Mallie died today. She was a good dog. It may sound morbid but I'm really glad I was here to witness this and be there. She died in the house, on the living room floor, surrounded by family and members of her pack. Not a bad way to go, really.
I remember when Gabe and I brought her home from Las Cruces in the back of his VW Van. She was such a cute little thing; she had been left for dead by a ditch on a farm road. She was always a very alert guard dog (part Chow) but she was plagued with health problems the last couple of years. Now she's no longer in pain.
Daddy, Gabe and I dug a grave for her out in the woods behind the house; near a trail she had run along countless times in better years. It was weird to bury her. I don't think I've ever actually dug a grave and put something in it and then filled it up again. I kept thinking of the line from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio." It really does drive home the fragility of life to dig a grave and bury something. These feelings were further amplified by the other dogs running around in the woods seemingly oblivious to what was taking place. I thought to myself how they could not know it, but we would someday dig their graves, and bury them here, too.
RIP Malaguena, 1996 - 2007