Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sage in a dream


Last night I dreamt I was walking through a strange neighborhood, through back alleys and streets.  At last I got to where I was going, someone’s house that Susan and I were visiting.  Susan showed up a few minutes later by car and I asked, “Where’s Sage?”

She said, “I thought she was with you,” and began talking to the people we had come to visit, but I was worried.  I kept looking out the door to see if she was out there.  Finally, I announced, but no one seemed to pay attention, “I’m going to find her.”

I began walking back the way I had come.  I didn’t walk too terribly far before I entered a park.  It wasn’t a huge park but one like they have in San Jacinto, an obligation park that builders must create before they are given permission to build.  This one was surrounded by hedges and as I entered I could see a number of dogs.  Additional dogs popped up from behind hedges to look at me.  A huge shaggy reddish dog was the most formidable.  He was as large as an Irish Wolfhound and didn’t seem friendly, but I had no time to waste.  I kept walking until I reached the edge of the park and standing outside its boundaries was Sage.  Her head was down.  She’d come a long way and been through some brush which was clinging to her coat.  I was overjoyed and rushed out of the park as she sat there and hugged her.
And then I woke.  It took me a couple of seconds to realize that Sage had died two months ago.  Her being dead and the memory of the dream were together for a moment.  I didn’t long to have her back because that would have meant a restoration of her suffering.  By the time she gave way to her pain it was late Saturday and the vet was closed.  The vet was closed Sunday as well and also the next day which was a holiday.  I would have spared Sage that if I could, but the world and nature were inflexible.  And then it seemed that instead of a longing to have her restored to me, I was being given in my dream an opportunity to say good bye to her.

Later I thought of Dante and wondered about the significance of Sage being outside the park.  She and I had never been to a dog-park.  We hiked mostly at the river and if we went for walks it was at night when we rarely encountered anyone, and if we encountered a stray dog that seemed aggressive toward Sage, she discourage its intentions, whatever they were. 
Was the park a purgatorio or a paradiso?  If either, Sage was outside. 

One day years ago at the river, Sage chased after a rabbit and disappeared.   After a bit I turned around to look for her but couldn’t find her.  I called as I searched.  I was sure that by that time she had given up chasing the rabbit and was looking for Ginger and me, but we couldn’t find each other.  At last I returned to the Jeep to see if she would eventually come back there, and after about 20 minutes she did: very hot and with tongue lolling.  That happened one more time a few weeks later.  But after that I would wait at the spot where Sage left us.  I wouldn’t continue on until I could see her again, and she could see me.  

If my losing Sage in the dream had really happened then I would have taken her back to the house we were visiting and put her in the back seat of Susan’s car to wait for us.  But the dream ended there.  Not only did it end but it seemed the fitting end.  I didn’t wake up thinking that Sage should have followed me anyplace else.  We were together again for just that one last time, and then I woke. 

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