1994 - 2006
Abe, who passed away on Wednesday after a brief illness, was a Dog among dogs. He was as good and loving and forgiving and appreciative a dog as anyone could hope for. He was generous with his affection, and he made everyone he met feel special.
Abe was not our dog, but his passing brought tears to everyone in our family. He belonged to our Rabbi and his family, but he came to stay with us regularly for "respite foster care" when his family went away on vacation or traveled to Israel. And in between his visits we relished every invitation to his house because it afforded us the treat of getting to see him.
Sharing memories of the departed is an integral part of the Jewish way of mourning, and everyone in our family felt that it was important to talk about Abe, who, because of his sweet and gentle nature, I always referred to as "Abralamb". I loved that the minute I climbed into bed, Abe could sense it from another room and he would rush to climb into bed at my feet -- feet which usually served as his pillow. His love for me was special, and it was quite common to be awakened in the night by his loving kisses...on my feet...or my legs...did I mention I was sleeping? Really, loving gestures one is not likely to forget!
If Abe had a fault, it was that he was completely oblivious as to his physical presence. If he had to go out and get a job, he could have made good money as a baricade, because no matter where you needed to go, it was certain that Abe would be squarely in your path, blocking it!
Abe was a healing presence for Myfanwe after the death of our own beloved Spike, z"l, almost three years ago. Myfanwe enjoyed having Abe around to walk with and watch Law and Order with. And Abe's size was very reassuring to her on late night walks. Of course nobody knew that Abe would never have harmed a fly!
Norbert really loved Abe, and his passing has, I believe, been hardest on him. Norbert is not old enough to have grown, if not immune to the pain of loss, then accustomed. Abe loved Norbert and was obviously protective of him. It was with Abe that Norbert took his first steps towards independance -- taking Abe out to water the grass and walking around the block without parental units hovering about. It was Norbert who suggested Abe deserved to be memorialized in this space, and I am indebted to him for his suggestion.
My old-fashioned religiousity may show through, but I believe I shall see Abe again. Screw Thomas Aquinas -- dogs do have souls. It is an accepted law of nature that energy is not created or destroyed, it mearly changes form. Abralamb was a definite force of nature -- a loving energy. And that energy lives on. I believe it. Right now he and our beloved Spike are reading their pee-mail and romping in a field, looking for some really good garbage.
My Little Goatheard
Norbert 's school play this year was "The Sound of Music" -- and believe me, the irony of a bunch of Jewish Day School students dressing up as priests, nuns, and Nazi's did not escape anyone. My favorite 3rd grader was a puppeteer -- the one on the left -- and I think I can objectively say that the Lonely Goatheard number brought down the house. It was very creative and well executed.
The Effing Wrap.
It is done. Thank Dog. I never thought it would be finished. And, in the style of a true procrastinator, with not a minute to spare. This afternoon I need to go buy a nice box and deliver it, then it is out of my life forever.
It looks ok -- it is hard to actually see what it looks like flat, since it relies on having a body inside it to give it its' asyymetry. It looks good. I just wish I wasn't so ambivalent about it. I don't know why I am. I was very excited to start it. But it just turned into drudgery. Oh well.