Letters to Melissa – Passages

Easing into this one, Sweet Melissa.

Reluctant to relive your passage, this day an anniversary not savored or celebrated, a remembrance of pain, loss. But, then, there were other passages, as well. Joyful ones, savored, celebrated, remembered.


I held you in the palm of my hand when you were only four days old. Your eyes had not yet opened, a good portion of your tongue lolled outside your mouth and, as I held you that day–the breeder hovering, orchestrating my handling of the champion line, Adaka–you slept in innocence. A year ago today (eleven short years since you slept in my palm), you passed in innocence, the rigors of the world not rewarding the essential worth of dogs: humble teachers of the art of boundless love, commitment, devotion. And, if I believe in any paradise, it is one where you–and so many others we have let go–remain as you were, here amongst the foolishness of the human animal, where you stood, nobly understanding the precious virtue of truths not grasped, not appreciated by “higher minds” with only their egos and the perception of their own self-worth to guide them through their daily trudge…me included, at times.


The Autumn Blaze maple we planted in the back yard in your honor, your memory, spreads its brightly green leaves against the tickle of each breeze that passes; captures the dew each morning and the rainfall when it comes. The leaves will turn red in the fall. Another passage acknowledged. Another season turned.

We miss you, dear heart.

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3 Responses to Letters to Melissa – Passages

  1. Suz at Large says:

    Ah, George. Has it really been a year already?

    I hope my old Dusty is sharing Melissa’s paradise, ’cause I like to think of her teaching him some of the finer points of proper behavior. He was a charmer but with some rough edges which methinks Sweet Melissa didn’t share.

  2. James Ogilvie says:

    How I appreciated your references to “Harry Ukulele” in your article on Ruby Hill Park. I was privileged to have been one of his pupils at the Denver YMCA in the late ’40’s. A great swimming instructor. We’d ride down to the Y on the old electric street cars. Harry was a great one for emphasizing the proper “kick” needed for the free style or crawl stroke. Thank you for reviving fond memories. We all were privileged to have known Harry.
    Jim Ogilvie

  3. georgeindenver says:

    Thank you, James. Harry Ukulele was a significant presence in my life. I think the post you’re referring to is here: https://georgeindenver.wordpress.com/2007/07/11/ruby-hill-park-kathleen-mack-the-knife-mackenzies-last-stand/

    Thank you so much for your memory.


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