Eulogy for my Poet

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.
-Irving Townsend

Faulkner came into my life four years ago and has been ripped out of it all too soon. In the spring of 2004, we travelled to Madisonville to collect Fidel, a five week old Manchester Terrier we had planned to adopt. While waiting for paperwork and vaccines to be completed, little Faulkner (3 months old at the time) courted me with the vigilance of a Shakespearean hero- a pleading look, a rub against my legs, a kiss on the hand. It took all of ten minutes for me to fall in love with him, and it became inevitable that we would be taking two dogs home with us that day- baby Fidel and my poet, Faulkner. He was so handsome and so sensitive- and though I realize it is in our nature to anthropomorphize our pets, I have never known a more empathic creature than my dear Faulkner.

The breeder intimated that Faulkner had been rescued from a potentially abusive situation. Quick to cower and nervous about new people, this was not difficult to believe. His innocent anxiety and eagerness to please tugged on my heartstrings, and I vowed to do absolutely everything I could to make him feel all the love I could manage. Doting on him day and night, I was oftentimes accused of favoritism- an unfair accusation, since my behavior was in response to a need I saw in him. And eventually, Faulkner grew more confident and comfortable in his world.

At the dog park, Faulkner would choose the biggest and boldest dogs as his playmates. Proud and newly confident, he equated himself with the likes of German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers- dogs two, three, and four times his size. He was mischievous. Not particularly interested in playing fetch, he did, however, love the game of taking balls and toys away from Fidel… and he was good at it, being faster and more lithe. Faulkner also taunted his companion by commanding the prime lap space- even when it meant displacing an already settled Fidel. It was standard practice for Fidel’s growls to be met with a casual and disinterested glance from Faulkner. Knowing how to endear himself, it was most important to him that he be close to me.

Yet, Faulkner shined most when allowed to run free. I would take him to the wilderness trails at Memorial Park and with no present threat, would let him off the leash to enjoy the woods. He was like a graceful gazelle… sleek, elegant, and effortless. Watching him fly through the trees was perhaps one of the simple pleasures that brought me the most joy in my life. He was leaping with that same natural grace when he fatefully crossed the street in front of a car right before my eyes a few days ago. I suppose it is some comfort that his last moments were spent running free, as he loved so much- his final act of good-natured rebellion and mischief.

As any dog-owner would, I adored darling Faulkner. Yet, I may humor myself to think that I may have been more attached to him than usual. Having weathered a difficult time two years ago, my two dogs were my anchor. They were the family I saw everyday- a constant source of unconditional, unadulterated love and affection. Quick to console with kisses, they helped me through one of the most tumultuous periods of my life. No day meant defeat when I could finally lie in bed as Faulkner wriggled under the covers, sidling up next to me. Cunning and hyper-intelligent for a dog, I have no doubt this registered at least in some small way with him- he was special that way. Faulkner always seemed especially attuned to my emotions… and he stood faithfully at my side until the storm was over- lovingly repaying my initial kindness with kindness of his own.

On the very day I lost him, I spent the morning rejoicing him. With him curled up on my unmade bed, I held him tight and thanked God for bringing him into my life. At that moment, he was like a reluctant little boy, squirming in his mother’s embrace- but I know he loved all the attention, for he would come begging for it in its absence. I will forever cherish the memory of that wonderful morning when I could show him, one last time, how much I loved him

Faulkner, you were an extraordinary animal and a dear friend to me- the best kind. Loyal, loving, and sensitive to a fault, I count myself so blessed to have had the great fortune of caring for you these past four years. Your life was a precious gift to me, and your death shall not be in vain. My darling puppy, you have taught me such an important lesson. Both with your sprightly gait and through your untimely death, you have taught me that life is magnificent, yet so fleeting and precious. I find myself surrounded by so many friends and loved ones, so many bountiful gifts, and so much beauty in my life- I promise you I will do my best to appreciate it all and to remind those loved ones of my gratitude with every breath. And with every breath, my dear Faulkner, I will carry a part of you with me.

Faulkner

February 4, 2004 – February 26, 2008

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~ by ladamesansregrets on February 28, 2008.

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