Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Muddy leaves a hole but Bear and I shift

Bear and Mud the night before he died, constant mates
If you follow us on social media, you know of our hard loss yesterday, which we had planned for. Muddy was helped out of pain at one o'clock. I was grateful the vet agreed to come to our farm to do the procedure. We were able to hold him and I lay with him in the garden before and after.

I won't rehash the day. I documented it in earnest on Instagram, something I felt compelled to do, from the night before, to the morning of and then through the burial. I always say, for me, it is important to share the sad with the joy, it is the same balancing act we all face daily in our own lives, it is the human condition, it is Nature's law book. I had not told people what day we were going to put him down, so those that tuned in saw the lead up to the moment, through emotive images of Bear and Muddy. I think some or most had a sense of the buildup I was feeling on the death day. It was not a comfortable feeling and I was emotional much of the day. I tried not to be gushy in front of Muddy, but I shared a lot of things with him in the final week.

I really wasn't sure how Bear would respond once the burial was over and we returned to the house, without his buddy. He definatly knew Mud was gone, in the grave, he saw it and smelled it, he got it. Animals know. But sitting in the garden at night with us, he kept smelling the air. He sat by me most of the evening, in the house too. I know he was a bit aimless.

This morning, he was very quiet, rather than vocalizing at a certain point in his crate to 'Hurry up, I want to get up". He was fine, but he was less puppy-like-squirmy. We've been working on that. He also shifted his position on where he would lay down, and has been laying down nearest to whereever I am.

I told him this is our restart together as a team. We bonded from the moment we met, we really did. And we had our early training at Cove's Edge where he was just a super little therapy guy, calm, smart, fearless, quiet. I've been a bit short with him in the past couple months, since I was overprotecting harm to Mud and his bone. So now, we can work again together, we did some obedience work today and he was fine, he knows the commands, we will get that down quickly. He just needs to know I'm here.

The lead up to the event was worse than the finality of the burial. Yes, I miss him so much. But when I walked out this morning with Bear, I was relieved for Mud that he didn't have to limp out with me, put on his wagging tail face and feel the pain that we knew was only growing. We had two extra months with him and are grateful.

But there is a hole.