Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eulogy To Otis

The ashes have been delivered. I've sprinkled some of him over his favorite spots in the yard. There's plenty more of him to go around, although I was surprised how little there was of him to start. He seemed so much denser than the 3x4 tin urn he returned to me in. Anyway, my true aim is to take a little bit of him to Alaska and Hawaii - the only to states he didn't have the pleasure to mark.

We still miss him dearly. People ask if I've got another dog yet. You know, I love dogs as much as anybody, but I find the question a bit insensitive. Otis isn't just going to be replaced. This house is still his. Even though he's gone, he still occupies the space. It wouldn't be fair to another dog. And the only benefit to me would be a cleaner kitchen floor. Now that Otis is gone, we realize just how many food particles we drop on the floor. Otis was more miraculous than the Dyson vacuum advertised in the infomercials. 

Alas, without further ado, here is my eulogy to Otis, in poem form. Now, please understand that I do NOT fancy myself a poet, this kinda sorta just came out. 

eulogy to Otis

Otis two balls was your Indian name.
one ball would never suffice.
those times at the park when you'd not only fetch your ball,
but another's as well.
it was embarrassing,
but down inside I was proud how you refused to relinquish it.

I remember the time we dressed as doubles partners for Halloween.
decked out in our gear with every logo except for nike,
I in my shiny adidas apparel,
you dawning two Penn tennis balls and a headband with a big red W emblazoned in front.
how we went to work and who was the first person we bumped into but Phil freaking Knight.
"can you point me to the bathroom," he asked.
when here I thought it was game set and match.

you were the best partner in the world, dear Otis.
always there when I dropped the ball, 
both literally and figuratively.
your constancy was my blessing, 
even when I stepped on you by accident, 
then shooed you away as though it were your fault.

the time in New York at Saint John The Divine,
the pastor speaking of Jesus and his limitless compassion and love.
I turned to find you sitting on a blind man's bluff.
at your core, you were the four-legged Jesus.

who could be more unconditional and forgiving than you?
all dogs are such, but we humans differ,
and I have to believe I took a lot more forgiving than most.
how I came home too late or too tired for a trek around the block, 
depriving you chances to reclaim your territory from the rogues of the day.
how I awoke too late for a morning jaunt, 
you masking your disappointment as I put up your gate and left you for hours.

always you wagged when I returned.
bygones were bygones, and hope in my goodness sprang eternal.
I could never rate,
and you could never care less.

Oscar Schindler at the end of the movie cries out,
"I could have done more!"
that's how I felt when your glorious pounding muscle of a heart took its last beat.
I could have done more.
I could have done more.
I could have done more.

1 comment:

sam said...

you did enough.