A week ago, I sat with mr Dog in his last hours. It is still unfathomable; I don’t know if I will ever understand that a dog like him can leave this world; perhaps I will get used to it, to some extent, but never understand it, never accept it. There are all the small things: I expect him to come when I put on my sweater and coat to go out; the toothbrushes in the supermarket reminding me of getting one for him (always with bunnies, not cats) and realizing: no, he’s no longer here, his perfect teeth no longer need to be brushed; remembering not to trip on his water-bowl, which is no longer there on the kitchen floor; all those small things that meant everything, that meant the world.
The weather since has been congenial. Ice cold and harsh winds, grey — the skies were full of mourning, it seemed. It was then replaced by snowfall. Culminating today, it has forced the city to sleep or semi-consciousness: everywhere is silence, everything buried underneath a three to four decimeter layer of snow; there’s virtually no bus traffic and no other traffic; not even the major streets are clean, and the snow keeps falling, more and more heavily. It will be a wonderful afternoon and evening, silent like in the country-side. The sounds that still are, are muffled. The world is white. I must go back out, though I just came in.
As a younger dog, he would have loved the snow, though he was never exactly a dog of the winter-proof variety. Yorkies don’t come with the right kind of fur for this Nordic climate; luckily, the terrier temperament somewhat makes up for that. So he would have loved it, for a while. He loved to follow scents in the snow; to dig his nose down deep, possibly sniffing the elementals or sensing the earth-soul… or something — well, perhaps just similarily esoteric traces of bunnies and rodents. He walked tirelessly — or jumped like a kangaroo — in snow that was as deep as he was high, even deeper. In recent years, snow was more problematic; as an old dog, he began to suffer from the cold more easily and to find it hard to bear, and couldn’t compensate to the same extent by jumping around energetically, ecstatically. I still believe that this snow is falling for him, for the eager terrier he was.
(Image from February 2010, when he was five and a half. I remember that day well: how he ran all day in the snow; he ran as fast as he could over the frozen sea in the archipelago; he hunted for mice under the snow, burying himself in snow; he only discovered he was cold and tired when we waited for the boat to go home.)