might take Pom-Pom in. I would love to take him, but we already have four cats and it would be impossible. But if he's somewhere in the area, perhaps I will still see him--and Mado will be but a short bike ride away, not far at all.

All things change. Routines get altered, broken, stopped.

How these crazy little creatures, les chiens et les chats, move into our lives and capture our hearts. I say crazy, because they all have their little quirks--some annoying, but most, endearing. Pom-Pom, for example, runs in circles when he's happy. He is the friendliest, most lovable dog I know. I wish I could keep him.

The morning walks will simply not be the same anymore.

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