Since the passing of Arpad the Magnificent this summer (pictured above), predators have already started moving in. A couple nights ago, we were awakened when an unknown critter attacked Pearl, our aging peahen. Last night she disappeared. This would have been unthinkable in Arpad's heyday.
It makes me think that all our lives would be a lot less safe without the often unseen restraining hands (or paws) of those who, without fanfare, keep things from being as bad as they could be.
I've more than once quoted the last lines of George Eliot's (Mary Anne Evans) Middlemarch here:
"...the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."(Note: not all of the good guys who faithfully lived a hidden life were as glorious or beautiful as Arpad. They probably didn't bark as much at night either. Come to think of it, I visited Arpad's tomb tonight and poured him a libation of goat milk. But the point remains I think.)
OFF TOPIC. Here's a final digression of grieving for a dog. After he died, I dreamed that I climbed a mountain and looked down. There was Arpad and some other dogs I knew who had passed running around and having a great time. I tried to climb over the mountain to them but it was too steep and I couldn't cross the line.
I think that may have been a classic Freudian albeit nonsexual wish fulfillment dream of good dogs living forever. I wish it was real. Or that, in the Buddhist spirit, Arpad had been reborn in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha, where he could work towards ultimate Nirvana under the most favorable circumstances. Or that I could ever be as cool as he was.