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July 10, 2019

R.I.P. Most Beautiful Friend

Kaspar was laid to rest yesterday, July 9 2019

It is with great regret that we announce that our beloved companion Kaspar was laid to rest yesterday July 9th. Kaspar had been ailing with joint desease for a couple of years now, having bad days and good days.  He had made it through the mild winter with flying colors and we were very hopeful that we would get to see him reach 13 years old at the end of this year. But it was not to be.  Just two weeks ago he was still managing the 4 steps up into the house pretty well, someitmes needing a bit of help and his gait had become very slow and halting.  Most of his days and nights consisted of endless naps in some cool shady spot or in the house.  He hardly ate and had dropped a lot of weight.  Then suddenly he could not lift himself up at all.  My great-grandson who was visiting helped me hoist him up and pull him up onto the front porch where he could stretch out under the ceiling fan, in the shade (and no steps to climb) and still see and hear all that was going on with us.  A good place to rest and recuperate.  But Kaspar had stopped eating altogether and never took another morsel of food after the 3rd of July. He was starving himself to death.  Heart-breaking. 

Kaspar was the best dog ever.  He simply had not one single fault or defect.  I thought of making a list of all his wonderful attributes and qualities going down the letters of the alphabet: A for admirable, B for beautiful, C for compassionate, but it would not be enough.  One of the last days that Kaspar was able to stand up, he hobbled over to me (I was brushing Renaud) and leaned against my leg as if to say, Hey, we're still best friends.  This is what Kaspar had done the first time we met: he was 2 1/2 in one of the many foster homes he had been in during his youth and when he saw me he came and leaned against my leg. His big loving brown eyes looked up pleading, Adopt me, take me home with you please, I'll be a good dog.  His soul was so kind and powerful that I could not get him out of my mind for the entire weekend and by monday I was speaking to the Great Pyr rescue people about adopting him.  A month later I was picking him up and 10 years later I now have had to say good bye.

When I first picked up Kaspar he did not like to get into the car.  I always thought he was scared he would be dropped off with another foster.  After a few months though he knew he was mine and I was his and nothing would separate us again. He wilinngly went to the grooming salon and everywehere else.  Kapsar was my great grandkids and grandkids favorite.  Like a giant teddy bear.  My little grand-son used to slide down his furry side when he was about 18 months old.  What fun!  Kaspar never even blinked. Life was good, he was loved and he loved everyone. 

Kaspar came with me to the Mardi Gras twice. First as my Royal Steed when I costumed as Queen Berenger and once as simply my companion when I went as Gypsy Queen.  Everywhere we went people fell in love with him and had to come over and tell him how beautiful he was and pet him.  He was utterly patient.  He went to Bay St Louis with me to visit the antique shops and we took walks on the beach.  Last October we took him camping with us for 3 days at the Cow Festival in Carriere MS.  A bit anxious at fist becasue he had never been tied up before he soon enchanted all the yoga students passing by to their cars. Everytime we came to check up on him at our camper someone was there talking to him and petting him. He simply had that effect on people, they wanted to be with him for a bit. 

Once I read a nonsense article about talking to your dogs in baby talk.  What utter nonsend I thought, I never speak to my dogs like that, I speak to them in a commanding voice (I'm the leader of the pack) or with hand-movements (they know me so well). Then I realized with Kaspar, I never even spoke at all.  Kaspar could read my mind and my moods.  Whenever I open the back door there is always a pack standing there, hoping to rush in. Well sometimes I am there indeed to let them in, but sometimes I'm there with a load of laundry to carry to the shed or some other task and I have to shout " get out of the way" or "stay" or "move" ( I alwyas say at our house the first word dogs learn is not sit but move!).  Kaspar never was in the way, he always stood at the bottom of the steps and looked up, waiting with complete patience and tolerance.  Even when I was brushing the dogs in turn and it was completely obvious they were about to come into the house, still he would stand back and wait, reading my mood, never wanting to rush me.  Kaspar was a gentleman through and through.  A beautiful and kind gentleman of the dog world. He will never be replaced.  Through my lifetime of living with dogs, I had never met one quite like him and most likely never will.  

Kaspar was loved and he had a good life with us.  I regret that I could not have met him and adopted him earlier in his life so he would not have had to move from foster to foster all those months.  I am so grateful we did have him those last 10 years.  He never had any 'tricks" or "quirks", there was never anything to forgive or overlook or make do with .  When he left the body I was cradling his big head in the crook of my elbow and he had quite surrendered in a final act of trust in me and I was the one asking him to forgive me for my obvous missteps.

Kaspar was simply the most gracious being I have ever encountered.  He was full of grace in body and spirit.  I will alwasy remember him leaning gently against my leg this last time and I will miss him forever.  

Kaspar is buried right above Bonnet Bleu, his best friend of 10 years who left us last April.  They both rest in peace by a grove of vetiver under the Buddha framed by a flowering Carolina Jessamine.