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Contents Page: July 1, 2011, vol 7 no 2

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Ted van Zutphen


running with horses . . . endless spring

A new journey begins with the wrenching away from the old familiar. Change has come from a direction I am unprepared for. Maisie, my baby, now old, deaf, mostly blind and feeble, still relishes to be by my side. When awake, her eyes follow my shadow if her legs can't and she begs me to be near her.

In the weeks leading up to our planned departure, she has become weaker and weaker, becoming less able to sustain her body with food and drink. Some days she seems to almost wither away and I pray for her to stay in her sleep peacefully, but then she magically revives the next day with a willful sense of loyalty. At long last even her devotion to me is no longer enough. She asks me to let her go and travel alone.

last breath –
a raindrop sizzles
on glowing embers

I wrap her up in her pooh bear blanket and the next morning we bury her 16 year old lifeless body next to Erving, her father, in the back yard. Certainly the best place for her final resting place, with all the family pets of the last 25 years: our cats Eleanor, Butch, Ursula and Frankie, our dogs Thea, Critter and Erving and three still born puppies, several rats, hamsters, an iguana, water dragon, many goldfish and more than 80 budgies and finches.

dust settles
in my garden . . .
sleeping moon

As I set out on my journey, I know she's still with me, watching and protecting me, sitting in the passenger seat or on my lap. Man or dog better not come close to us, or she'll protect me with her life. She so loves traveling, getting her head in the wind, looking out the window, taking everything in and not passing a chance to bark at other dogs as we drive by. Her favorite spot is on my shoulders and neck, where she can have a good view of everything. "Dogs Love Trucks" is her.

midnight train –
whistling the dream,
that was

We stop at a meadow, where some horses graze and leisurely come and check us out. Her kinship with them is uncanny. Other large animals, dogs, cows and man, she shows no respect and attacks without fear, but horses are another story. She just stares at them in awe. I am sure, she has been one in a previous incarnation or wants to be one when she grows up…

at the door
still her leash . . .


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