For much of my adult life, I’ve stated that every dog is the best dog that ever lived, tied for 1st place with every other one. For the past 14 years though, I’ve been lying. Peaches Fern Cohen, has held the highest place in my heart. Not just in mine though, everyone fortunate enough to know Peaches, recognized that she was special.
Peaches belonged to my daughter, and her mother. Peaches went home yesterday, to be with her sisters, Leilui, and Luna.
If I could describe Peaches in one word, it would be Sunshine. No ray of sun, shining down from the sky, ever touched or warmed me the way Peaches did. It began with her face, which was sweetness incarnate. It just wasn’t possible to look at Peaches without feeling her sweetness. But that was just the first layer. Beyond sweetness, there was the happy – and her happy was always turned on.
Except for the occasional grumbly stomach, broken leg, fractured spine, paralysis, or bladder reduction, Peaches radiated joy. In fact, she experienced and survived all of those, and more – a big part of what made her exceptional. Any one of those medical events might have taken her too soon, but not one of them did. Each condition made her a little more fragile, but they also increased the worth of her spirit. Her 14 years is a testament to the commitment she had to her loved ones, and ours to her.
When I think of Peaches, my mind always sees her first, sitting outside beside the rosemary plant that she loved to smell. Her face was often pointed to the sky, and it appeared that she was the one radiating warmth toward the sun. Whenever I would see her like this, whatever toxins might be in my heart or mind, we instantly defused.
If I’m being honest, Peaches had an unusual look about her, but she made it work. Due to the afore mentioned medical events, her body changed over time, becoming increasingly fragile. A Pomeranian by birth, by the time she was 8 years old, she looked more like a punk rock Chinese Crested, mutating into a tiny pachyderm. She used this funky look as both a fashion statement, and a way to make friends. It wasn’t possible to walk Peaches without a stranger stopping to admire and inquire. It almost always started with…
“Oh my god, she’s adorable….!”
The funny thing is, it was impossible to describe Peaches to a passerby with any detail, because once they saw Peaches, the person walking her became an invisible bystander. People just marveled at her.
One manifestation of the physical changes she endured, was a high arching spine. This made her look like a little buffalo. She often fulfilled the buffalo look by lowering her head into thigh of the nearest seated human – as a silent request to get petted. If the petting hand would dare stop, the li’l buffalo would push her head harder into the human’s leg until they got the hint.
When she wasn’t being a buffalo, Peaches, always held her head high and looked up in wonder and in joy. In 14 years, I never saw Peaches growl, snap, or display any intent towards another creature, other than kindness. From her earliest days, she was a kind old soul.
Every dog is the best dog that ever lived, tied for 1st place with every other one. The one that rose above them all though, well she went home yesterday. She is now free to smell the heavenly rosemary, to buffalo God’s thigh, and turn heads wherever she struts.
As Miss Trudy and I each held one hand to Peaches, our daughter was present in spirit. Peaches lay calm on her belly, getting weaker, but still holding her head high. Radiating sweetness till the very end, she was still looking up when she took her final breath. Be well… rc
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