Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine.
Et nos amours, faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne?
La joie venait toujours après la peine.
Under the Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine
And our loves, must I remember them?
The joy forever coming after pain’s den.
Excerpt from Le Pont Mirabeau by Guillaume Apollinaire, and my rather liberal translation 🙂
Fourteen years ago I impulse-purchased a black lab puppy from a stranger at a bar in Galveston, Texas. A few months later we were forced to evacuate before Hurricane Ike made landfall. Papi the puppy, and I, road tripped up to Arkansas, on through the Bluegrass Mountains, to my cousin’s lake cottage in Massachusetts for several weeks before renting a cottage on Cape Cod for several months. It was quite the adventure for us both.
Little did I know many more ‘adventures’ would follow. They include, but are not limited to: 5 emergency trips to the vet for: suspected rat poisoning, several snake bites, at least one stroke, severe constipation of unknown origin.
Additional drama created from: swallowing a fishing line, a wasp attack, snorting fire ants, 2 ear hematoma, (suspected) tripping on hallucinogens, fight with pit bull, jumping out of moving car, several spring disappearances including the last one where I discovered him half a mile away after several days tramping around with a pack of feral dogs—he was suffering from multiple head injuries, limping very badly and hardly recognized me.
Aahh, such is love. Of the trauma-bond variety especially.
Over the last couple of years he’d gone blind and deaf, had warts and tumors all over his body, but still had a voracious appetite and remained as vocal as ever, whether directed at the mail lady, strangers, or walks and mealtimes not occurring promptly enough for his preference.
He was, by far, the most demanding dog we’ve had—our ‘problem child’ we always joked—but we blubbered like babies when he passed a few days ago.
We will miss him dearly. He was a pill, no doubt, but he was our pill and our first pup, and for every ounce of pain he brought, they were balanced by joy.
Dancing together was one of those big joys. Dancing was a way to keep my spirits up on all those lonely weeks Hubby was working. Papi got pretty good at it. Of course it was always an issue who would lead.
This was one of our favorites. Tu vuo fa l’Americano
A life fully lived is one of joy and pain dancing through each season again and again.
Rest In Peace, dear Papi, thank you for sharing your life dance with us.