Biggy, the Dog Has Died, Aged 14.5 Human Years

Midst gloaming comes the freshing  breeze

to sweep the leaves 

and stir the trees.

   How can you tell when someone good has died? You know that someone good has passed when they are suddenly gone and you cannot imagine there is anyone to do for this someone what he always did for others. When we wish there is a one who could do for this one what he did for the rest, and there is not that anyone, then we have lost someone who matters.

   Biggy, the Dog, has died. He succumbed to congestive heart failure, while undergoing treatments. He was in the midst of his fifteenth year on this earth.

   What he did for us was to sing aloud when we laid our heads back to howl. He flapped his long ears to set them drooping right, then laid back his smallish head, craned his neck and cried out with us. He leapt up on our chairs when he was young. He would climb up on our chests and put his long nose in our face and whine. He would stare you in the eye with his muddy brown eyes. He wanted to go out, if it were day and bed if night had fallen. He wanted you to go with him, not just take him. You were just supposed to know.

   Biggy wanted to be in your bed with you. Only Stephanie could get him to sleep quietly on the floor next to the bed. She would fix him with a baleful eye, whisper his name and point. After awhile she did not have to point, even, just look and call his name She was also the only bride who ever wrote a portion into her wedding vows wherein she declared her life long love and devotion to the groom’s dog. At least, she was the only such bride I ever knew.

   Biggy would climb over you in the bed. He reworked his position in the bed several times a night and your position as well. He liked to sleep next to you, near your legs, and then scale up your back. He wanted to be close and for you to be still. He sighed deeply and shook his head when you forced him to move.

   The day Jonathan brought him home, Biggy fit in the palm of my hand when he was offered to me. I let him down to walk the yard. So small was he you could see only the tip of his upraised tail as he nosed his way around the yard. He yawned and sighed when I picked him up to bring him in the house, our old house over on Meadow Lane, where he lived most of his life and became one of the most famous dogs in Midlothian, Texas.

   He was certainly, I think, one of the few dachshunds to have his own 911 call. Jonathan and Jordan were home with Biggy one day, when Biggy got an ice cream stick he was chewing on caught in his mouth. He whined and cried, the boys could not free him, so one of them called 911. The first responders thought Biggy’s keening sounded like a trapped young girl and, so, rightly, turned our house upside down looking for the poor, imaginary damsel. They did not find a girl, only two frightened boys and a dachshund with a sore upper palate.

   A famous dog, indeed.

   When Jonathan moved to Oklahoma for  a few months he could not take Biggy with him. I remember Jonathan, down on his knees next to the bed, nose to nose wit. the little dog, explaining to Biggy why he could not go. Biggy cried for him every night, looking all over the house for him, sniffing the yard and looking for Jonathan’s old truck to come down the street. I do not think he was ever happy again until  Jonathan returned to stay. They took up right where they had left off nearly a year before, master and pet, and it was hard enough sometimes to tell which was master and which the pet.

   And then, last week, Biggy sickened and died. He did not linger, once he decided to go. He just left, left forever from the embrace of his family. He was buried in our backyard, a dwarf crepe myrtle set next to his grave and some more landscaping to come.

Midst gloaming comes the freshing breeze

to sweep the leaves

and stir the trees.

Our runt now gone

the house seems since

not unlike Hamlet without the prince. 

2 thoughts on “Biggy, the Dog Has Died, Aged 14.5 Human Years”

  1. Animals touch us deeply. When they come to the end of their days the pain of their passing for us humans can be a terrible as any other loss we face. We are relational beings. We are also mortal. Thank you for sharing all this in your blog.

  2. What a beautiful tribute, Dr. D. These animals, in most part, are like your kids– especially when your kids are gone. They are very special. Thank you for sharing.

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