Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pushing up Tulips

We have a neighbour, Iain, whose driveway is just one cedar hedge from ours.  He and his ex-wife share custody of their old boxer, Cassius. 

Every other weekend or so all summer long, Iain would leave the back hatch of his Rav4 open and Cassius would lounge in the back all day while Iain did yard work. Cassius wasn't a flight risk. Other dogs could walk by on the side walk or a squirrel could dart in front of his nose and Cassius wouldn't budge.  He was a big fan of inertia. Just keep doing what you're doing. Lie and soak in the rays.

As a parent, one is often cautious about dogs.  Especially other people's dogs.  When a dog approaches, I always unconsciously put myself between the dog and my children, or pick them up.  But not around Cassius.  Cassius was gentler than a bunny rabbit.

This weekend, Iain was going to take Cassius to Woofstock. His ex-wife had left the pup at a kennel and when she arrived to pick him up, apparently the excitement was just a tad too much for his tired, old heart. There were tears on Iain's cheeks as we stood on either side of the cedar hedge and he told me the news.

I went to the garden centre and bought the only thing I could find on their shelves that could be planted this chilly fall and still burst forth in the spring - some tulip bulbs.  Red tulips.  Frilly petals. Full of hope and life and remembrance. I gave them to Iain with a card that Cole had made. On black construction paper, a moon and many silver stars and one red one. (And one corner of the card cut out because he is learning to use scissors and seizes any opportunity to practise).

Rest in Peace Cassius.

- Miss Greenish Thumb

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