Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25/11, 9:30 pm

Last night I had fragments of dreams caused by this article/interview I read in Sun Magazine about the meaning of dreams. I didn’t do what the article said and write down every detail as soon as I woke up, as the meaning is in the details, as I really didn’t remember any details when I woke up. I have this thing sometimes when I am having a dream I want to remember is to try to remember it while I’m having it. Anyhow the dream was all over the place and unconnected. I was dreaming about an incident that happened at work. The parents of the young man whose body was finally found after being missing since March were in the store the day after the body was found. One of my employees was their son’s best friend and has become a sort of surrogate son to them. The mother came up to me smiling, her tall husband standing stoically next to her. “We found him,” she said, “he found him.” She was happy, we talked about closure, and now knowing what had happened and how good it was for everyone involved in the search. He never said a word. I said to her, “I’m sorry for your loss, I know that will never go away.” She thanked me for my thoughts and I walked away. I felt like I said the right thing, but that I also popped a small balloon of happiness. In my sleep I tossed and turned about this.

I dreamed I was sitting at a conference table with my good friend and old college buddy, David, who now lives in Tel Aviv and is a lawyer there who helps put together business mergers and agreements. There were other men sitting around the table all in casual Israeli style business garb, no ties, white button down shirts, top buttons open. I think some sort of business deal was being discussed and I was somehow involved.

I also dreamed up a business or a store of some sort. I think it was a small store in Europe or just reminded me of small town Europe. It was a store that had lots of panels of old fruit and vegetable boxes. And somehow you could create your own fruit or vegetable crate. I thought it was a cute idea, but would never succeed as a business, but in my dream it was already a small store somewhere…

And so those were the dream images that stuck with me all day. Maybe I will dream more about all this tonight…

We put Murray down last Wednesday night, I think she might have died that night anyhow, but it was time, the poor girl could hardly move. The night before I had kneeled next to her and told her it was O.K. to let go. I had finally realized that she had been holding on for us, she was ready to go, but she didn’t think we were ready to let her go. I miss her. I never thought I could love a dog so much. I have been shedding tears regarding her loss for the last 2 months. Just the thought of losing her brought tears to my eyes, and now whenever I tell people she’s gone, I break into full on tears.

Murray had been a soul mate for me and our family for 12 years. She was instantly our dog as soon as we met, Father’s Day, 1999 outside the Murray hotel in Livingston, Montana. She rolled over on her back, we petted her matted belly, she rolled back over onto her legs and I said, “O.K., Murray, let’s go.” She followed us around Livingston as we looked for a possible owner, and ended up taking her home. When we arrived home in Big Sky later that afternoon or early evening, Andrew then only 6 years old broke into a huge smile gave Murray a big hug and exclaimed, “You brought us home a dog!”

We had only lost our little dog Niner, who we had had since New Year’s Day 1990, when I found him sitting on our doorstep after coming back from my morning run, in February, 1999, only a few months before. Murray was a Rastafarian dog, totally matted all over her body, at first I thought she was a boy dog with many penises. On Monday Jackie took her to the local dog groomer, Nancy, and we had a totally new dog, our girl named Murray. Another dog whose life before us was a total mystery. Murray liked to chase pick up trucks, she loved horses, and she seemed to like women better than men (except for me) so we deduced that her previous owner drove a pick up, was a woman, and had horses. Who knows how she got lost or was abandoned. We did leave our phone number with the Livingston Animal Shelter, but we never heard from anyone.

That first summer we took a hike up Spanish Creek and we lost her. About half an hour later we found her hanging out at a camp full of horses. She loved to hike, she loved to go fishing. She was such a good girl. We could walk inside someone’s house or a store and she would just wait for us until we came out. We would bring her down to the store with us and she would never wander, she would just sit outside.

Sometimes I would look at her and we could just communicate. She understood, and she gave me lots of love. She was afraid of thunderstorms and would go downstairs and hide in the tub.

There was the time we accidentally left her outside Ernie’s Deli in West Yellowstone. We had gone there to get sandwiches for a day in the park with Jackie’s brother Alex, his wife Julie and somehow Murray got out of the car and never got back in. We proceeded on our way to Yellowstone National Park and we pulled over to check out some buffalo. As I opened the door to the van I said don’t let Murray out and then we all realized that Murray wasn’t there. Jackie and I dropped off the gang to try to fish and we drove back to West to find Murray. By then the dog catcher had her, he scolded us and gave her back to us. I remember Tracy was so angry with us for losing her that day. Sometimes we would leave Murray outside our house and drive off to go to work and she would end up on the highway looking for us. And we would get a call from a friend, “I have Murray.” We left her at the school a couple of times. She would just sit at the door of the school until we came back and got her, or she would just walk home.

She used to go running with me everyday. I would run to the school and back, a short 2.5 mile run, but she knew that I was going to stop and turn around and often she would just stop halfway to the school on the bike path and wait for me to come back. She was a smart dog.

Murray was such the reflection of my soul. She understood when I was sad, in her younger years she hated to be left alone, but she tolerated it when she had to.

Over the last year she aged a lot quickly. We all knew that she was not long for this world, but none of us wanted to let her go that fast. She had been such a part of our lives for the last 12 years. Howie’s birth and first 11 years, Andrew from 6 -18, Micah from almost 3 to almost 15, the transition from the old store to the new store, we had had her only for a few months when my mother died, she was here last year for Micah’s bar mitzvah, she has been to many gatherings in our home, she has gone for epic hikes with Jackie and I. She hiked to the top of Ramshorn Peak with us and while we were hiking down in the dusk she was still chasing squirrels while I could hardly walk… She hiked with us a number of times to Lava Lake. One time we got caught in a thunderstorm and I had to carry Murray the last 100 yards or so to where we huddled near the lake.

She watched me become a fisherman. And whenever I went to the back of my truck and started putting a fishing rod together she would perk up and get excited to head down to the river with me, whenever I caught a fish she was right there taking a sniff of the wiggling trout.

When we camped at Cliff Lake she would sleep outside the tent and guard our campsite. Once we left her on the shore to go for a raft ride on the lake and she moaned and moaned until we came back. She even tried to swim out to us.

When we got Buddy 2 years ago she was a little bent out of shape, but she rose to the task and this first week that she’s gone I am noticing all the things Murray taught Buddy. Last night Andrew and I went fishing across the highway to the Gallatin and Buddy walked between us, and then guarded the riverbank while we fished.

There are so many memories. But day after day for the last 12 years Murray was there with us, our faithful and true companion.

Oh Murray, I miss you so much. Thank you for finding us and taking care of us for the last 12 years, you will always be in my heart and soul…

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