Bugger. Can't get to sleep. I have this doubt since Pegasus's death last night and it won't go away. This contemplation feels more like one for Sahmain than Beltaine. I may have posted some of the following before.
Sometimes in the last 3 years I had the most intense vision of Pegasus. In the vision...
Pegasus is on a table, looking very tired, and looking very old. I'm there too and I come up to him - he wags his tail and smiles a "dog smile" - and I say "It's OK boy dog, it's OK, we're going to make the pain go away". Then I put my arms around him and someone takes a photo of us. Then the vet comes and gives him an injection and he's gone, and I start crying and don't stop.
Sometimes I could see that image - of me posing with Pegasus for the camera, and it upset me I guess, because I knew that Pegasus will die some day. So will I of course, but I guess the big feeling has been of loss is about friendship and companionship and I'm certainly feeling that now. But of course that's not how Peggy died. After gasping for air, he died while I was across the road getting help. So was it just the fear in me that would bring the vision up?
Back in 2003, I was walking Peggy down a bush track (this following bit is reprinted from a posting I did back then).
As I was walking, like I normally do, I came to contemplation, the nearest thing to Meditation that I can get. And it just popped into my head that I'd have Pegasus for another 7 years. He's currently 6 years old [11 this year], so that would make him 13 -- not a bad lifespan for a dog. And then, unbidden came the thought "and I've got 23 to go". I did my sums and mistakenly figured 89 years (I'm 46 this year [52 in 2008]) but in fact it was more like 69.
And the first thing that comes to mind is that the figures for Peggy were wrong. And if Peggy's were wrong, mine could be too. Of course what if they were right if I hadn't fucked up and not failed to get him to the vet in the last week? That's hard to say though I know there's a part of my mind that latches on to any suggestion like that and uses it against me. Let's say for the sake of argument that there were just abstracts plucked out of the air. They still had an effect on me. I've been dreading Pegasus's death for a long long time.
I think for whatever reason I've been very wary of visiting the vets with him, in case the vet suggested that he be put down. And maybe it helped freeze me in inaction, when what was needed was some positive action. I honestly though Peggy would be ok yesterday. It was a really hot day and most of the time he was lying down asleep. In fact, when I found him it seemed rather odd, because it was cool outside like he liked it and there he was having trouble breathing. It was dramatically worse than earlier in the day.
Some years ago I wrote:
but also long,
and in a finite space of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks,
months and years,
we have both no time
and all the time
And now I have to consider if that was true or not. Did I have my time with Pegasus (or did I by neglect cut it short)? I think that on the whole I did. Can't prove it, but it feels that way. Just now before I started this contemplation I went outside and sat next to the grave and talked to Pegasus. I told him that I loved him and that if by neglect I'd killed him, I was sorry.
Writing it now, it seems really dumb, but that is what I did. I also asked him (and the the Goddess) to appear in a dream tonight and let me know either way. Maybe Pegasus will be in my dreams tonight. Maybe he won't, but I've left the way open.
And if Beltaine is about fire and life and the promise of things to come, then why is mine about death. Death and life are related of course. And Pegasus always was the Goddess's gift to me. This year is all about change and so much has happened so far. But not in evenly spaced intervals or amounts. Everything is all over the place, accelerating towards the end of the year.
When Pegasus was ill at the start of the month I thought he was going to die (my niece's dog Minty had died a few days earlier). As I held him in my arms I told him that I loved him and that if he needed to go, that was OK. I didn't want to see him in long lingering pain and decline. I saw that in my father who after a double stroke withered away in a nursing home. Then, the next day he was much recovered. I was relieved though I also committed to take him to a vet, sometime soon. That never happened, and for the last week I'd had the oddest feeling that he was ready to go.
I was going to take him to the vet next Wednesday (a pay day) but he went quickly last night. And the bottom line is, that regardless of symptoms he had in the past, I have no idea what caused it. I can agonise over why and how and if, but it won't change anything, won't bring him back to life (this is not Pet Cemetery!) . So, I think that I have to accept responsibility either way simply because I cared for him. I'm sorry if through inaction I hastened his death but I am also glad that he did not suffer long.
And there's irony here. My aunty Glennis died late last year. My friend Jenny goes into a nursing home and get her dog. II may have employment as the night shift at a retirement village. Really, this is watching out for humans in similar conditions like Pegasus - elderly, in decline and in need of medication and attention. Only I'll be there to give first aid if necessary and call the ambulance if it's bad. And maybe they'll die (we all do, but you know what I mean) or maybe they won't. But I can make a difference maybe, even if seemed I could at the very end of Peggy's life.
I finally applied and got my masters in fine arts, which I'll start next year. But before that I'm going home to Perth to see family and friends. I need to see my family, especially my mother, before any more die off. I need to see the good friends I left behind in Perth too. I need to touch ground again and reaffirm certain things in myself, even though I can't seem to define those things exactly.
It seems to me that next year is going to be entirely different from what I expect. I have no idea if that's good or not, but rather than dither over it, I'll just go forward one day at a time. When I try it any faster, I fuck up, so best to go at my own speed (whatever that is). Anyway. this ends here. I want to sleep and maybe meet my dog in dreams for a play with the ball I buried with him. :)