26 April 2020 – Deathday of Stephan Sassafras Snow – our beloved family dog for 15 years. He would have been 16 (or 17?) in August.
My husband Chuck is a dog guy. I had a toy collie growing up, but never one as an adult. I couldn’t imagine training or taking care of a dog, but I woke up one day with the idea that we should have a dog about the house. Our girl was 7 at the time & very sensitive, so no overly active, jumpy, loud barky dogs for us. We went to a few shelters; we even found one we liked, but it didn’t happen. So I thought ok, well it is not meant to be. We already had 2 white cats, Milky & Kefir who we loved from the shelter. Milky let the girl terrorize her, & Kefir was like my pup following me around everywhere.
Months went by & then a friend of a friend of Chuck’s, a fellow warrior dude (mankind project) had died & his caretaker was looking for someone to take his puppy. We went over to meet him, & he just sat there looking timid & a bit depressed. He was so beautiful, white like the cats, with sandy colored ears. I immediately fell in love. His owner had named him Snowy after the cartoon character in The Adventures of Tintin. In retrospect he looked a lot like my childhood dog Penny. We took him out to the park across the street since it seemed he had been kept in much of the time. He ran like the wind & won us over with his smiley face & calm demeanor. The girl even liked him. So the white dog came home to join our 2 white cats, who never really got used to him being in their house, it was like Wild Kingdom’ around here, always a lively show.
When we took him to the vet they said he had a degenerative eye disease & that he would eventually go blind. We were to put drops in his eyes 3 times day. But as soon as we started to feed him raw food (Chuck would butcher a whole organic chicken for him every week, along with veggie scraps!) his eyes completely cleared up & he never had another problem.
Somehow he loved me best, & became ‘my dog’ following me around, nudging me for love, sometimes he wouldn’t go for a walk unless I took him. I looked forward to taking him out 3 times a day. I used that time to meditate on the changing seasons & get to know my neighbors for the 1st time.
He was always at my side, sitting next to me as I wrote, & I would take him everywhere if I could. As time went on he really learned to play me, asking to go out back, or on the front porch – let the dog in, let the dog out, sheesh, it was a full time job.
The last 6 months or so he became incontinent, so we got him doggie diapers. He still wanted to eat & take walks & everything, so we went along. Then he became a bag of bones, stopped being able to go up & down the stairs & the decline became more evident every day. A few times we thought he was done for, but when I asked him if he was ready to go to the ‘group soul’ he would rally, so we hung on.
I will spare you all the details, but today, after having a week of dreary wet weather, the sun came out & Snowy made his way to doggie heaven. We buried him in the backyard next to the 2 cats & Chuck’s old dog Hoover…
Tonight we will make a bonfire & gather to celebrate his life. So many Snowy stories…my eyes hurt from all the salty tears, but our family is unified after many thoughtful conversations, feeling the blessings from the Animal World which we so gratefully received thru our dear Snowy…
God – Dog – God – Dog – God – Dog