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7:49 p.m. - Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004
Goodbye, Henry
Goodbye to my sweet little polka-dotted doggie.

Looking at that picture of him when he was young and healthy has a strange effect on me: it seems to take him far away. Just now I want to think of him, for a little while longer, the way he was just a few hours ago, when he was here with me, sleeping on the bed under his blanket — old, emaciated, no longer in control of his own body — but still, here with me.

I've spent the past few weeks fussing over him, following him around to make sure he was all right, covering him up with a blanket as soon as he lay down. Suddenly, now, there is absolutely nothing I can do for him anymore. It's disorienting.

When he was younger, he used to tear around the backyard for the sheer joy of running. But he was so light on his feet that he hardly seemed to run — it was more as if he were flying, and putting a foot to the earth every now and then to steer himself. And then he would stop abruptly and set to digging a hole in the ground; that was how he expressed overflowing happiness in those days.

And the way he would do a little thumping dance with his front paws at dinner time, in anticipation of his food. It's been at least a couple of years, I think, since he did that.

Wherever he is now, I hope he's gotten back the lightness in his step and the joy of running. I hope he has met up with Charles again, and they're chasing each other around in the sunshine in some celestial back yard. Me, I've been crying all day, but I did the right thing in letting him go.


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