ON THE DEATH OF A DOG (for k.)

by admin on April 15, 2012

christophe with yoshi and hunter

a sad posting on facebook reminded esme of one of the more idyllic periods of her life.  the death of yoshi, a gorgeous and gentle vizsla, marked the end of an era.

hunter and i met yoshi the first summer we spent in carmel. both dogs were pups, and we met while walking them (or rather, while attempting to exhaust them) on carmel beach.  as the weeks passed we gathered more people and their dogs, all puppies.  toulouse was a large and mellow border collie who loved to chase trucks.  there was a beautifully spotted dalmatian who slept on his own custom-made bed, constructed to be high enough so that he could look out the window.  and finally a little spaniel mix who was ready for anything.

those were halcyon days!  the dogs played as puppies do, with a good-natured violence that occasionally made one gasp and always brought a chuckle.  the house was always full of sand, which crunched underfoot as one walked. yoshi’s owner was one of those marvelous people with a gift for bringing others together and a talent in the kitchen. we had many a long and wine-and-dog-filled dinner at her house.  we attended a dalmation birthday part held at the cove below the pebble beach golf and and tennis club!

dog friends

those were also the days before esme took up sportshopping.  perhaps this is when she became firmly entrenched in the jeans-and-favorite-t look, needing something impervious to little canine fingernails and likely to shed sand and fur.  in those days too (ah youth….) she walked barefoot on the sand so shoes were of no big concern.  a tilley hat and a windbreaker for summer, and she and hunter were ready to go.

she does recall spending considerable time obsessing over collars and leashes.  she bought the dog-bed that hunter uses to this day at a now defunct store on ocean ave.  and as winter came on, she went on a focused quest for rain-walking attire.  she still wears the water-proof pants she bought then, although the matching jacket has been lost to follow-up.

ah but like all good things those days came to an end.  when yoshi’s people (here for only 2 yrs. so he could study at the naval post graduate school) left for back east, the group lost it’s glue.  not long afterwards, the lovely dalmation was stricken by a sudden and unidentified illness and died in the first blossom of his youth.  esme learned that toulouse died a few years ago (cancer), also before his time.  and with yoshi’s recent demise, hunter is the only one left standing.

hunter no longer plays on the beach.  in fact, he is completely intolerant of puppies and needs to be kept away from them lest he nip.  nonetheless, esme always imagined that he and yoshi would meet again.  she was sure they’d recognize each other, even after the 10 years or so they’d been apart.  a vizsla passing by is always enough to make hunter look up and take notice.  alas, ’twill not occur in this lifetime.

r.i.p. friend yoshi,

esme and hunter

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