July 29, 2018 by Laird
I wrote an “Athena” post in 2011. Nothing has changed except that the hourglass is trickling down. I’ve decided to post this update today while I am in my right mind.
Athena loved Montana. We stayed at my brother’s house up in the mountains near an old logging road. She ran free and chased (unsuccessfully) deer and rabbits from spring into fall. Later, I rented a room with John Langan and his family in Rifton, NY. Athena flourished there with Langans’ big dog Piper and several acres to roam. She enjoyed greeting the many household visitors, especially the kids. Hustle and bustle suited her well. Athena loved everyone and everyone loved her.
In 2015, Jessica M and I moved into our current house, a tranquil place a few miles from the Catskills. Another rescue pup entered our lives the following year. Athena had slowed down and wasn’t particularly enamored of the little terror who delighted in tormenting her 24/7. But she bore it cheerfully. And that’s Athena, a sweet and cheerful soul.
Last year, Athena nearly died from a sudden onset of grand mal seizures. She endured a medically induced coma to reset her brain and three more weeks of semi-consciousness (via heavy medication). I bargained with the death gods for just a little more time. They granted us another year and change.
As I type this, Athena is lying in her favorite spot in the yard very near where we will, barring a miracle, bury her tomorrow at sunset. Her snowy muzzle is pressed against the grass. She is gray and tired and the look in her eyes communicates to me a depth of love and sadness that is difficult to bear. We have been inseparable for a long time. Now, she needs to go on ahead and I have to figure out how to do all this without her.
Over the past decade and a half, many colleagues and readers have expressed love and affection for Athena. Her veterinarian, Dr. Banister, and his compassionate staff, have seen her through cancer operations and other maladies. I know she would hug and kiss you all if she could.