Sunday, November 13, 2011

Farewell to Bloodwort

I mentioned recently a Dearest Relative ("DR") in Gainesville who faced moving to some manner of assisted living arrangement.  Swell fellow that I am, I have been trying to help smooth the transition.  All went predictably enough until we addressed "What to Do With Bloodwort?"  Bloodwort is my DR's aging cocker spaniel.  (DR loves flowers and thinks "Bloodwort" a perfectly responsible spaniel name.)

Anyway, no sufficiently accommodating relative or friend came forward to claim Bloodwort, and dogs could not go where DR was bound.  Dear Reader, if you are of a sensitive nature, please move on to Moody's Notebook or something genteel like that.

You were warned.

With Bloodwort well past the age of likely adoption through the local SPCA, and with no other options in evidence, it looked grim for Bloodwort.  Reluctantly, DR concluded that Bloodwort would likely need to be - um - put gently to sleep.  Sigh.

But DR is a novice in these matters, and his previous pets had had the good grace to expire of natural causes.  So DR had never before had to take an active hand in the matter. The decision process was long and properly tearful.

Finally, DR stood tall and announced, "I'm going to have Bloodwort cremated."

Cremated.  Cremated.

Mind you, Bloodwort was still among the living.  I allowed as to how it might be well to have some humane ministration - an overdose of doggie barbiturates or the like - at the caring hand of some pet professional.  Discreet and humane, however sad and seemingly unavoidable.

"No."  DR stood his ground.  "I'm going to have Bloodwort cremated."

At this point, you might understand why DR was headed for protective custody himself, but he didn't really seem that far around the bend.  Except for the cremation thing.  "Think on it tonight," I said, "and I'll be back in the morning."

The warm Florida sun rose as scheduled the next day, and a new day always brings new promise.  Not so fast, Pollyanna.  Cremation was the final word, and cremation it was going to be.  I rehearsed the likely conversation with DR's long-time vet.  "When did Bloodwort pass away?" Dr. Friendly would naturally ask.  And DR would respond, "Oh, he's not dead.  That's why I want him cremated."  I stopped thinking about it.

Enter - thankfully for Bloodwort - Janice.  Janice is DR's letter carrier, who conveniently lives in pastoral Archer, some ten miles west of DR's place.  In Archer, Bloodwort would have lots of land, the company of other dogs - dogs with perhaps more euphonious names - and an owner not apparently headed for assisted living.  Janice would love to take Bloodwort home. 

"Excellent," said DR, "I never wanted to cremate him anyway."





  1. Sounds to me like DR is quite the crafty gent.

  2. Actually, utterly guileless and nutty as a Payday bar.

  3. Sounds like a fun guy to be around albeit disconcerting.

    Being the animal lover I am, I'm really happy Bloodwort found a good home.

  4. Being an animal lover, you should hope he gets a new name.

  5. THAT'S what I was gonna say!!! BTW, I've cremated 3 of my beloved cats -one of my Mom's- but they had expired first...

  6. No doubt died of fright when they learned what you were planning to do.

  7. Jeez Louise! I plan on being cremated and sure hope my family waits 'til I take my last breath.

    Bloodwort is a neat name. It's different. I like...different.

  8. Cremation? Must be an East Coast thing. Out here in the rugged Northwest we bury our departed critters "out back" and then place a distinctive rock over the spot to remind us not to dig there again. So many years and critters have passed though since we moved out here that I’m afraid I may have used some distinctive rocks more than once, causing me to spade carefully during recent excavations. Maybe cremation isn’t such a bad idea after all… at the appropriate time of course.

  9. ...Oh, and thanks making my blog a safe jumping off point for the faint of heart. I’ll have to get over there and write something soon. Coincidently, I did just bury a goat "out back" two days ago, but so soon after being called genteel may not be the best time to write about that.

  10. Randy, if you talk about burying the old goat around Tampa Bay, half the male population starts looking nervous. Me included.

    Pam, Bloodwort may be a cool name, but what do you call him for short?

  11. Aw c'mon y'all. You can call Bloodwort...BW for short. Put an "M" in the middle and you just named your favorite car. OR you could call the handsome canine BEEMER or BEAMER.

    How about having a contest to rename him? How about MR. B? Personally, I like KITTY.

    You can tell it's Friday. Yabba dabba do.

  12. Many years back, Judy had a cat named "Sumie." I don't know why. But then I finished law school and took up my new profession. People started looking funny at her when she called her cat, so she changed its name to "Sukie."

  13. HA!!! I love Sumie...Judy should have left it at that. HA!!!

  14. And to you and all the little itsmes out there.