July 1997 - February 1 2010
Two weekends ago Cash went on his last bird hunt in the Oregon high desert, but it was clearly his last. After a rough week of trying to get him to eat and keep it down, this past Monday we bowed to the inevitable and set him free.
Cash was not an easy dog, but he was a good dog. Though he was too strong for me and had a will to match, yet there wasn't a single mean bone in his body. I never saw him snap at any creature, and he loved babies and kittens. He would place his nose on Elizabeth's head and breathe in and out till her ears were wet. She loved this.
We had a hard time letting him go, but we have peace knowing it was the right thing to do. I've been reading Roger Grenier's The Difficulty of Being a Dog (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2000; translated from the French by Alice Kaplan) and found this passage there on page 9.
. . . Each day, by the brevity of its life, our pet tells us, I shall soon be dead. In the deepest sense, these familiar creatures are part of the hurt of living. Because dogs inflict the suffering of loss upon us, the French sometimes call them "beasts of sorrow," betes de chagrin.