Sep 19th, 2010
Way back in my first year as a daily newspaper reporter, I wrote a lot of obituaries. You’d get tossed an ever-so brief outline of the life of someone and you had to write a thoughtful – if concise – news brief. If the deceased person was famous, he or she would get a longer story with comments from those who knew them.
Though she never spoke a word or passed a piece of legislation or accomplished any of the usual things we consider marks of greatness, our beloved dog and guru Felicity deserves an obituary. The qualities she possessed are a kind of greatness that many, many humans would do well to emulate: kindness, empathy, zest for life, endless loyalty.
She also loved a long walk, a fast Frisbee and just about any food we set before her, especially stuff we were eating. She put up with brushings, baths, the indignities of costumes – a cape one year, reindeer antlers another — and the numerous puppies we brought home, hoping she’d tutor them in correct dog manners. They learned to respect her, even the dogs that succeed her: Frankie, Skye and Butters. To all she was the queen.
She was a great swimmer, retrieving sticks as long as a human would throw them. And she was well-traveled, following us and her cat friend, Howie, to Germany where she learned to love die Briefträger who’d wrap our mail into a bundle to feed to her throw the door slot. She’d dutifully search the house for someone to give it too, depositing it on Ginny or Alex’s bed if we weren’t home. She also saw Paris, Rome and Venice, riding in a gondola – which was way cooler than our canoe – and chasing pigeons in St. Mark’s Square. Startled the heck out of her having one actually wind up in her mouth!
I knew when she was a puppy that I’d likely never see another like her – even when I exclaimed in frustration over some doggy piddle, whining to Brian that I wanted my “puppy tubes tied.” Simply by doggedly being herself, day after day, year after year, Felicity taught her human family how to enjoy each day we’re given. There’s nothing better than a walk to boost the spirits. Being together in the same room is what we’re supposed to do, add a meal and you’ve got bliss.
I can’t put into words all the many great memories we have of her, but I’ll mention those that were said as we buried her between the raspberry patches on September 11. From Brian: the unbelievable speed she had chasing Frisbees or balls in the woods. Ginny: the time we drove to Italy with her squeezed on the floor of our BMW licking our toes and enjoying the ride. Jessica: the fun times training her in 4-H for the county fair and how easy she was to train; she thrived on having a job. Alex: I loved her more than some people. Me: She made me a life-long dog lover.
We’ll never forget her. But I hope that even more we’ll draw upon Felicity’s goodness and felicity, her very apt name, the rest of our lives.икони