The Springer by Hilary Walker
 
 
in need of a special day to say goodbye
a day we felt she would have chosen
 
Clear blue sky, leaves unfolding in surprising warmth
and the familiar scent of beginnings
the return of life
blended with nature’s secrets
 
She was a runner,
from an early age she craved freedom
a walk around the block wouldn’t do
it was running or nothing
 
She flew fast, over the fields beyond the hedgerows
through the woods at top speed somehow just missing
the tips of shoots and saplings
excitedly bounding forward, heading up high onto the banking
a pause for a moment in the cool stream
and a look on her face that said
‘this is why I’m alive’
 
She was more than a dog and she knew it
she had no time for mere mortals or animals
she was her own woman,
a canine princess who left us before winter solstice arrived
dark days to survive
 
We waited until spring to say farewell
releasing her tearfully into a flawless sky
recalled clearly in our mind’s eye her perfect presence in our lives
the gift that she was
the lessons she taught
running free and the glory of being alive