Welcome to the Gallery
The JamBios Memory Gallery showcases user submitted memory stories from around the globe.
Each month selections are hand curated by Annie Cusick Wood and the JamBios creative team. They are chosen based on how the memory touches our heart, makes us laugh or inspires us.
To submit your memory story, start your free JamBio and invite the Memory Gallery to read one of your Chapter sections. Select Reader "Memory Gallery" at MemoryGallery@JamBios.com.
By Beth N. Carvin
The Dog who Became a Tree
After a long and happy life, it was time to let Mandy rest in peace. At that point all she could do was lay on the floor, looking up at us with her big brown eyes, using all her energy to wag her tail. She was unable to move and Bruce would have to pick up all 60+ pounds of her to take her out to do her business. We made the decision to take her to the vet and let her go. It was a weekend and I had a class I had signed up to take. I don't know why I didn't cancel and go with Bruce but I must have not wanted to be there for it. I was a little scared of death I think.
Bruce brought her down. Bruce must have told me about it vividly because I feel like I was there, though he confirms that I wasn't. The doctor let him say goodbye and then administered the shot. It happened quickly and the doctor said she was gone. Bruce took her body home, wrapped in a blanket. He dug a hole on the upper bank behind our house. He took her body from the truck and gently placed her in the grave and covered her up. He took my guitar and played the one song I had taught him to play, which neither of us can remember today. When I came home that afternoon Bruce brought me back to the dune and showed me where he had buried her. I'm not sure if we did a little ceremony for her.
It was strange not having her around. For 13 years she had greeted us at the door every single day. Now when we came home it was oddly silent. An empty void. We no longer had our Mandy chores. We continued to "take her out for a walk" on the beach each morning, without her. Hikes weren't quite as much fun without her. Barnum the cat missed her.
And then one day we noticed that over her grave, a little tree had sprouted. It wasn't like any of the greenery in the area which was mostly made up of palm trees. But Mandy had sprouted into... a pine tree! The little tree grew and grew. Three feet. Six feet. 10 feet. Over the years she continued to grow high into the sky. Her pine needles fell beneath her and into the pool. The tree trimmers and the pool cleaners all suggested that we remove that tall bothersome pine tree. But she didn't bother us. We loved having our Mandy pine. The tree that didn't really belong on the dune.
The story would end there except that in early 2017 we sold the property to the Cusicks. I had the opportunity to give them a personal tour of the property and I told them about the Mandy tree. They are dog people and enjoyed the sweet story. They understood why we couldn't cut her down. I let them know that once they owned the property they could do as they like.
A short time after they moved in, Annie sent me a text message. She wanted me to know that they had cut down Mandy and they were turning her wood into some lovely benches. She wasn't quite sure how I would take the news but I was pleased that they were going to be using her wood for something beautiful and useful. She sent me photos of the benches and they were lovely. I told Bruce and showed him the photos, not sure how he would react. He, too, appreciated that they were making good use of her.
A few months later Ian and Annie came down to our office for some JamBios work. Annie said she had a little gift for me. She handed me a bag. She had just come back from China so she immediately said, "It's not from China." "Open it." She seemed unusually excited for me to see what it was. I opened the bag and pulled out a pretty wooden bowl. Before I could make sense of things, Annie said, "It's Mandy." I think my eyes might have filled up. It was beautiful. I hugged her. On the bottom of the bowl it said, "Woof!" I'm pretty sure it is the most thoughtful gift I have ever received.
Mandy. The dog who became a tree. Who became a bowl. The circle of life.