“The soul would have no rainbows, if the eyes had no tears.”
With simple, beautiful elegance, an unsung poet of the Apache nation has spoken eloquently of the bittersweet nature of all life. As profound and poignant as the lovely sentiment evoked by these words may be, their truth and their intent to comfort are of no solace as I once again write a eulogy for a dearly loved, fuzzy faced angel, Spencer; AKA: Spinker, (a combination of “Spencer” and “stinker,” which he COULD be from time to time!), or “Mr. Sprinkles,” a name his “real” mom, Becca, felt was less disparaging of his kind, sweet natured personality. Of all the Pugs that have shared my life, he was one of the most laid back and accepting members of our pack….never pushy, never an instigator, always funny and lovable, sharing his “puppy prizes” without resentment. The cats were fond of him, as well, as he never gave chase, and was always careful to be gentle and polite when he nudged them aside to partake of their tuna dinners.
Spencer’s original “parents” and “siblings” live and work part of the year in Angola, S. Africa. I was his foster “mom” for about 7 years. He was with me for so long, I have forgotten exactly when it was this darling, waddling, little gargoyle came into my life. Upon meeting him, I volunteered to take Spencer as a “semi-permanent” member of my little dog pack whenever his “first family’s” obligations took them back to Africa. Spencer became known as our “time share” Pug, shuttling without complaint from one family to the other. He and Bitzy, a rescue Pug from long ago and far away days, became fast friends, often squeezing into one bed together for the night, or just a nap.
On the occasions Spencer went home on family furloughs, Bitzy would pine for days until he returned. How joyous and jubilant were their earliest, youthful reunions! But, the years too quickly and thoughtlessly passed, and my two old fuzzy faces inevitably slowed, being 12 and 13 years old, respectively, or maybe even a year or two older. These past couple of years, the march of time had robbed their playful, affectionate reunions of much of their prior exuberance and bounce, but there was no less love exhibited in the doggy “caresses” they gave one another…the little nibbles and licks, body bumps, and, of course, those all important sniffs!
Even though Spencer left, and was missed by all, at various times throughout the year, there was always the expectation and assurance of his return. Neither Bitzy, nor any of the other dogs, had time to forget him…… to forget his presence, his scent……his essence. That has changed, now. Spencer will not be reunited, on this earthly plane, with his old pack mates. He returned a week ago from his last family vacation, and within 3 days, it was evident that something was horribly wrong. He was exhibiting all the signs of the terrible illness that Sammy had succumbed to just three weeks earlier…cancer. On Monday, August 15, exactly one month to the day that I sent Sammy to the Rainbow Bridge, I was given the dreadful news that Spencer was to follow Sammy’s path in only two or three days.
“How many tears can your heart hold….?”
More profound, sad words from yet another poet. This time penned by, fittingly, a modern day cowboy minstrel, Richard Elloyan. Evidently, one’s heart can hold an ocean’s depth of tears. I thought I had no more to cry in the days, now weeks, following Sammy’s death, but they continue to well up from some fathomless cavern in my heart.
Thursday, August 18, 2011, Becca had the heartrending task of seeing Spencer off, gently, quietly, on his eternal journey. The tears keep flowing………….and my soul is still waiting for the rainbows.
Sweet Spencer, take our love with you, and to Sammy. R.I.P. you dear, little old pup.