Friday, June 30, 2006


Nellie's last bay

For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.
-- William Blake

How refreshing, the whinny of a packhorse unloaded of everything!
-- Zen saying

This is a sad time at our house. Nellie, the beagle who lived with us, died last night. She came to us when she was about eight weeks old; she was eight and a half years old when she died--much too soon. On Wednesday, the vet prescribed medication to treat an allergy and its subsequent infection. Thursday night about ten she died, probably not from complications of an allergy.

Nellie was the sweetest friend anyone could hope to have. When she walked --staggered-- through the back door about ten minutes before she died, she wagged her tail at us, just as she always did when she came into our vicinity

She had started the day with a single bay when she first went outside. I have no idea what she smelled/saw/heard. She did not bay or bark again; that one was the last. That's about all I can write about her just now, but eight years ago, I wrote a poem about her first bay. It's not much as poems go, but it is all I have of her now.

Nellie’s First Bay

Her first puppy bay turned us.
We gawked -- three dogs, Judith and I --
unused to such a sound from our small one.
Nellie, herself startled, froze,
submitted to a full body exam from the pack.
Would they allow this new creature to join them?
Would she prove worthy of their trust?
Would they accept association with a beagle?
They had to decide.
The corgi smelled her butt,
the border collie her mouth,
Ani, the pack leading mixed breed, ever wary,
hung back, but peered into her soul.
Only then did she approach to lick Nellie's face.
Accepted, Nellie joined in the game of chase.


The poem is very sweet, though not your best writing ever. Sorry for your loss; Nellie Belly Beagle Girl was a sweet dog.
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