“Bye Bodhi Out There”

This week we mourn the passing of our beloved Bodhi.10349081_10153794800833431_1304018213391616408_nIMG00001-20100413-1345 (1)

He spent his last day with us gnawing a great bone. As he left, 20 month old Caito called out, “Bye Bodhi out there!”.
He walked or rode with us, me on my hand cycle, nearly every day and was fondly greeted on neighboring streets and roads, sometimes as we sped downhill, his black ears flopping.

He was a joy to so many who came to our home and offices. He shared our couches often with them, his fur smoothed by hands moistened with tears, a comforting presence. Simply spending an hour with him was often more helpful than any words we offered.

The difficulty of the decision to let him go to the bardo world illuminates the chasm between the word and fact of impermanence. Both the concept and its experience do not remove sorrow, but perhaps ease it.

On Monday morning, I called the vet to say we were prepared to let Bodhi go, but I couldn’t say it and handed the phone to Sheila who, as with everything, was able to do what needed to be done. Later that day, as I watched and took every effort of his to join us at meals and wag of his tail as a sign of rally, I cancelled the vet’s visit.

At 130 Tuesday morning, Sheila was awakened by my crying and I told her if I could have Bodhi next to me in bed the rest of the night, unable as I was to lift him from my wheelchair, I would be ready. So we lay, paws and hands together, and then the sun rose. As Bodhi means enlightened, and so he was, a teacher for me as are all good dogs and animal companions, our grief is soothed by memories, such as the “waggie, waggie” of his tail each morning when Caito said, “Hi, Bodhi” or “Bye.

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3 Responses to “Bye Bodhi Out There”

  1. Tina says:

    Bob, I’m very sorry to read this. Bodhi was much loved, which means he will be greatly missed. Love and pain. Grief and gratitude. Life and death. Its amazing what a pet can teach us about the mysteries of life. In honor of Bodhi, a favorite Mary Oliver poem:

    Little Dogs Rhapsody in the Night, by Mary Oliver

    He puts his cheek against mine
    and makes small, expressive sounds.
    And when I’m awake, or awake enough

    he turns upside down, his four paws
    in the air
    and his eyes dark and fervent.

    Tell me you love me, he says.

    Tell me again.

    Could there be a sweeter arrangement?
    Over and over
    he gets to ask it.
    I get to tell.

  2. Joan Dassin says:

    Dear Bob,
    I want you to know that I read your blog faithfully. I’m deeply touched by Bodhi’s passing. I know how much he meant to you – he is a constant presence in your writing and the mirror in which you saw, in his dog consciousness, your own. Animal love is so pure — no questions asked, they just love you. As did Bodhi. As do we. All the best to you and Sheila, Joan

  3. Jacqueline Franklin says:

    Beautifully written and shared. Indeed, Bodhi brought comfort (and amusement) to many. It is a courageous and painful decision to let go of our furry friends, and then, the loss is palpable when their presence isn’t in the usual places (like on that favorite chair or under foot). Peace to you and family as you grieve your loss of Bodhi.

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