There Is No Such Thing As Nothing
December 1, 2021
I put my dog down a couple weeks ago. He was old and in obvious pain. I probably let it continue for too long, but’s hard to let go, and it’s terrible to decide when someone you love dies. When a dog is euthanized, they are given a sedative. After it has taken effect, they are given an overdose of a barbiturate. It only takes a few minutes. I stayed with my dog through the whole process, petting him and crying as he slipped away. I was there when life left his body. At that moment the vet said what we always say…He’s gone. And he was, but every bit of his poor old body was still there on the table. The next day I carried his limp body up the hill behind my home to the grave I prepared. The thought that “there is no such thing as nothing” kept running through my mind. I didn’t want to think it, but it wouldn’t go away. Funny how some thoughts seems to have a will all their own. It is paradoxical for there to be such a thing as nothing, but a modern person can’t help but thinking they are being caught up in sentimental fantasy. I know his body will slowly become the dirt. It will mix back in with everything thing else, but what happens to his life, his spirit, the part that the vet said was gone? I don’t know, but nearly everyday since he died I hear him whining at the door to come inside, and the emptiness inside me left by his absence is as real as the table I am sitting at right now- though it is not a physical void (also impossible) in my physical body. When one can’t avoid thinking about death, when it lingers, we are forced to face how much we don’t know about the nature of reality, and how the patterns we participate in are made by hands that are not our own. Invisible hands. I hope that there is more for Argus out there in the ether. He was a good dog. The above song started coming out amidst tears on the morning of his last day of life. He had trouble walking in his later years, and “Slipper Foot” became his nickname. Thus the song title. In my household we make fun of illnesses and ailments. We’re not nice people.