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General News · 31st October 2017
Victor Van Buskirk
(2001- Aug 6, 2017)

The Beaver Moon melts into the mountainside
across from the Ashram on Kootenay Lake
As the late October sky opens wide
starlight touches my heartache

I have been watching her wax all week now
while the kaleidoscopic leaves are waning
The majesty of Autumn caresses the Tao
and blesses all Love Sustaining

I first met Frodo under some sacred oaks
on an early date with his best friend
A woman who doesn’t hide behind cloaks
and who truly helped him ascend

He was eleven when we got acquainted 
A lovely Golden Retriever Cross
With a coat Van Gogh would have painted 
especially standing on wet Spring moss

Her Golden Companion was a Divine being
in our eyes and hearts at least
He was teaching me to look at what I was seeing
and I saw so much beauty in the beast

I had heard about his gentle canine self
but also how he liked to jump
so it was a good thing I wasn’t an elf
or I would have spent more time on my rump

His proboscis was indeed a masterpiece
and the perfect instrument for scent
and his inquiry, well it would never cease
no matter where it was he went

We became fast friends at first sight
and my love for him grew with each walk
This poem is really painful to write
so better it be in ink than in chalk

If I change direction like he did
whenever something caught his nose
it is because I find myself amid
emotions that might burst like a hose

On our first hike my smile tickled the sky
to see their beautiful bond so clearly
One day, with work, perhaps even I
will be loved so deeply and dearly

They share a passion for wild places
and she took him to many a gem
They shimmered with their flowing graces
It was always a wonder to join them

Frodo loved her for how she loves life
he could even feel it in his sleep
and whenever she felt pain or strife
his attention on her he would keep

Soon after we met he really got sick
and death came close to their door
yet his Companion said not so quick
and then changed his diet for evermore

His food already the best she could find
at almost a hundred bucks a bag
but she started making meals, the human kind
even though cutting meat made her gag

She made him hearty stews with rice
and his bowel healed really well
Her kindness much deeper than nice
and as natural as his sense of smell

For fifteen years he lay at her feet
whenever she found time to sit
She rescued him at one from the street
He rescued her from quite a bit

After he helped raise her two blessed boys
at their storied mountain top home
He watched her delve into new found joys
knowing whenever her heart would roam

Frodo only ever whined in pain
and I never saw him beg
Nor did I hear him bark in vain
or get attached to anyone’s leg

Ah but he loved food more than anything but her
and his methods for getting it were cunning
and he wasn’t fond of anything with a purr
so felines had to watch him while sunning

I have to say a stick dog he was not
as fetching just wasn’t his game
he was not so fond of being taught
I might be just a tad the same

He surely wasn’t the cuddly kind
seldom seeking out connection
Even petting he seemed to mind
Shaking his head in every direction

Yet undeniably a loveable creature
with a joy for adventure each day
and his most outstanding feature
was his dedication to her I must say

After Cortes had made love to our senses
we all moved there together
to a seaside home with out any fences
a great place for our minds to untether

Yes the city life had taken it’s toll
but our Frodo missed every yard
so out to Smelt Bay for a sniff and a stroll
until the car rides were just too hard

Soon his love for the outside changed for the in
and this last year he was very subdued
but I swear he managed that great grin
if he sensed any chance of some food

We think he was part cat for all the times
we thought he was checking out
his life could fill a book of rhymes
and several photo albums no doubt

As I write this the leaves are catching my eye
with many thousands falling each hour
He was much the same colour, my oh my
and an animal of such noble power

His last days were on the living room rug
with no vet to ease his suffering
Our heart strings breaking tug after tug
With only our love as a buffering

The heat wave in early August was intense
so ferry lineups would never do
So with all her love, amazing and immense
his Companion guided him through

Thoughts crumble in my mind unable to find form
when I try to share any more
about an experience so far from the norm
there was no exit through a medical door

You can’t see these tears now falling
or hear the splash in their grieving sea
but that night when his end came calling
she birthed her beloved Frodo free

He was one hundred and five pounds in his impressive prime
a hundred and five years when his time was due
I miss him again and again, time after time
yet so very happy for him when he flew

We buried him with Ceremony and Reflection
I made a coffin, his Companion dug his grave
I strongly feel and with eternal affection
A Golden Elephant will soon be born as brave
Boundless, Enormous Spirit
Comment by Susan E. Steffner on 28th November 2017
I only wish I had met Frodo.....another "Giant" in the Canine Realm. I had the Joy of sharing 18 years of my Life with another Spirited "Giant" who weighed in at only 7 pounds! Though small in Stature, he belied his size and challenged other dogs 10 times his mass to mind their territorial boundaries. " Tigger" as he was named after the Feline character in Winnie the Pooh he most resembled, Spread boundless spirit and joy in his wake. The ravages of an an ageing body took him from us....but the happiness and laughter we all shared live on forever in our thoughts, my dreams and memories. Thank you Little Beast for having been......we have been blessed.
Absolutely beautiful.
Comment by Siah Brown on 2nd November 2017
We lost our Border Collie October 7th. He was 34 days old when he arrived and this November 6th. he would have been 17 years. He was buried in the field he loved to run, with his favorite Frisbee. Jack was my constant companion. I wanted to let you know how wonderful your poem is and how much it means to us. Thank you and bless you.
Heart warming
Comment by Patricia on 1st November 2017
Victor your poem is beautiful the way you express your feelings truly heart warming. Yes I to will be saving these words.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you
Comment by Becky Knutson on 1st November 2017
What a lovely tribute!
Comment by Eddy on 31st October 2017

Thank you for sharing such a deeply motivated show of love for a life companion. In my mind's ears and eyes those tears are quite audibly visible. They fully resonate, for it seems like only a couple months ago the scenario for me was similar.

Although the details differ in some areas, many bells were rung in your recounting. Those are another song, for another is Frodo's time for remembrance. I mention it only to illustrate that I believe your wonderful poem will pluck many reader's heart-strings and memories, as they did for me.

Also wanted to mention,.....I'll be saving that poem for any future companions I get to share my life with. A very good and enjoyable poem Victor, thanks again for sharing and strumming some of those heart-strings. I'm sure I'm among many others who will leave reading it with a smile,....and a few bitter-sweet tears as well.