There’s No Place Like Home

by Sedgwick Clark


This ecstatic smile has popped up on my computer screen saver nearly every morning for the past 11 years. She’s Scarlett, our second bichon frise, a week after giving birth to her first litter at around 5 a.m. in our living room. How’s that for a proud parent? That gleam of life’s excitement rarely left her eyes for over 14 years. When we walked the dogs in Central Park, people couldn’t believe that she was mother to the other two from her second litter, Bentley and Lilli.

Our previous bichon, Gaby, had lived until 17½, and Scarlett’s illness took us by surprise. When she returned home from the hospital the first time she began eating like a horse and regaining weight, pleasing doctors and parents no end. Out in the Park ten days ago she romped around like a puppy. But the next day she stopped eating. We went to see her at the hospital last Sunday and took her out to a park across the street to enjoy the sun. When Peggy put her down on the pavement she immediately turned east and began to trot in the direction of our apartment.

We brought Scarlett home for the last time on Tuesday, and she died that night. A wise friend said to me after Gaby died, “When you have pets in your life, you’re going to have your heart broken every ten years.” Yes, but even with the heartbreak, what I’ll remember most is Scarlett heading home.

Comments are closed.