A dog named Blue

We humans love our dogs in the most uncomplicated pure way, because that's the way the dogs love us, and if we're paying attention, we can probably learn something.  It's the saddest thing ever when a dog dies.

My neighbor's dog, Blue died about 3 years ago. He was old and well loved, the king of the neighborhood in a stately way, and we miss him still.  But it was his time.  He died quietly in his sleep after going on a last walk around the lake and swim the evening before.   He was the only dog I've ever known who would take himself on a walk, just a calm stroll around the lake, not deviating off to sniff things, but walking as if he were with a person, greeting neighbors, but not getting too distracted, and stopping in the designated area for a brief swim.

Blue died in the middle of the night, and my neighbor arose very early, the way we do at Lake M., and tried to bury him. First, she went out in the woods to dig a hole, but there were so many trees in the path leftover from The Big Windstorm of '06 that she couldn't get the wheelbarrow with the dog back there. It probably didn't help that this was back when she was still drinking, and the difference between late night and early morning was pretty negligible as far as sobriety went.

So she started digging in the yard. Digging was a challenge, because the topsoil had all been removed when they built the house, and it's glacial till at about four inches, impossible to dig through. Our other neighbor got up when he noticed the digging and suggested that she bury the dog in the vegetable garden. She found digging there slightly easier, and dug for a while, but eventually woke her teen daughter to help, because it was such slow going. After exhausting themselves digging this little hole, they decided she should take the dog to the vet to be cremated.

But by this point, the dog was, well, not to be too graphic, but let's just say you wouldn't want him in your car. So they dug and dug, and by now it was maybe 5:30 am, and S. the newspaper man, who has a decorative tire-turned-into-planter at the end of his driveway with a poster of Obama and a statue of a small dog urinating on the sign,  droves by in his little pickup truck waving, and they decided that they need to just get this job done before everyone cames to help or watch, because it's all too sad.

They gently placed the dog into this very small grave, a hole that's only 12 inches deep and not wide enough either.  Of course, the 60 pound black lab doesn't fit, so they just gather soil from nearby and mound it up over the dog.

That's what that bump in the yard is.  For a while, every morning I would fear that wild animals would exhume poor old Blue during the night, but that never happened.


  1. Yes, Barb, you aren't the only one who was like, "huh? What is this even about?"

  2. Then, one night, the mound started to quiver and shake! It burst open and a ghostly howl was heard resounding across the lake. Some say they saw a shimmering shade of a dog circling the lake that night. Some say it was Blue. Others say its a lie...


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