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.