Our Beloved Sharky

This morning it was my privilege to take our beloved dog, Sharky, on her final adventure to the BLM pet cemetery at Lookout Pass at Small Mountain. I laid her in a beautiful repose in the open crypt beneath the wild goji berries. I scratched her behind the ears for the last time on this earth as my tears rolled down her cheeks. Sharky and our beloved cat, Isis, and my grandchildren are the only beings who have loved me totally without condition on this earth, and lifted me above all that besmudges this low and temporary kingdom, carrying me up above the dark. As I drove her slowly through the desert to her final rest, the pronghorn and a golden eagle joined our cortege on the road, and it was fitting that this earth should send its most elegant representatives to mourn her, for she was royalty.
Sharky hiked many, many miles with me over the past 16 and a half years and loved each adventure. We have been deep in the mountains and forests and streams together and she loved the streams especially.
When Isis died I could not bring myself to give her a public eulogy because she was a private creature, but Sharky was the opposite. Since my first book was published, more than 5,000 people have toured our property and Sharky greeted and loved each of you. She LOVED to have classes and guests and tours here, and I always knew who among you were the stainless souls because she stayed at your sides. I have been famous over the years for telling thousands of you that when I die, I want to come back as my dog, who led one of the great and happiest lives on this planet. Her life did not begin this way.
Sixteen and a half years ago I showed up to work at the Daily Herald and heard a horrible unearthly gargle from a cardboard box behind the building. Inside were Sharky and her sister, tiny puppies. Her sister had been manually blinded in both eyes, and Sharky in one eye. Metal shavings had been forced into both their lungs and they were both gasping horribly for air. I took the box inside and I will forever be grateful that the Daily Herald immediately paid for them to go to the vet for emergency care. Sharky’s sister died on the vet’s table, but the vet was able to vacuum some of the shavings from Sharky’s lungs and she lived. She never breathed normally in her life. We will never know who did this. I will now say in public what I have waited 16 and a half years to say to the monster human being that tortured these two dogs. Since you have not lived everyday with the consequences of your evil, perhaps it is possible that you have moved on and have forgotten what you did. But I have not forgotten you or your actions, and Justice looms bright and wide and large in front of you. When you move into the next world, you will forever be bound in the darkness of your own creation, never to harm again. Me and Sharky and her sister, whose blood stains your hands, look forward to testifying of your choices.
However, a merciful power turned your ugliness into one of the great joys of our life, and I forgive you. Sharky brought immense joy to our family.

My wife and I had been married for less than a month, if I recall correctly, but I knew immediately that these were my dogs. I called my wife and told her I wanted to bring this sickly wounded creature home and she simply said yes and I have loved her ten times more for it since that moment. From that day forward, Sharky lived a worry-free life of luxury and happiness. My wife cared for Sharky and worried for her as if she were our child and I owe my wife a great deal for the tenderness she has given our dog over these many years. Our family said a difficult goodbye before school this morning. Sharky’s best friend, Rigby, spent the week with us, and when she left on on Wednesday, I knew it would be the last time these two friends spent together. The moment Rigby went home to Idaho, Sharky immediately began her final decline. Last night I had to go to Salt Lake to give a speech and play famous for a minute. Sharky was in great pain and cried for me and I sat on the floor of the garage and held her in my arms, scratching behind her ears until she finally calmed and fell asleep. She never woke again and died at about the midnight hour. The night sky was veiled in gloam and mist and opened up for her transit. In the deep desert, veil is like the loosest woven gauze, and as I laid her to rest this morning at Lookout Pass, Sharky had a glorious reunion with her sister. When my day comes, Sharky, we together shall at last be able to give your sister a name, and then hike and play forever. Sharky was also reunited with her beloved friend Butters, and of course Isis, and as they ran off together in unbound joy, I could see Sharky look back at me one last time before the distance and the veil separated us. I love you. Today is a hard day, but Sharky is running and youthful and without pain. We will follow you when our day comes. Sharky and Isis, how much I loved you, how much you lifted me, and how heavy is the weight of my broken heart this morning.