The days of walks and Greenies
Smile and run away like a child at play
Through a meadow land toward a closing door
A door marked 'Nevermore' that wasn't there before
The lonely night discloses
Just a passing breeze filled with memories
Of the golden smile that introduced me to
The days of walks and Greenies...and you
(Adapted from "Days of Wine and Roses" by Johnny Mercer)
Let me start by stating the obvious--in case you didn't notice--there is only one tail from the backseat...for now.
Karly--beautiful, bold, brave (and yes, sometimes bitchy)--my best buddy, backseat and otherwise, has died.
One day we were walking together...
The next day she was hobbling around, dragging her back foot...
The next day she "stayed home" all day relaxing in the warm sunshine...
And then there were no more days with Karly...
Now it's Just Jake.
She died peacefully and on her terms. During her final days she ate only Greenies and barely drank water...her terms, of course.
Karly had a fun-filled glorious life of nearly 13 years, quite a lifespan for a gal of her breed, size, and temperament--a bit "always on edge" compared to me.
Instagram's "thedogist" summarized us the best:
She was smart and sassy and enjoyed a bi-coastal life--from sea to shining sea--and for all of my 10 years I joined her on this adventure....
...and what a trip it was!
Fittingly (for a dog), Karly's life ended in the Chihuahuan Desert.
It makes me smile to think of her everlasting spirit--holding court over and chasing those little mutts around in Chihuahuan Desert Heaven--and those who knew and loved her best, know exactly what I mean!
P.S. The backseat is just not the same anymore....
But don't worry, I'm just keeping a spot warm....
(Born March 6, 2017...to become part of the Vowell family on May 1, 2017)
EPILOGUE (by Susan)
One of my favorite authors is Edward Abbey. Traveling as much as we do in the Southwest, I feel as if I am "living" Abbey's writings. My most favorite book is Desert Solitaire, given to me by a very dear friend/fellow traveler who introduced me to Abbey's work and which I incorporated into the last "Tails from the Backseat" post, which ironically was the last to include Karly. I foolishly loaned out my copy a couple years ago and it was never returned. I've been searching for a replacement, preferably a used paperback copy reminiscent of my friend's, but Abbey's books are rarely found for sale, they are keepers for personal libraries.
Karly died on our way to Big Bend National Park, in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. We had several towels, sheets, and blankets from her final days of basking in the sunshine that were ready to be washed, as much for an emotional cleanse as a laundering requirement. There was a small "laundromat" (one washer, two dryers) at Big Bend National Park--surprising since visitor services at the Park were very limited--and since it was also one of two places to get internet access, we decided to take a break from hiking and do our laundry.
As I was transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer, a tour bus pulled up to the adjacent snack bar/gift shop, and the "Roads Scholars", an educational tour group, disembarked for a restroom and snack break...they also enjoyed petting Jake...and Jake enjoyed being petted!! Upon their departure, I went to gather my dried laundry and noticed a pile of paperback books and magazines on the folding table that were not there before. I assume they had been left behind by the tour group since I have discovered that laundromats have an admirable policy of "leave a book, take a book".
But "what to my wondering eyes did appear"...in dizzying disbelief??
A pristine, paperback copy of Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire!!!
With all the giddiness of winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse Jackpot Sweepstakes, I grabbed the book and ran out to show John.
The universe works in mysterious ways, especially if you are open to it... Karly, I know this one's on you!!!