Thank you leafields, DragnHeart, zebra25, WhatsRight, and BearlyBreathing for your hugs and sweet words in the loss of our "firstborn" fur baby. Yesterday, we chose a new spot to bury him on the hill, on a pasture slope overlooking the barn where his "Dad" makes his living and the garden where his "Mom" toils most of the year. WH used his huge tractor front end loader bucket to push grass and soil uphill in a line of about 20 feet length, parellel to an abandoned concrete water storage building just a little higher up the hillside we cut into. We then laid him to rest in the center of that line, just down from the center of the old building's gable roof, covered him with his doggie blanket, and finally placed about a ton of earth from the giant front end loader scoop. Doing that job was almost the hardest thing, ever. 😢😢
But I will now need to build a long, low retaining wall downslope a few feet from his resting place and then pull all the tons of dirt we pushed up against the building wall, to level it all out. When finished, it should appear like a natural terrace, not a gravesite. I got inspired to do this retaining wall as we were discussing where on the farm to bury him. Not somewhere far away, or that he never stayed, but overlooking where he spent his life; WH came up with the idea, then I got to thinking how it would have to be done to look natural. The thought hit me that such a terraced slope can someday serve as a resting place for our other dog, too; Ouch!! Before our boy fell sick so suddenly the other day, we had never once thought about all this. We should have looked into the practicalities before now as we both knew he was old-old but, as we know, denial is powerful. We had to learn the hard way that we cannot keep our fur babies for as long as we like.
This wise, wolfy old dog whom we adopted at age 2 or older, with buckshot all through his body, meant so much to us, to my brother, and even to our neighbors, that a new landscape feature will be fitting to his memory. (But oh my aching back...and pocketbook.) I know we must sound a bit 'touched in the head' to some people, but we had no other option besides to bury him ourselves, as the vets locally were unavailable when he passed and won't open until Monday. We do not have a 'hole digging' attachment for the tractor, and didn't want to ask our contractor neighbor to bring us one on Thanksgiving weekend. So, as with most things in the country, we had to make it happen by ourselves and - as usual - on short notice. Kind of like being in the Army....
After we accomplished this gut-wrenching task, I received a text from one of my nieces with an internet link to my brother's funeral home service 2 weeks from now. Such a detached way of dealing with his death, sending out batch texts....not even a little 'personal' message for the batch text recipients, just a freaking link?! Will he be buried? Cremated? No idea. So far, not one of his children has contacted me to ask for any help, or perhaps to ask if I had any photos from his childhood they've never seen. I have lots of old albums. They may think they have what they want, or they may still ask me but I doubt that will happen. From this text notification, I get the sense they're happy with how they are handling his Celebration of Life. I know I'm old fashioned, but if that's the way dying today goes, I'm glad I've taken the time to make my advance directive and funeral plans. Really, everybody ought to.
I'd love to hear what everybody else did on Thursday? How did it turn out, expectations versus reality?? 🙂