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."
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."