Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goodbye Chief - From the Fireflies and the Jasmine

"......outside with the dogs and mosquitos, I watch my yard just twinkle away! It brings back vivid memories and smells from when we were little, of late summer afternoons and the hot, dry grass out at Mamaw's house in the "go-cart" yard. -- Spinning around with a glass jelly jar in hand, with holes poked in the lid. Catching fireflies. Ah, summer! " - written August 2007
Today, April 23, 2009 --

I didn't know that yesterday would be my last day with Chief. I didn't know that when I brushed him, and talked to him about how ridiculous his shedding was, and hugged him close that I would never do it again while seeing the light in his eyes. 

Today I spent the day away from this house, dealing with the things that must be done, and taking Chief's
 brother, Scout, with me throughout the day. To swim, to forget, just to be away. But at home, later, I felt that spending the afternoon outside in the nice breeze and the yard where they lived together would be good, for both of us. As the sun faded, Scout lounged in the grass next to me while I drew Indian mandala designs on the driveway - as therapy for me, yes, but as a sweet tribute to my canine friend.

All the while random scenes from his life came to me -- Chief diving for rocks and carrying them around showing off his powerful neck and jaws; Chief never tiring of being thrown a tennis ball; Chief, the bull in a china shop whenever he would come into the house; Chief, the stalker always watching from the window, as protective as a soldier. 

Chief, the mirror of his master, in his countenance, his steadfastness, his adventurousness. 

I joined Scout in the grass and we sat there in the coolness of the evening. There was jasmine growing on the fence, in full bloom, and the air where we were was filled with the tremendous intoxicating scent of it. Out of the corner of my eye, a blink of something. I turned my head to see a slight twinkling, every 3 seconds or so, from this one area of the yard. For the first time this spring, that schoolgirl feeling filled me -- OH FIREFLIES!! And the wonder of them that makes you want to bottle them up and  keep them. Watching, I realized that this particular area of the yard, the one where these 10 or 20 fireflies chose to buzz tonight, was like a little blinking halo over the spot where I found Chief this morning. For only 5 minutes or so, they hovered and twinkled right over this spot.  

And when they had gone, I knew that he had gone peacefully, and that this beautiful evening was telling me, and telling Scout -- thank you for loving me. 

And thank you to my two real life angels today, Heather and Brett. Wishing you jasmine blooms, much love, and many firefly visits. 

Goodbye Chief, my sweet, rambunctious, loving, strong, amazing friend. 


  1. Adrienne - Scott & I are so sorry for your loss of such a truly great dog, Chief. We will think of him when we see fireflies this summer. Love, Val & Scott

  2. The individual moments are not to be lost or taken for granted no matter what we may be thinking about instead of being in the present. The wonderful thing about moments is they are always there to be cherished when we are ready to embrace them.