categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside
Lymphoma isn’t curable in canines, but the last of your savings account buys you a nine-month remission. You and your white dog, Io, sit on the floor with Tycho during his treatments. You bring Tycho back to strong with soft-mashed eggs and warm chicken. It will be the three of you for as long as you can. You are all together in your home when Tycho dies. You are pressed against him and watching his life pass out of your hands. You don’t make a sound because there is no sound to make. The next day you load Tycho’s body into your SUV, and you and Io drive him the four hours down the mountain to the crematory in Fort Collins. By the time you see the facility behind the trees, you are shaking and still not believing, and you begin to cry, but you get that under control before you open your car door. You and Io wait long hours before you have your boy back and your hands are wrapped tightly around the warm box. It’s another hour before you reach Poudre Canyon and the long road to home. Io is sleeping in the back. The box is on the console beside you. You put your hand on it now and then to make sure. You begin the slow climb back into the mountains. You watch the full of night arrive. You lose track of the road and the canyon walls and the river far below. You drive carefully, rising up into the blinding black, into the bright silent stars, into the untouchable place of Tycho, Io, and you.
Debora Black is a writer and athlete living in Steamboat Springs, CO.