Saturday, April 18, 2009
Some sad news today—our dear friends Audrey & Cheryl have had to send their beloved Maddy on her way to where the good dogs go. Maddy lived a long, & joy-filled life with her two human companions; she was much loved & gave freely of her love & joy in the amazing way that dogs do this.
When I think about the sentience of animals (which I actually think about quite a lot), I usually go back to these great lines by Blake:
How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?
There is no question in my mind about the depth & quality of animal thought & feeling—simply because animals find no need to write or discuss The Critique of Pure Reason doesn’t mean that they don’t lead full mental & emotional lives; of course, as Blake pointed out, we only have limited access to this intelligence & feeling because our own perception is circumscribed.
But some animals allow us to share in that immense world of delight, & Maddy, like many dogs, was one of those. It’s been my impression that Corgis are generally amiable & happy, but Maddy was very friendly & joyful even by those standards.
Audrey provided an audio file of a song she & Cheryl wrote for Maddy about 10 years ago—it’s quite lovely, & appropriate, too. The audio came with an animation (not of Maddy), but unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t seem to like AAC audio, which meant I needed to convert the original file to an MP3 & then a video file for posting. The song appears at the bottom of the post. Audrey had this to say:
Here's a song Cheryl and I wrote about Maddy for the Pajamathon lullaby record put out by "The Sleepytones." It didn't make the record, so it's an outtake. But very sweet. The vocalist is our friend Frank Lopez. Lyrics: me; music: Cheryl. The album was released by EMI Special Projects in 1999. I would love for people to get to hear it, if it's something you could include on RFB.
Audrey & Cheryl are wonderful people who’ve lost a dear friend; of course, Audrey is known to Robert Frost’s Banjo readers from her delightful posts about Lesley Gore & our current featured post, “A Reformed Rake Makes the Best Husband?” Our thoughts are with them in a sad time, in hopes that they can reflect on the great happiness that was Maddy.