This past summer old age started really catching up to my beautiful boy. His hearing had been going. His eyesight wasn't great. This summer he lost his balance. When it first happened, he was too dizzy to eat or do the stairs. He and I spent those first nights outside. It wasn't snowing, but it was outside. Almost as good.
February is hard on old bones. Two days ago Willie and I broke a path out to St Francis, the statue along the back fence. When we turned to go back to the mudroom, he and I faced each other, hunkering down, wriggling into the snow. I didn't get a single gambol out of him, but I could see in his eyes that he remembered.
I plan to take his ashes back to Worthington, back to Sugar Creek. Next to snow, he loved the water there best of all. Maybe I'll keep just a little bit of him here, under the butterfly bush, near St. Francis.