the bundle...

Bundle is kind of a nice word.
A collection of things all tied up.  I think of brown paper with string and a promise of delight inside, or a warm sweater, hat and mittens bundling me up, protecting my warmth from the cold.
He had a bundle in his arms.

It's been about a month since I saw him.
Since he parked in front of us as we were getting out of the car at the dog beach in Coronado, CA.
His big fluffy dog jumped out of the car without a leash.  You are not supposed to let your dog off the leash until you walk across the sand and enter the actual dog beach area.
I follow rules so I notice things like that.  

Then he reached in his car and pulled out something wrapped in a towel, walked over to grab a doggie waste bag and was struggling to hold his bundle.  My mother offered to help him, he declined and struggled on alone.

His bundle was obviously heavy.

That's when we saw four legs sticking out of the towel bundle.  He was carrying another dog, a fairly good sized black and white spotted dog, thin and rather listless.

Our hearts sank.

Dog people love dogs.
We are dog people.
We love all dogs.
Very much.
I dream of owning a dog rescue ranch.

He carried his dog all the way to the water's edge, it's quite a hike and you could tell it wasn't easy, physically or emotionally.

Then he sat down and carefully unwrapped the towel a bit and there they sat.
The man and his two faithful devoted friends.
He held that dog and talked to him and rocked him and they stared out at the water where they obviously enjoyed years of fun.

Not wanting to intrude, we kept our distance.
We played with our dogs, laughing and splashing in the surf, but watching him from the corners of our eyes, understanding his pain.
I could feel his pain all the way across the beach.
It became too much for me and I had to wait in the car.
Before he left, he carried that dog out into the water and stood with him one last time.
Then he carried him all the way back to the car.
He gently placed him in the back seat and as he passed me, our eyes met.
He gave me a nod, I nodded back - an unspoken understanding between dog people.
Both of us had tears, mine welling up, his streaming down.

I cannot stop thinking about this man and his bundle.
It was heavy.


Julielorusso@gmail.com said...

Jeanette, you've got me completely sobbing right now. It breaks my heart and it's a very real pain because my sister just lost her big bundle 2 weeks ago and it has ripped her apart. I'm sitting next to my bundle and I know he starting fail and it's only a matter of time. (both were rescue dogs and good good friends).

I hope one day you have your rescue/dream. Now don't ever make me cry like this again!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sad. I am a dog person too so I totally get it. You are a poignant writer, Jeanette. This is so beautiful. xo

Vintage Home said...

oh my ...I am tearing up here. I know how sad it is to lose a pet...but this story is also about joy. He has had a lot of joy with this sweet bundle to go to such lengths to honour his dear companion!
Thank you for sharing this Jeannette...maybe he will read this somehow and feel the blessing in this tribute.
Thank you for sharing!

rooth said...

That's such a sad and sweet story. Your writing style is definitely emotive - I've got some tips to pick up from you

MJM said...

Why do you have to make me cry so early in the morning? :) I hope that man has found some peace.

KR said...

We love them so much...

marni zarr said...

lovely story! bundle is one of my favorite words! old fashioned and fun to say :)

Unknown said...

thank you for sharing this Jeanette - you have an amazing way with words - I felt like I was right there with you. Our Chinadoll is 15 years old and starting to slow down - we too treasure every moment we have with her.

Stacey said...

beautiful and sad all at the same time! my dog, Ginger was our first baby, my companion when the hubby would go off to the war zone. i couldn't imagine life without her.

Maria said...

We have had our share of bundles over here too - ours were never big bundles - but small, precious bundles. We took ours to the beach too. We miss them so.....thanks for the memories...

Beatnheart said...

Going through similar right now... Beautiful photo J.

Andrew H. said...

Wow. Reading the comments is obvious how many people can relate to this story.
This gentleman obviously spent countless hours with his dog at this beach and he was set on bringing him out one last time.
What a way to honor his old friend. It took a lot of strength (both physical and emotional). We felt his pain.

k said...

ummm...i'm now crying, oh my goodness. that was brutal to read. can't help but put bama in that place. but that is such a touching scene.

Linda said...

As I'm at the Lake for the summer (joy!), I have to admit that sitting here in the public library (so I have internet access), I'm crying my eyes out. I'm a kitty person myself, but the love is the same. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. You get me every time!

French Basketeer.com said...

I'm going to join everyone, I'm crying too...it's terribly tragic to go through the process of saying goodbye to your dog, so many emotions, they are so good and innocent and their lives seemingly so short....I'm gonna go love my little fur babies now~ on the other hand, it was so great to see you last weekend!!!