We had a basset hound named Rufus. We called him the "ding dong boy" but I donít know why.
He was a very, very sweet soul. He never bit man nor beast. When the vet would cut his
toenails too short, making them bleed, he would cry and lick the vet. Mean dogs befriended
Rufus and turned nice in his presence.
Rufus died yesterday. He was fourteen.
I went for a walk in the park today. The world felt different. Changed. There was one
less sweet soul. There was a missing piece of the puzzle. It wasnít just "my" world that
was different. It was the whole world. . . everyoneís world. People I passed were unaware
of the change. They looked so. . .centered, so normal. They didnít know the world was different.
I felt so small and alone in the knowing.
I know that when I tell clients that I wasnít in yesterday because my dog died that it
will sound small; insignificant. Everyone has a dog die at some point. But somehow it
feels like no one has ever. . .or will ever. . . feel like I do today.
Someone said once that love feels like that same kind of . . .exclusivity. Maybe itís the same.
Maybe what Iím feeling is love.
It feels as if I have an aura. And, if that aura is radiating shades of blue thereís a red
lightning bolt running through the light blue part. . .clear to the center of my being.
Hoping, it is filled with fields of green grass, chew bones, all the treats you can eat and
strong legs without arthritis to run in the green fields.
By Carmen Rutlen
from A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1998 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen