Saturday, March 9, 2013

Death of our donkey, Daisy

The first quote du jour entry I put up on the blog was:
A quotation at the right moment is like bread to the famished.The Talmud 
Last evening I pulled a book off the shelf called Long Life by Mary Oliver. It is a collection of essays and poems, which I haven't read yet. I opened to this passage:
For the first time in twenty-five years there is no small footstool next to the bed, on which to break one's toes. The little dogs, first Jasper and then Bear, are gone. How neatening is loss, since it only takes away! One less mouth to feed, to walk, to bathe, to hold. One less sentient creature to cherish, to worry over, to feel for, to receive comfort from. And where is he, little Bear, the latest to leave us? We watch the clouds carefully; sooner or later we will see him, sailing away in careless and beautiful serenity. Of what rich and ornate stuff the powerful and uncontainable gods invented the world, out of the rampant dust! The silky brant, the scarf of chiffon, the letter, the empty envelope, the black ducks, the old shoes, the little white dog fall away, fall away, and all the music of our lives is in them. The gods act as they act for what purpose we do not know, but this we do understand: the world could not be made without the swirl and whirlwind of our deepest attention and our cherishing. And if I mean the god of the sky, I mean also the god of the river - not only the god of the gold-speckled cathedral but the lord of the green field, where people pause casually and snap each other's picture; where thrushes release their darkling songs; where little dogs bark and leap, their ears tossing, joyously, as they run toward us.
Yet again, I marvel at Mary Oliver, and I marvel at those words from the Talmud. Just before leaving for work yesterday morning, Tom came in from the barn and said, 'Daisy is dying.' The day was a fretful one. I went out to the barn a few times to check on her. She seemed peaceful and quiet, laying on her side in the stall, separate from the goat and sheep. By the end of the day, she had passed on. She turned thirty last summer, and we've had her since 1988, when my children were six and three. She was a wonderful girl, who absolutely adored people. She would walk up to perfect strangers and nuzzle them. The last picture I have of her was on the first day of fall, in the pasture with 'her' animals, guarding them from predators, guiding them where they should go. Daisy was a happy, contented, loving soul, and though our hearts are aching and the tears are falling, we know that she had the best possible life.
 


25 comments:

  1. Dear Nan,
    It's lovely to see you back here, but I'm sorry that it is in sad circumstances. Poor Daisy - though I know that with you she will have had the happiest life.

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  2. Bless you as you grieve the loss of this special animal. I'm sure you will miss her very much. (And the Mary Oliver quotation is lovely.)

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  3. Oh Nan, it's so good to have you back. I am so sorry about Daisy's death, losses are so hard, no easy way round the sadness but, in the larger picture, to know that you and your family gave her the most wonderful donkey life, is surely a blessing.
    carole

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  4. I'm so sorry that you lost your special animal. It's surprising how much they move into our hearts and souls, isn't it? Hugs from here in Ottawa. How lovely that the first poem you open to, speaks exactly to what you need to hear.

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  5. Nan, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I always enjoyed seeing Daisy's pictures in your letters.

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your writing is so beautiful, even at this sad time.

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  7. As Cornflower says, it is so nice to see you back again, but I am sorry it is in such sad circumstances.

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  8. Oh, Nan, I'm so sorry about Daisy! I know you loved her. She had a good long life didn't she? Carefree and happy.

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  9. So sorry to hear this Nan. I hope you feel better sharing your grief with us. I know Daisy was the lucky lady getting to live in your world. You were lucky too to have such a gem for so long. Namaste.

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  10. Oh, Nan, I've never had an animal as long as you knew Daisy and I've grieved ever so much when I've lost mine. How your heart must ache - and so does mine, for you. I know that, with you, Daisy had the best life she ever could have.

    (Prov 25:11)

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  11. I never thought I would be crying for a donkey and one I didn't even know. Thoughts are with you.

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  12. So sorry about Daisy ~ but it sounds like she had a happy long life with your family. It's never easy when one of our animal family leaves, it makes a big sad gap in our days as we know them.
    A lovely poem.

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  13. So sorry to hear about Daisy... Mary Oliver is amazing!

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  14. I am so sorry to hear about Daisy - I know how animals quickly become one of the family and losing them is just as difficult. But she did have the best possible life and that was thanks to the family that she was a member of.

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  15. Sad to read of Daisy's passing. Aren't you fortunate to have shared this earth with such a sweet spirit for so long... and she fortunate to have lived under your gentle care?

    So glad you are back to blogging. I missed knowing I could check in with you here.

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  16. My condolences to you for your loss of Daisy the donkey. I know it will leave a hole in your heart.

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  17. You've written a moving tribute to your beloved animal. I'm sorry she's gone.

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  18. Ever since I was a very small child whose passion was riding the donkeys on the long sandy beaches of North Wales on our annual weeks family holiday, I have loved donkeys and have a special fondness when ever I meet one.
    Your Daisy sounds like a lovely donkey who was well loved and looked after...I'm sure she loved you too... and who in this World could ask for more than that.
    Thinking of you Val and the girls xxx

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  19. After your words and Mary O. I feel bereft for Daisy too. All those years together, how lucky you both were, and what a gorgeous peaceful picture .
    xx
    julie

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  20. Oh dear Nan! I am so sorry for your loss...Daisy was more than a pet, she has been a part of your family for so long. the words from Mary Oliver are indeed perfect and the whole post a lovely tribute.

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  21. Daisy sounds like a gem!! You were both lucky to have each other!!! Thinking of you and your family!

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  22. How could she not have the best life? She was loved by you and Tom and the kids. I'm so sorry she's gone. I know you'll miss her terribly, Nan. Thanks for sharing Mary Oliver's words. I especially like these, "the world could not be made without the swirl and whirlwind of our deepest attention and our cherishing."

    Love to you, dearest.

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  23. Oh Nan, I'm so sorry about Daisy. She looked so happy and contented in that photo and I'm sure that's the kind of life she had with you all the time. My condolences and again, I'm so glad you're back to blogging! Hugs, Debra

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  24. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet donkey. Knowing your love for him, I would like to recommend to you the book "Travels in a Donkey Trap" by Daisy Baker. It is the nonfiction account of an elderly lady who decides she wants to see the countryside and goes about getting herself a donkey and cart. I enjoyed it immensely and think you will too.

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  25. My thanks to each of you for your kind, caring words. They mean so much to both Tom and me.

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