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  • Writer's pictureFrank Romans

Combustible Cargo

On Friday, January 7, 2022, I said goodbye for the last time. My old friend and I shared a lot over the years, and he got to witness all of my moods, good and bad. He never judged or questioned, and offered only quiet support through looks from understanding eyes. Whenever I sequestered myself in my office to write, he quietly supervised my work through writing, rewrites, edits, computer glitches, and writer's block. No spoken words were necessary and he had an unwavering dedication in watching me go from nothing to a completed manuscript. He freely gave his friendship and companionship, even when I didn't deserve it.

The old boy could be a bit on the fickle side, evidenced by his fading interest in me any time my wife was present. He loved me for sure, but I believe it is fair to say he absolutely adored her.

Cargo taught me some things. He taught me to live in the moment and pay attention to the world around me, to be grateful for what I have. He received treats as if he had never seen anything so wonderful in his life, and every time was the first time. He taught me to love unconditionally and be forgiving. He certainly followed that rule. Old roads, old dogs, old folks, and old ways have much to offer.

There is an old Native American legend that says, when a human dies, there is a bridge they must cross to enter into heaven. At the head of the bridge waits every animal that human has encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge.

When it becomes my turn to go

He will be there, this I know

He crossed that rainbow bridge to wait

For us to join him in that place

He took that lonesome walk alone

And cleared the path to his new home

The hardest thing about having a dog is saying goodbye. Farewell friend, and thank you for owning me.

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