Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winding Down

The gardening year is winding down. The shortest days of the year are approaching. It is a hopeful thing that for some peculiar reason my only child was born in December, on December 5th, this day 22 years ago.

 It is just not a good gardening month. The shortness of the days, the angle of the light, that I spent a December not too distantly past in bed healing all combine to make this a dangerous season for me.

I should probably take some more vitamin D and turn on another light.

This December another thing is winding down. My pet, a boxer named Cinnamon, seems to be creeping towards the end of her days with me. My sister, who has lost several dogs over the years has consoled me with a quote by Agnes Sligh Turnbull, "Dogs'  lives are too short. Their only fault really."

Much too short.

It seems only yesterday my then nine-year-old son came into the house from a weekend with his dad with an 8-week old puppy following at his heels. This would be his dog, I told myself. I would not become attached. Cinnamon disregarded that directive, adopting me instead. I would have no choice in the matter.

When she developed hives and went into anaphylactic shock, only I could comfort her. When she had her couple seizures in middle age she would seek me out as she could feel herself coming under the grip of this strange terror, and I would hold her tightly until the thrashing passed.

Dogs are pack animals. We are pack, her and I.  I have noticed her anxiety this fall, the need to be so much closer underfoot than before, her constant pacng while I prepare my supper, her calm when Austin is home, choosing to sleep at his feet rather than mine; her depression when she realizes he has gone again.

Taken November 30, 2015
And now she sleeps at my feet, all day when she can, worn out by the lymphoma racing through her little body.

Not only are dogs our companions, but we are theirs, too.

Yes, we do want to keep the furry members of our families with us. My companion, Cinnamon, a boxer, is winding down her time with me. I am having a hard time with the idea she will no longer be with me and waiting for me to be there with her. I have planned her permanent place in an out of the way space in my garden. The garden is where I "am". And it will be where she waits for me, in the reverie of weed pulling, the smell of the fresh green grass, the beauty of the lilacs in late spring, and tart crisp bite of the Honeycrisp apples she would share with me in the fall.


  1. Oh that face! Cinnamon is a doll.

    I understand completely the emotions yr feeling. I did not want a dog, my husband did. She was definitely his dog for the first few months. Then when I broke my ankle, and she became my nurse, we bonded. We are never separated by more than 12"... And I see the signs that she's winding down, faster and faster. I don't know exactly how I'll handle it. It does help to know others have gone, and are going, through the same thing.

    1. Cinnamon passed away on Monday, December 7, 2015. She was 12 1/2 years old. She was a good dog. She was my companion, and I hers.