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An Ode to Oden


Kyna

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An Ode to Oden or Random thoughts on a dog who once was, and still is. In my heart.

 

You came to me, twice, promised lab/sheppard,

Instead you were a beagle/bear or perhaps a beagle/barrel.

 

One thought you were a fine dog, a pure bred Fox Hound indeed.

Were did he study?

 

You liked to fight and to play, your favourite friend three times your size, the Great Dane Peeko. The hip checker.

 

You were my hero, you knew good souls from bad and protected me from the latter and let me love the first.

 

Your feet had the comfort of corn chips.

 

The bigger the stick the better, the smellier the dead snake the longer the ride home.

 

You chased your shadow on the mountains from a Cessna and slept on my bed all day dreaming of what the cook had saved you for dinner.

 

A field dog, you were not. You were a hound who loved to chase deer and rabbits and cats and eat garbage.

We had to camp on Islands because of that nose, now that is my wont.

 

So grateful and content and loving. You knew you had a good home and I knew I had a good dog. The pining was mutual.

 

Long walks, swims, canoe trips, otters, deer, tents and hammocks. And skunks.

 

You got me through school, to school and out of school, through work and out of work. I was excited to see you, my tail wagged for you.

 

You were anxious at first, a licker, a chewer, a crier. Once you knew I was yours you settled into a calm farter. Odiferous.

 

Counter surfer, cake eater and butter licker.

 

A heat seeker and a heater. Getting so close to the fire you were hot to the touch but you could be tucked under the sheets like a copper bed warmer, but even better because you were soft and fury and put off heat all night.

 

Oden the Norse Dog. The only non-BC on Boxing Day.

 

Snow lover, water lover, stick lover, scratch lover, baby Emma lover. Lover of life.

 

Everyone loved you, professors, landlords, children, friends, family, even Chaka and Kei. I love you.

 

You stopped to smell the flowers.

 

You made me better. Isla and Rock have benefited from your life as have I. Rock ate your picture, we kept him anyway. We think he may be you.

 

You died too soon for you and for me. I am sorry. Forgive me.

 

You are in my thoughts, my memories and my heart.

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High up in the courts of Heaven today

A little dog-angel waits.

With the other dogs he will not play,

But he sits alone at the Gates.

 

”For I know my master will come”, says he,

”And when he comes, he will call for me.”

 

And his Master far down on the earth below,

As he sits in his easy chair

Forgets sometimes, and he whistles low

For the dog that is not there;

 

And the little dog-angel cocks his ears

And dreams that his Master's call he hears.

 

And I know when at length his Master waits

Outside in the dark and cold

For the hand of Death to open the gates

That lead to the Courts of Gold,

 

The little dog-angel's eager bark

Will comfort his soul while he's still in the dark.

 

Norah M. Holland, 1870

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