Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For Emma: in memoriam, our spunky beautiful Scottie

Emma is Aesop's sister. Their mother is the same, but their dad's are not. She was about a year younger when she met her older brother, whom had settled down, after a brief " wild puppy stage," really playful and joyful. But his older "sister" was Kate and she was so much older and also mourned the loss of her "sibling" Fala. Though she accepted Aesop, she could not play with him as he would have wished, but they walked together and "talked" together about matters that only doggies understand. When Kate died, it was obvious that Aesop need friendship and love and so we returned to the Walters of Great Scot Kennels. That is how Emma became one of our family. Behaving as puppies do, she ran after Aesop, would leap on his back and then nip him with her baby teeth. Poor Aesop. He did not bite his little sister or harm her at all; he found that the best strategy was to run upstairs for refuge. There he sat on a couch and gazed out of a window. Of course Emma was too small to climb the steep staircase; thus the pursuit of Aesop ended. As she matured in the following months, Emma became more companionable she also began to manifest a certain reticence. Whereas Aesop loved to sit outside and had several favored places, Emma began to spend more and more time indoors. Only in the late afternoon did she venture forth into the garden; then she sat down on the wooden patio to gaze at the garden, even as twilight waned. Emma did not like to be held and and cuddled in her maturity, although she did enjoy sitting next to my desk at my computer. There she curled up or looked out of a window . But after half and hour she invariably wanted to get down and would find another resting place. She was a wonderful hiker and together with Aesop would climb Tallman Mountain from its very steepest trail entrance. Clever and resourceful, loving always, Emma was an amazing creature. The final years of her life were very difficult. She developed several cancers and had active diabetes, but even with these troubles she still kept up and showed bravery if one may call it that (I am uncertain that it is appropriate to attribute human behaviors to animals). As her doctor Howard Gittelman said (paraphrasing now), it will be so difficult at the end. And so it was when we had to have her injected. A friend, a dependent, a member of the family, a "child" despite her age, Emma was trusting to the end. She missed Aesop who had predeceased her and surely that loss weighed on her. Of course dogs have an emotional life; Emma's was rich and we were so very fortunate to have her. Now she is in dog heaven, a land of everlasting spring where she plays with her family and waits for our occasional visits, when we bring toys and goodies for all to share.
Emma was her own person.

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