by thoughtsatlarge


We lost Delbow Ploppers today. He has gone on to live with Lisa in heaven.

Throughout his life he endured a number of medical procedures, none of them easy. He tore the CCL ligament in both back legs and had to have them surgically repaired. He lost one eye to a detached retina and had to have emergency surgery in Chicago to save the other eye. He endured three different battles with cancer. And he lost most of the remaining eyesight to a cataract. Our little bionic dog saw it all. And he never showed anything but love to us.

And now he is gone. The house, already silent because of Lisa’s absence, is now doubly silent because Delbow is gone. The loneliness I felt after Lisa’s death was mitigated somewhat by Delbow always being there for me. And now he’s gone too.

Will Rogers famously said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” I couldn’t agree more.

The lone male in the litter of five Coton de Tulear puppies, we brought him home with us and he slept in Lisa’s elbow the entire ride home. We had just seen Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V with the kids and were reminded how the French princess, preparing in case her father’s army lost to the English, learned the new English language. Instead of saying “elbow,” she kept saying “d’elbow.” And that’s how Delbow got his name.

He lived to be twelve years old and encompassed most of the kid’s childhood. An era is gone. The kids are seniors in college now and will be off on their own soon. First it was my father in 2014, then it was my wife in 2015 and now cancer has taken my dog too. This continues a difficult time for us and closes another chapter in our lives. Cancer sucks.