Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Loss Proves a Gain...

With Spinoza's departure there was an uncomfortable feeling of quietude in the halls of the FSRI.  No longer was there the scratching at the door when Spinoza needed to be let out.  No longer was there the affectionate snoring in front of the fireplace while I burned the midnight oil trying to put the finishing touches on some groundbreaking article for an FSRI publication.  No longer were there the comforting growls and calls for help when Spinoza latched himself onto Decateur's leg during one of Decateur's rare visits to our headquarters.

Grief seems to be the only description for the emotions I have been experiencing these last days since Spinoza's passing.  But just as I was ready to accept the fact that, from now on, my life would be devoid of love...  enter Bertrand.

Yesterday, after a board meeting of our executive staff, I retired to my office to catch a few winks before proceeding with my quotidian duties.  Just as my eyelids grew heavy I heard a scream for help emanating from the hallway and I was jolted back to consciousness.  When I opened the door to the hall, I discovered Decateur in a violent and losing battle with a small, frenzied Jack Russell terrier.  After prying the tiny jaws loose from Decateur's immobilized leg, Decateur fled and I was left alone in a staring match with this unknowable and wild beast.  My instincts told me to retreat... and as I did, the terrier took it upon himself to follow me.  He came right into my office and sat down at the hearth of my glowing fireplace, right in Spinoza's old spot.

With mouth agape, I could only feel surprise at my situation.  "How peculiar," I said to myself as I lit my pipe and set to pondering.  "I could be wrong, but I think this pup has just found himself a new home?"  With that the terrier dropped to repose and let out a self-satisfied yawn.  It was then that I began the long work of ascertaining his name (for, indeed, he was male...).

I began where I should begin... at the beginning.  "Abercrombie?" I called.  The terrier took no notice.  "Adonis?"  Again, he paid me no heed... and on I went through every name recorded in Western scholarship until, later that night, I struck upon the name of Bertrand, the revered philosopher and intellectual of the 19th and 20th centuries.  When I uttered this venerable monicker the pup leaped to life and approached me, tail awag, in a gesture of friendship and loyalty.  I tossed him a section of a hotdog that I'd been snacking on and he gobbled it up with eagerness and joy.  His belly now slightly less than completely empty, he returned to his corner of hearth where he lowered himself and immediately fell into a comfortable doze.  Alas!, I congratulated myself.  Bertrand it is!

So be it...  when one part of your life closes, another always seems to open.  I had my VP of Domesticated Pets call our local humane society, and it was learned that our new friend Bertrand had been missing from the society for nearly a day, having escaped his cage where his previous owner was forced to leave him due to economic circumstances.  A few pieces of paperwork and all was settled.  Bertrand was a new member of the FSRI family.

Welcome, Bertrand!


No comments: