Saturday, June 14, 2014

Asyndeton’s Desert Story – “Saga” 1998 – 2014 – Rest In Peace

About sixteen years ago, a puppy was whelped that would change my life.

Saga knew that we would be spending the better part of her life together before I did. At the time, I was travelling regularly to Memphis, Tennessee on business and renting a room from a friend of mine who bred and showed her. According to Kelly, she could always tell when I was about to arrive because as soon as my car was within earshot, Saga would get so excited and would stand waiting for me at the door.

Kelly put Saga and I together twelve years ago and Saga has met me at the door whenever I came home more-or-less ever since!

Even when we were living in London and I had no car to tip her off, somehow, Saga would know that I was home and would greet me, happy as ever to see me, as if I had been gone for years instead of the few hours I had spent at the office.

And Saga knew how to get her way... she just looked at me, made that little pouncing motion as she inched toward me, and shook her tail - as if you say "You think you can take me, old man?" and then come over and give me kisses.

Saga was smart! She recognized that "Santa's Little Helper" on The Simpson's was supposed to be a dog and she would try to protect me (and her turf) from it. And I will never forget one of the first times that she was watching TV here, a commercial came on that had a dog rolling over on it. Saga barked at it and when it didn't respond, she ran around behind the TV into the kitchen. Her look of confusion when she came out of the kitchen, circled around to the front of the TV and still saw the dog was priceless. It was clear she thought the TV was a window and the dog must be in the kitchen. I collapsed in fits of laughter. She still let me pet her and comfort her, though. 

Saga had a good life, she got to see more of the world than most people do, and she has been spoiled rotten by friends of mine on two continents. Saga has begged for sausages in the pubs of Thames Ditton, and been plied with the occasional “accidentally dropped” morsel at parties here at home. Saga was welcome at the beach house where my friends dubbed her “the cat dog” and had fans and friends at the two kennels that I we used when Daddy had to travel.

Of late, however, Saga has been dropping hints that it was time for me to consider what I would do when she was no longer with me. Little by little, her enthusiasm was on the wane. She has only greeted me at the door a couple times in the past week, and those occasions were somewhat perfunctory. As she has aged, Saga has been slowing, but lately it has become hard for her to walk, she has trouble staying on her feet, and much of the joy of life seems to have left her. She whinges when anyone goes to pet her, she doesn’t want to go out to “her park” with the same enthusiasm as she has. And even the hot dogs I feed her (her guilty pleasure since forever) are not as exciting as they have been.

She shivered whenever she stood – and had to be coaxed to even stand. It was clear that the pain meds that she had been given were no longer working.

Knowing that the end was near, I spent much of the morning cuddling with her on the couch, took her for a couple walks in “her park” for as long as she wanted to be there, and spoiled her mercilessly with cheese and hot dogs.

Saga passed away this afternoon in my arms. Her vet came and administered the sedative to calm her and another to stop her heart. In the end it was peaceful and she is no longer in pain.

She was a good friend, companion, and will be missed.

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day has been a pleasant one.

Don Bergquist – June 14, 2014 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Saga Snoozing


Anonymous said...

Saga was such a good dog, always friendly and happy to say 'hello' to visitors. She could not have asked for a better companion than you.
Cathy W

Barbara said...

What a beautiful tribute for a truely wonderful girl. So glad I got to spend some time with her. Hugs to you, Don.

Don Bergquist said...

Thanks, Cathy - She was a joy and is being missed!

Don Bergquist said...

Thanks, Barbara!

She surely was a sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

It was a privilege to be a "boarding stop" on her trip to the UK. She was a wonderful companion to you, and a beautiful model for you. Still thinking of her.

Don Bergquist said...

Thanks, Mary. I miss her too. I still half expect to see her from time to time as I come downstairs each morning.