Green is where the Heart Is for August 26th, 2015

By / Green Is Where The Heart Is / Wednesday, 26 August 2015 04:00

“The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death: Old Skip was my brother. They had buried him under our elm tree, they said—yet this wasn't totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart.” ~Willie Morris, My Dog Skip

By Mo Linquist
Contributing Writer

This article is dedicated to Rocky and Bugzy and Abbey and all pets who have passed over the rainbow bridge. My father died June 1, 2007. 
I came back home and two weeks later Randy’s beloved Uncle Wes passed away.  When Randy returned from that funeral he realized the time had come for Bugzy, our dog of 17 years, to also leave this world.  Bugzy’s death was the domino that put me in bed for weeks, grieving through tears and heart wrenching sadness from multiple losses. 
Randy wrote to our kids, all adults at the time, asking their permission to help Bugzy along her way. Below is an extremely edited version of that thread. 
"To all my children:  The 'question of Bugzy' has been a family topic for some time now.
You all know that Bugzy is a bit of an enigma for us. She is very old for a dog of her size and is now well past the 'teaching old dogs new tricks' stage.
And that is the problem. If she wakes us up every morning at 4:30 AM (which she does) or shits and pisses on the carpet (which she does) or incessantly wants to go in and out (which she does) or barks annoyingly for no reason (which she does) or ruins the furniture by merely laying on it and leaving smells and urine stains that may never come out (which she does) or ruins the carpets with the same (which she does) .... there is no reprimanding and teaching her a new behavior at this point.
She is not a puppy anymore and has earned her right to be old, annoying and incontinent. And here is the rub. After over 30 years of dogs and kids I feel we have also earned the right to be old, annoying and incontinent. Well, not yet really but you get the idea.
So, where was I. Oh, the pardon. Putting a pet down is serious business. Who knows what the Cosmic Rules are when it comes to such a topic. I surely don't want to do the wrong thing. Death seems to be the topic of the last few months. First Grandpa Sam, then Wes and now Bugzy. I have grappled with the subject intensely before with the death of my parents and others over the years but it was always a grieving of a death I had no part in. I merely suffered the loss. I did not "pull the trigger". Now it is different. She may be healthy for her age but she is frail. Sometimes she can't even make it up on the couch. I can't ask her what her wishes are but when I was on the phone to the Vet this morning she looked at me with that look that said, "What the f*** are you thinking".
So that is my story and my news. On Monday morning at 9AM I am going to take Bugzy on the last ride. Monday is going to be a tough day. Mom doesn't know yet but I will tell her today. I will be expecting an obituary from all of you - as well as some support for your tortured Dad. Love, DAD’
‘To my Family:  Dad, I am both saddened and relieved by your decision. It is one that I would have made long ago.  This does not mean that it is easy for me.  I love Bugzy and when I was recently there I realized how important she is to me. She represents a time when we were young and we all lived under one roof. A time that means the world to me. Despite the memories I now think of my current situation where I have worked in a nursing home and most recently at San Diego Hospice watching people in their last days.  
I have watched many people die and most of them are not worried about death. They are worried about how everybody else will handle it.  They are concerned with the ones they love.  They want everyone to know that it is going to be OK. In my opinion, Bugzy is no different. She has so much love for each and everyone of us.  We have played with her, loved her and given her a wonderful life just like we have done with each other. I know that we all believe there is more out there then what we see.
So we may grieve, and we should, but most of all we must be thankful that Bugzy picked us to give all her love and greatness to.  She will be missed but not forgotten. Love, Jeremy’
‘I remember the night Abbey died.  It may have been the first time I really experienced death in a way I understood.  She was never coming home.  Not to us at least.  That memory surfaces often, but the strange part is it makes me feel close to my family every time I think about it, and to be honest, I actually do think of it a lot.  It was a time when we were all together sitting around Abbey on the steps in the living room.  We were all emotionally connected in a way I had not felt before. 
We all seemed to feel the same thing.  Although it seemed liked sadness at the time, in hindsight the sad feeling was just a man-made mask for the real emotion at hand. . . . love.
A while after Abbey died, a new family dog was becoming a hot buzz phrase around the Linquist household. Dad passed on the idea of getting a new dog at first, he talked of not being ready for a "new" dog in the family. 
To this day I'm not sure if he was conspiring to rid himself of the work and money involved in raising another pet or if he was truly still heartbroken over the loss of Abbey.  I think it was a combination of both.
Of course in the end the kids prevailed and shortly after Bugzy came into our lives. She would lay in bed with me as I told her about all of my crushes and heartbreaks.  She would always listen and I never caught her telling any of the secrets I told her -- Not Once!  She was a true friend, a confidant.  The last time I was in NC, I talked with Bugzy like I was 12 again.  I told her how much I loved her and that she was important to me.  I thanked her for all the good times.  I said good-bye. She'll never really leave me.  She is etched in my mind as a piece of my life thus far - and a part of me I hope to never loose.  Once again, thank you Bugzy.  And thanks for not telling mom and dad about all the crazy shit you caught us doing over the years. Dad - You are doing the right thing. Mom - I know the last several years have come with a lot of loss, but life is amazing and a new chapter in our family is beginning.  In 20 weeks you will be a grandma to our new member of the exclusive Linquist group. We love you Bugzy.  Love, Zachary’
‘To All:  Thank you all for responding and granting what I feel is my pardon for Bugzy, I have watched her grow old and annoying. I too easily have forgotten how she was many years ago. You all through this exercise have brought up the buried memories for me that don't come so easily with her current state so present day to day. Thank you all for your insight and support. Tomorrow is the big day. For today, she can have all the treats she wants.’
‘Dear Family:  I am in the middle of France crying my eyes out. It's pretty rad.
I know that Bugzy consciously knows her role as our beloved pet. She is not afraid of death. That is our perception and a concept of our own making. Bugzy intrinsically understands cycles and the nature of what death actually is. She does not make the separations that we do. For her, and at her current physical point of suffering, she is asking to be released. Begging, literally. She is not afraid.
Her behavior is her way of showing us that she is ready.
She also somehow knows that you must look within yourself to find a resolution. Once that is resolved, her mission will have been completed here. It is in these types of situations that we are asked to embrace death as a dog might, and in so doing, release the illusions of our concepts of self imposed fear, guilt, shame, or any other misperceptions of the 'true' reality of things.
She is the joy that binds our union as a family, and like Abbey, will continue to part of our collective regardless of our current misperceptions of who we are and what this (life) actually is. Hooray for Bugzy. She did her time. Dear Bugzy, I love you. I know that you know that. Cheers to you for fulfilling your mission. Brilliant job. Well done, indeed. I LOVE YOU ALL Sister/Daughter’
‘To All: Bugzy passed on to the next phase of her life at 9:15 AM EDT this morning. They gave her a sedative to keep her calm and I held her while the doctor injected a vein with an anesthetic.
The overdose put her to sleep and within 20 seconds her heart had stopped beating. I kept hearing the Eagles' song saying - "Welcome to the Hotel California" as I stood there. I don't know what that means but Bugzy passed peacefully and when she was gone I simply took her collar and drove home. Thank you all for your support. For now, I need to rest. I'm going to sleep in tomorrow.......Love you all, DAD.’” xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Master FSIA, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products. 
Her design studio is located in the Artful Living Group building 112 Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.   Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology.
Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 25 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success.
To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at www.molinquist.com  FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-216-0366 local or 330-904-3636 mobile.

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