I went to pick up Marshall’s ashes from the vet clinic yesterday. I had put it off for a couple of weeks because it was just too final, but the time had come – the vets office had called twice.
I walked into the clinic expecting to see a small box inside a cardboard carton. This is what Crusher had been returned in. But to my surprise there was Marshall in a little green urn sitting behind the counter. With it came a certificate of cremation as well as the towel I had wrapped him in so very carefully. It brought tears to my eyes as well as to the eyes of the techs at the clinic. They had all come to love Marshall and the incredible dog he was in his own simple way. We all got a bit misty as I picked up the towel that still smelled of him. When they handed me the urn the top nearly fell off! I was surprised that it wasn’t fastened in any way.
“You’re going to have to tape that for me,” I said, “Or Marshall will end up all over the floor of my car!” Somehow that seemed funny to all of us and after a few smiles and some laughter they taped him shut.
Once out at the car I was uncertain what to do with him. I didn’t want to set Marshall on the floor as the urn had a narrow base and would tip. Even though it was taped shut, somehow Marshall rolling about every time I turned a corner didn’t appeal to me. So I strapped him into the toddler car seat I keep in back and away we went.
I wonder, if after a dog has been cremated, if their scent still lingers? Sharkey and Charm seem fascinated with this little green urn, they choose to lie by the shelf on which it sits. When I brought the towel in to wash it the two dogs immediately went to howling at the top of their lungs. Sharkey unrolled the towel and snuggled into it. As I watched her process it broke my heart.
Marshall now sits in my office where he spent most of his days happily in front of my desk just being close. Crusher sits beside him in his plain cardboard box. I know it sounds corny to many, but it’s good to have these two old souls near me in a tangible way.