My One Necessity

We all have a reason for being

This is my last post. I had a good run with my Princeton family. People have called me sweet (though I prefer rank, meaty, savory), but I can’t take all the credit. I kind of hit the jackpot when my humans picked me from all the others in the litter. Something about my personality, they said. Whatever that means.

I’m a yielder, not a fighter (except when it comes to tug). I couldn’t fight the cancer anymore. Monday I said good-bye to my favorite humans in the neighborhood: Mike the mailman, Pat (who let me clean out the cat dishes every time I visited), and Miriam, my other mom, who always carried treats and took care of me when my humans were away. Yesterday I got so sleepy. I think it’s going to be either a very long nap or an endless romp. Both sound perfect.

You know how my human loves words. These last few weeks, as I grew weaker, she sat and slept by my side as faithfully as I sat and slept by her these past 11 years. Besides the great ear rubs and the luxurious stroke of her fingers drawing a line up my nose (how I trembled when she did that), we talked. She with words, me with my eyes, ever attentive. I’m a great listener.

She recalled the memories that she said will link us forever. Summer days in the yard, her bent to gardening, me sprawled out in the cool grass or under the pine tree, dizzy with happiness. Trips to Lake Hubert, where I went for rides in the boat, jumped off the dock to rescue my human if she swam out too far, and dug in the sand for any delicious remnant of a dead fish, wild with joy. Hikes along the Mississippi River in Hidden Falls. Romps in the snow. And bunnies. Every part of me alert and throbbing.

She even read me something from another human (she does this when she’s feeling sad or sentimental).

“We can live any way we want. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse . . . to grasp your one necessity and not let it go.” (Annie Dillard)

Even I, ruled all my life by my nose and tummy, liked the sound of those words, “stalk”especially. Or maybe it was the way my human slowed down at “your one necessity.” She looked at me deeply when she said those 3 words, and that’s when it clicked: the feeling that swelled my heart every moment of our good life together. She was telling me that we all have a reason for being, a purpose while we walk this green and glorious earth.

Will you tell her she was mine?

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