Last year our dog Shadow died of lymphoma. One of his favorites things was to cool off in a creek that runs behind our house after his walks. Yesterday I was mowing the lawn, it was very hot and humid and the smells in the air were dense. As I was cutting the grass traces of how Shadow smelt kept coming to me. I could not figure out why this was, I think at one point I wondered if the ground had absorbed his smell since he loved spending time in the back yard as well, but as I got closer to the edge of the yard I realized it was the creek that I was getting faint whiffs of while mowing the lawn, that Shadow’s scent and the creek were the same at times.
It was nice though, to have memories of Shadow come back to me, but sad as well, for often when I think about him I think of how he looked at me in his last moments of life. He knew, I think, that he was dying. I still question if we should have put him through the treatments of chemotherapy that he had or to have simply let nature take its course. If I had to do it all again, knowing what I know now, I would have done it differently. I would have focused more on strengthening his immune system so his body could naturally fight the disease, and I feel so very sorry that I did not do this for him, as his guardian. I hope that if a dog’s soul is re-incarnated that his will return as a happy young boy.
I have been trying to draw him for a while now, I have started about 10 sketches of him already, but none have the look that I wish I could capture. Maybe I will go sit at the edge of the creek and try again.