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Friday, Aug. 08, 2003-1:34 p.m.

"The Buffet, and High Fives all around"

I can't bring myself to never make another entry here. I can't make myself do another 'Axel' entry. Hum. That leaves me a little stuck... Time, they say, heals all wounds- does it make it any easier, I wonder, to find your creative fingertips again?

Axel's diary was special to me, because I often wondered what the HECK that dog was thinking, and by thinking about things from his point of view, amazing things happened- not to mention a fun way to update friends and eventually hundreds of strangers, about how things were going with us. His 'view' on life and the universe was always unique, I'm sure, and a heck of a lot of fun to try and contemplate. It made training a thousand times easier, and problem solving even more so. But mostly, it was a blast to sit and thing about life from the viewpoint of a rather large dog, who had the chance to go where most dogs never do, and to view a society we all cope with every day, but really don't think about in the kind of down to earth terms I always suspect our pets do.

I have a cat- someone once expressed surprise at that... she isn't a very interesting cat, I have to admit, and she pees on the bed from time to time. I will not pretend to EVER understand that. Cats, although I adore them, baffle me. Completely and utterly. They're aliens, I suspect, who share our lives because it benefits them, and the worldwide takeover plan they have been harboring for centuries, but keep putting off because it takes thumbs to cultivate catnip. When they evolve thumbs, mankind will be doomed. ;)

When 'Pa' and I drove Axel's body out to be cremated, I couldn't help but imagine he'd be hanging around, slightly confused about the whole thing. I mean, we take death so seriously- and if you ever listen to a pet psychic, pets never seem distressed on the 'other side' like humans occasionally are... so I figure, hey, he's probably bouncing between the trunk and the back seat, going, "Hey! Dad! how come you laid my body down in the TRUNK, huh? that's kind of tacky! I like my blankie's back there tho, it's nice and comfy! Ooh! Road Trip! where're we goin'? How come I can go between the back seat and the trunk now, huh? COOL..." I couldn't imagine he'd comprehend death in it's complexity, for some days. For him, it'd just be a new experience, like the first time he ever saw a horse pulling a cart... or rode on a city bus... or the first time he flew in an airplane... You'd have had to be there. ;)

For the next few days of course, we grieved pretty heavy. You get used to him being there, in ever aspect of your life... every waking moment (and some sleeping ones!) ...and then he's gone. But that's not what I want to write, right now. You all grieved with me, and strangely, that REALLY made a difference... I would check in, and someone would have left a sweet comment... or tell me how it made them cry too, and I would cry some more- I spent a lot of time just bawling, and I couldn't be ashamed of that. It felt right, to just let it come. Who was gunna see anyway? Knowing so many people shared the loss just kept making it lighter and lighter to bear, untill it seemed like I could survive it after all.

Thank you.

'Pa' is Irish, and they have some very strong cultural concepts for greiving... one of which we followed for Axel- he was a member of the family too, after all! We went to the one place we never took him when he was alive- the casino buffet restraunt... woo hoo! Food as far as the eye can see, and types of food you can never afford to go out and eat tons of, ever... except there. It was a kind of Axel-wake. We talked about him all the way down on the drive, and let a lot of stuff out, you know? Then we talked about him at dinner, untill it made us smile more than cry. (You can't CRY at a buffet... that just violates all the rules. hrmf! I won't pretend there wasn't some snifflies tho, now and then...)

I imagined Axel's spirit probably tagged along. I could imagine him going, "Hey! hey hey hey hey HEY!!! So THAT'S where you go those nights you left me at home and went off 'to dinner' like that... and were gone hours and hours!! NO FAIR!! This place is AWESOME!! WOW!! You bastards! You didn't even bring me home a doggie bag..." (Of course, he always got the 'doggie bag' after we left a restraunt, he was never allowed to eat while IN one, but a buffet... well. You don't get to take home scraps, and Axel never got to visit this one place. It was kind of our place out- you know? ONE place we would sneak off to once in a blue moon (I think twice in his lifetime!) without him... I know he probably wondered why we went "to dinner" and left him at home, and why on those times it took hours to get back and we didn't bring a doggie bag/leftovers... I guess this was his enlightenment moment, neh? GRIN)

I figured, if his spirit wanted to hang out a little, that would be cool with us. We just didn't want to trap him, frozen, in spirit or in our hearts- you have to let go sometime. You have to say "it's over" at some point, and let the way the universe works take it from there.

After we'd had the wake, and done the usual hard-to-do-things (like picking up his toys, and disassembling his crate/bed.), it leaves me with one big part of our life that we can't seem to decide how to handle. Axel's webpage.

For now, this will be here... it's not going anywhere. (thanks roach! you rock.) I will open my own little diary probably, for the heck of it... but I don't know how to recapture the things I had when I would sit down at the keys to make an entry into Axel's Diary.

Of course, 'his' views were projected- but he came to love his 'diary time' at my feet here, a regular event, even if it was sporadic in timing... and we all loved thinking of things in our lives that might be funny from his point of view.

Give it some time, I think... when the ache is less, and the tears don't flow like a faucet everytime I try to imagine him back with us, maybe we can think of something good. A fitting tribute to a dog who was actually pretty funny in and of himself- seeing the world through his eyes changed my life more than once, and I am touched more than you know, to think he reached so many others. Thank you again. You can't imagine how much your words have helped.

I'm sure Axel would have wanted to offer a round of paintbrush tongue goodbyes, so consider yourselves all smooched by him- or just a nice pawshake- he was good at that- and for those of you who think that's passe' he did a damn fine "high five"! Nothing beats a high five from a Rottie. >:) Now that's cool.

Here's hoping your day is pretty good, and you get lots of donuts and no one pees on your stuff. ;)


^Axel^'s Dad