To all the dogs I’ve loved before

This is a tribute to the three beautiful canine spirits that accepted my invitation to grace my life with their presences: Nicholas, Jake and Cassie.

And don’t miss the photos at the bottom of the page, of my newest canine friend, Tess.

Nicholas - my first "pound puppy": Sept. 1983 - Oct. 3, 1997

 

Nicholas on our balcony in Dayton, Ohio 1985

Cassie at approximately 7 wks. She had me at "hello."

 

Before her ears "stood up"

Jake: my "special needs" dog: Dec. 2005 - Jan. 6, 2011

Queen Cassie, at her regal best: May 1998 - Jan. 17, 2012

What Thou Givest, O Lord, Thou Takest Not Away

by Rabbi Morris Adler

Shall I cry out in anger, O God,

because thy gifts are mine but for a while?

Shall I forget the blessing of health

the moment it gives way to illness and pain?

Shall I be ungrateful for the moments of laughter,

the seasons of joy, the days of gladness and festivity?

When tears cloud my eyes and darken the world

and my heart is heavy within me,

shall I blot from the mind, the love I have known

and in which I have rejoiced?

When a fate beyond my understanding takes from me

friends and kin whom I have cherished, and leaves me

bereft of shining presences that have lit my way

through years of companionship and affection.

Shall I grieve for a youth that has gone

once my hair is gray and my shoulders bent,

and forget days of vibrancy and power?

Shall I in days of adversity fail to recall

the hours of joy and glory Thou once had granted me?

Shall I in turmoil of need and anxiety

cease blessing Thee for the peace of former days?

Shall the time of darkness put out forever

the glow of the light in which I once walked?

Give me the vision, O God, to see and feel

that imbedded deep in each of Thy gifts,

is a core of eternity, undiminished and bright;

an eternity that survives the dread hours of affliction and misery.

The youth that once was mine

continues to course in memory and thought

and remains unspent even in age.

It lingers in the brightness still cast

upon the dimmer landscape age unfolds.

It gives vitality to the compassion,

and strength to the greater understanding

which many years of living and feeling

have brought as their enriching gifts.

Those that I have loved, though now beyond my view,

have given form and quality to my being

and they live on, unfailingly feeding

my heart and mind and imagination.

They have led me into the wide universe

I continue to inhabit, and their presence

is more vital to me than their absence.

What Thou givest, O Lord,

Thou takest not away

and bounties once granted

shed their radiance evermore.

Within me, your love and vision,

now woven deep into the texture,

live and will be mine, till Thou callest me hence

to another realm, where these moments of eternity

shall be joined together

in unbroken sequence

to form eternal life.

Tess. Adopted March 6, 2012

 

 

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