Birth is a beginning and death a destination;
But life is a journey.
A going, a growing from stage to stage:
From childhood to maturity and youth to old age.

From innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion and then perhaps, to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or strength to weakness and often back again.
From health to sickness and back we pray, to health again.

From offense to forgiveness, from loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude, from pain to compassion.
From grief to understanding, from fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat, until, looking backward or ahead:

We see that victory lies not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning and death a destination;
But life is a journey, a sacred pilgrimage,
Made stage by stage…To life everlasting.

This prayer was written by the late Rabbi Fine (at the age of 82) of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco in 1999. It is found in the prayer book Gates of Repentance and recited during the Yom Kippur evening service. Over the last few hours, days and weeks, I cannot get it out of my mind.

Argus ended his journey Monday night, October 22, 2012. The night before (Sunday night), he had a convulsion/seizure; we rushed him to the cancer vet within minutes. But, other than giving him an anti-convulsive drug such as valium and otherwise, trying to make him comfortable, there was little the vet could do. The cancer had attacked his brain, and the end was imminent. We could have agreed to give him additional drugs such as Phenobarbital over the next few days but at best, Argus might have survived another two weeks. It would only delay the inevitable. It was time… although we were not ready. At 12 years, and 10 å_ months, he was too young to end his journey. His 13th birthday was just around the corner!

Argus was a smart dog. I would like to think that Argus was ready; that he knew that he had accomplished what he had been put onto this earth to do; to be a good dog, a loyal dog, full of unconditional love and yet, full of spunk and feistiness with a “terrorist” streak in him, or as my husband would call him, “his little Talibanian.” He was definitely his own dog with a mind of his own. Sometimes, sweet and gentle; sometimes, a “terrorist”, and he always kept us guessing which personality would show up.

We will miss him incredibly and right now, his loss is devastating. But, would we do it all over again… absolutely! My walking buddy…. Forever.

As chance would have it, I had a mediation the morning after we said good-bye. The matter settled although I do not know how as my mind was in a fog. As I said before, death brings one up short, making lawsuits seem rather trivial.

I will miss you Argus, my “best friend” and walking buddy. But, I sure am happy you came into my life! Rest in peace and may God be with you.

…. Just something to think about!

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