They come when you least expect them, lured to the surface by forces known or sometimes unknown.
They start with fleeting glimpses, like the flash of light reflected off a raindrop. Similar to a summer rain they can remain soft and gentle; sometimes they built to a torrential downpour; sometimes they hit with the force of a hurricane destroying everything in it’s past.
So it is with Taz. Often I cannot identify the trigger that brings the fleeting images of him patrolling our yard to my mind. When I see the dog bed he used as a home base, memories of him rushing in from the cold and dropping into it’s warm embrace flood my mind. I laugh to myself as the fleeting images gather strength and I remember that after wresting with Moe, he would run to the bed, like a child calling a time out, and the wrestling match would stop.
Although his time with us was short, Taz left behind a treasure trove of memories. I laugh out loud when I think about him getting stranded in enclosed areas. I picture the lawn in our yard where we had enclosed a section with wire fencing about two feet high. The grass was worn and damaged and needed a rest from the onslaught of our four dogs. One day I followed the sound of a whimpering Taz and found him standing inside the enclosure. He was clearly distressed. Despite the fact that he had made his way into the enclosure, he could not find his way out.
I laugh at memories of a stranded Taz at another house. That little house is surrounded by forest. When we moved in we were uncomfortable letting our city dogs wander loose, especially when we let them out after dark. To solve the problem, we built a temporary fence of wire, in the backyard, and created an enclosure. This area was accessed from a set of patio doors in our living room. Our backyard could also be accessed through a door in the kitchen. This “kitchen” door lead into the area outside the enclosure. We used this “kitchen” door to take Tasha, who was having difficulty walking, out for her potty breaks. At the same time, we would let the other dogs wander freely around the yard. Moe and Willa usually followed us while we helped Tasha outside. Often Taz would be outside in the enclosed area.We would call to him across the yard where he stood, not more than ten feet away, behind the fence. He would stand in enclosure and whimper, indignant at being stranded. It became clear he was unable to navigate the steps needed to go into the house, through the dog door, run along a hall into the kitchen and out the kitchen door. Time after time, I would have to go back into the house, call him from the patio door, then lead him into the kitchen and out the door to freedom. It took several “guided” tours before Taz got the hang of the whole thing.
I smile and laugh at my Taz memories. Then the memory of his loss hits like a hurricane. As time passes the hurricane will get downgraded. Soon it will be a tropical depression. Then only gentle memories, like light summer rain, will remain.