Sometimes an Airplane is the Perfect
Place to Let Go of an Old Friend
To me, there is something extremely spiritual about flying. I don't spend much time inside the confines of any church, I spend my time thanking God for my flying skills while slipping surly bonds at a few thousand feet AGL. When I fly alone, the waves of daily thoughts that flood this busy human's brain melt away, and my usually overloaded noggin can focus on flight. Gliding along, free for the most part from the confines of gravity, I can concentrate on stick and rudder things. But once fat and happy in level cruise, I can allow myself to do the best sort of reflection.
After doing a number of things today for home and family, I found myself at the departure end of Eugene's 16R...ready to blast off to nowhere in particular. So I launched and headed west, towards the beautiful Oregon Coast. After a smooth, effortless climb out, I leveled at 6,500MSL. The sun was thinking seriously about setting, and the reflections off the water were breathtaking. Without a schedule or even a destination, and with the autopilot keeping Katy at 270 degrees and spot on the altitude, my thoughts wandered to something that has been heavy on my mind for the last 48 hours.
After 15 years of dog ownership, your furry friend becomes a legitimate member of the family. You get into a routine, get the paper in the A.M., let the dog out to water a tree. When you come home, he is at the tall window at the front of the house, and you can see the "Doggie in the Window" jump with excitement as soon as he realizes it is us coming up the hill. As I flew along today, it sunk in that this is all gone now. No more walks, no more giving him treats for barking and scaring the deer away from our garden. Up there, away from life's demands, I was able to get right with the decision we made, and started to believe it really was the final act of love to have the vet start the injection.
For those of you who have ever known a Keeshond, they are incredible dogs. Probably their most valuable asset is their undeniable love for their owners, and being very social, they MUST be by their humans at all times. We have taken Sage to work his entire life, and he has had several jobs. He guarded the back room at our picture framing shop, and greeted "his" customers at Visions Gallery, the fine art space we owned back in the day. He was the official greeter and recipient of 1,000 hugs a day during his daily visits to Julie's classical ballet school, The Dancers Place. And these days, when not on guard against the dreaded deer or scheming against the wild turkeys that literally waltz behind the studio, Sage HAD to position himself between our two offices. When Julie throws on the headset and moves gracefully around the studio on a conference call, Sage would continually have to re-position himself to remain exactly between the two of us.