My Life Adventures, Travel Experiences and Reflections

Thursday

The Harlan Chronicles 10

Harlan’s Finale

Harlan’s ashes arrived two weeks after he died. I picked them up at the animal clinic. They were presented to me in a navy blue velvet bag and inside, a beautiful wooden box with a key. Not sure of what I should do with his ashes, Mr. Something acerbically suggested, “why don't we plant him in the backyard flower bed, he’s used to being in there”.

Delaying my decision, Harlan was placed on the fireplace mantle. That evening, we were meeting our friends Terry and Arthur for dinner. Terry asked me to bring Harlan as she was interested in seeing how he was “packaged”. So, I put Harlan in my purse and off we went to the restaurant. After a few minutes of conversation, I placed Harlan on the table.

“I didn’t know Harlan would be joining us”, Mr. Something said.

Ignoring his comment, I slid Harlan across the table to Terry. A huge smile came across her face and with her eyes welling up, she exclaimed “This is the first time Harlan has ever come to me!”

A few days later, I received a phone call from our local pharmacy. “Is Mr. Spotswood available?” asked the perky pharmacy-lady.

Knowing that Mr. Something doesn’t take prescription medications, I asked, “Which one?” “Mr. Harlan Spotswood” she responded. My heart skipped.

“I’m sorry but unfortunately, Mr. Spotswood has passed away”, I said.

The pharmacy-lady’s tone immediately changed from perky to apologetic...“I am sooo sorry, I noticed he had not refilled this months prescription.”

I thanked her. Done. The lies are over.

To my surprise, the pharmacy-lady dragged me further into my web of deceit. “It’s tough being a caregiver, isn’t it?” she asked. I had to agree with her and added “But he did have a long life, it was just these passed few months that his health had failed”

The pharmacy-lady was so kind and compassionate as she ended our conversation by sticking the knife in my chest and twisting it…”If there is anything that we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to call.”

Announcements of Harlan’s loss were sent to those who knew and knew of him. The passage inside Harlan’s announcement was taken from a plaque outside of the shelter where he found me…

To the countless
Who never felt a gentle touch,
Or heard the whisper of affection…

In Memory of
Harlan Young-Spotswood
1993-2006

4 comments:

Heather said...

I just wanted to tell you how touched I was by your stories about Harlan. My boyfriend's dog died about 2 years ago and I am still sad about it. Back in December I brought a new puppy into my life. I'm sure I'll never be the same because of the joy she brings to my life. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing Harlan with us.

Joan Young-Spotswood said...

Thank you. I feel as though every creature comes into our lives for a reason. Harlan was my friend and teacher.

Heather said...

I saw you pinned this series on Pinterest today. I still can't read it without crying like a little girl. ;-)

Joan Young Spotswood said...

Awwww Heather. I just learned how to 'pin' posts, so I thought this would be a cool story to share.

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