Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chance, 1996-2008

Funeral Blues
W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


Marsha said...

Ahhh Chance,
I don't know if I ever told you, but I have a piece that I wrote called "A Chance for Grace" that I use every year with my 6th graders as a writing assignment. It centers around that time at Thanksgiving when Chance got out of his kennel and did his "duty" on mom and dad's bed then ate Mamaw's biscuits---anyway the point of the writing was that when I arrived on the scene, you weren't scolding Chance, but were consoling him-petting him and telling him what a "good" dog he was. It made me think about "grace" and how we all deserve the kind of grace you showed to Chance that day. Anyway, I wrote a really bad version of that story with "just the facts" to share with my students, but then I go on to model rewriting showing how you can craft a piece into something that is meaningful and something that someone WANTS to read. It is a lesson the kids enjoy because they actually "get" what I am trying to teach AND they get to know Chance as well. I have used it every year since the incident and now---it will be his memorial from me for years to come. Thinking of you guys today.

Evan and Julia said...

What a great story! I love Chance! Thank you so much for sharing this -- while we were at the vet's with him after she had given him the shot we were all bawling, but I just started to remember all the onry things he did -- and it was just him. Like when he went after Divet at your house and this white tuft of fur was left floating through the air . . .

Last night in the midst of feeling totally crappy, we started just writing everything down that we want to remember -- and we will definitely have to add this to our list.

I feel silly sometimes being so sad about a dog, but faithful companionable pets truly are a part of the redemption of this world.

your dad said...

It is three am and I am unable to sleep. Not because of Chance's passing but bad evening meal, I am sure. Pets have a way of enteriing the heart and not leaving. I am sure the two of you are hurting deeply and rightly so after 8 years of loving Chance. Your mother and I are thinking of you during is time. There will never be another Chance.

Anonymous said...

Evan and Julia, I am so sorry to hear about Chance... Bailey, Tate and Taney STILL talk about him. It's like he was the St. Paul's children's dept mascot, and a good one. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rochelle, Kerry and Bailey

ibzim said...

Bummer. Chance was a unique dude. Sorry to here. Just know, you all gave him more of a life than he could have ever hoped for before the adoption

Joyce Collins said...

Ohh...that is so sad! I am sorry you are going through this. I remember sobbing over a guinea pig! A bunny rabbit! Our cat! Our dog! All these I sobbed over as an adult! ( a child too, I was mad about a pet lamb and a pet turkey being served at the dinner table! The turkey was given to us for that purpose but I had already gotten attached as I carried it around with me for a week before Thanksgiving. The lamb was killed by a dog while we were at church so it was a wise use of meat for a family of seven!)
Chance was definetly a kind of dog that was part of the family and I feel it with you.