“The Eulogy”…a letter to my 14-year-old coonhound puppy to whom I have to say goodbye tomorrow. Not really poetry…but every word is from the very depths of my mourning soul. And I know I’m not the only one to lament and weep over the loss of a beloved dog. (Signed and postdated for tomorrow as well, because I already know I won’t be able to do so after the fact.) This has been the hardest week of my life…I still stand by my belief that it is more difficult to lose a pet than it is to lose a person. Because he can’t tell me how much pain he’s in. Or how long I’ve prolonged it for my own selfish reasons. He couldn’t tell me that something was wrong, and he was too happy just being with me to show me that he didn’t feel well when the cancer first took hold or when the dementia set in. He never complained. He never enjoyed life any less. He never took his suffering out on me. He loved me unconditionally simply because I was his Person. If only we humans could learn to live and love in such a way that the people around us would mourn for us and remember us just as intensely…I think we would take less for granted and have a more fulfilling life to look back upon with fondness. Bless your black-and-tan heart, Buford. You’ve taught me more from your silence than I could ever glean from any word. We’ll meet again soon, my friend. Love you, Boo.