Can’t believe it’s been a year since that deep part of my heart, the place where only dogs can find—turn their circles then settle into—was taken away by a kind woman in the back of a Subaru and a day later, turned to ash. I think about Ry every single day, and as we prepare to make our (nearly) yearly trek to the Schoolhouse Rendezvous near Old Snowmass, it seems more than strange to go without him; it feels terrible wrong. So wrong I do not want to go. It it weren’t for Bian and one of the only ways to get 3 days in a row of at least seeing our closest friends, I wouldn’t go. I despise the camping part of it anyway for these reasons (exactly).
I’m just anxious about this weekend’s trip, & not just because of the camping/claustrophobia part—that I’ve never EVER spoken to anyone of—but because of this anniversary of Ry’s death. Last year I drove Bian the 3-and-some hours up there and left her in the care of the Darts and drove back home, weeping all the way, because it was 3 days after Ry died and Bamboo was a WRECK and I didn’t want to leave her alone. (She isn’t Rendezvous material but the story of Bamboo is another blog post for another day.) So 2 or 3 days later, I drove back up, and Cath & I took a walk with the kids. I’d brought some of Ry’s ashes and we took a walk and spread some of them on the mountain. And then Bian & I drove home to a house with one dog and two dog beds.
Bamboo ate just enough to survive for a month. She has a love/hate relationship with her species; reminds me of someone…
And in a few days, the people who remember that Ry died will offer their condolences and I’ll wish they hadn’t because I can’t hear his name without welling up.
But a story for a bit of a lift (I think—not sure): While walking Bamboo today, I was listening to a shuffled playlist on my iPhone, when a lone cranky goose waddled across the path in front of us. Just as I was trying to hold Bamboo back, I was thinking of how Ry chased—AND caught AND ran for his life when she hissed at him—a goose at a Seattle lake. Just at that very moment today,
Ry Cooder’s mournful “Paris, Texas” started murmuring in my ears and I knew Mister Ry “Poodleman” Bread was with me.
I like to imagine him with Bella, Lalo, MacDuff, Juno, Solie, Tongo, Elmo— all the dogs I’ve known and loved—playing on the Rainbow Bridge and running through the fields. Bella will be cleaning Ry’s ears; she was the only one he let do that. She was the first dog I ever really loved and I think he knew it.
Ry was my first dog. My forever dog. I’ll miss him forever.