We're starting to wind down on our year+ tribute to my companion Spike. There are still four more Sounds until the final tribute, but slowly the pictures are lessening as I use them once, at the most twice. The videos were just a few to begin with. Since we are here now there is something related to Spike I wanted to write about some in this issue. It's about aging, getting old, weak and frail. It happens to us all who live long enough, our animal friends as well. It's some of the most heart breaking things about life, and some of the most beautiful. It can be stress filled, joy filled, and while when it is going on may seem a long time, but generally it's rather short once we start to really notice and be affected by it. There occurs what I call "The Fading" in life. Things fade slowly then quicker. The light of exuberant youth fades slowly into later life. Memories of a lifetime often fade. Some of us even forget who and where we are. With Spike, he began fading in 2018 after he was poisoned. He was never the same dog again, and slowly began dying. With Spike in mind (because this is his page) I wanted to speak some about how it happens in life in general. A bit different, but often much the same, for everyone.
Those without a tendency for melancholy, as in daily, extended doses, may first notice the fade when they are young and experience some kind of eternal loss. The grief is red hot and burning you at the beginning and though it may also always stay there, time dims its intensity and changes it. So the fading is more about change, really, at the core. For as much as time changes, even moreso it will fade. Time will fade the memories of many faces, those not close to you, or maybe deeply so, often their names. It will fade your internal feelings about so many things. Some are enduring; a passion realized, or not. The gentle touch of love or the fire there of it. Many are things you feel down about losing, for many it's definitely some things along the way you wish you never had. The fade makes you realize the fraility and shortness of it all, makes you want to embrace it and somehow change that.....or forget about it once and for all. It may also make negative things of the past more acute. Things may hit harder, some of those things maybe you'd wish they'd go on. You may be haunted by things in your past or moreso the state of your person or the world today. Whichever, the Fade will come to all. Outside the mind no where it seems does the Fade manifests greater than in the physical body. Some start young yet even those primed to perform notice it by the fifth decade of going hard. It is weird to feel this strange fatigue. If you have chronic physical problems the inability to do even simple things requiring strength and flexibility are well in effect in ways you cannot ignore at some point in life. For many of us it's our past, for us all it is our future as we realize time is definitely not on our side anymore.

Spike in March, 2019

No one gets past the Fade by ignoring it, and only so much by fighting it. In the end it is said all must pay the piper. Even those struck down young and vibrant, so full of energy they shone like the sun, experience the fade. For themselves in that they don't wake up and continue and for those who remember them because they are left now without them. One fades over time, one fades quickly as in a few minutes, days, months or even years. Which is which depends on the song. Years are not so long, and compiling their accumulation takes less time than anyone young realizes; you can be gone in an instant, or sitting around at 100 wondering where did everyone and all the time go. While being old and wise may comfort some, for many it is a time of despair. For both as life fades, as change takes hold, we all find ourselves as we grow older reflecting on some things, or everything. I definitely know those on a one way street, roaring through the tunnel of physical life. They never look back, for tomorrow is a new day and the next hour all things can change, best to be positive about it. That's cool. At some point that will fade regardless of what creation, force or thing they leave behind. The fade out is deeply embedded in the Circle Of Life.

Live long enough, regardless the fade will call your name too....

Spike, very sick and weak, December 17th, 2021

Spike faded slowly over a course of three and a half years. At first it was barely noticeable, just a lessening of the high throttle energy he always had up until the summer of 2018, when I found him gasping for air, his eyes buldging out, not able to move. I thought he was going to die then. He came back, and after a few more sick spells he kept coming back. Yet you could see he was weakening. By the time the above picture was taken exactly a week before he died, he had been very sick for almost two full years. The following picture from January 2020 you can see he was puny. The fade had taken hold for over a good year by that time. He'd still have some sparkle and life left in him even up until a few months before he died. Yet by the time he passed Spike was in immense pain, and the final six weeks of his life he was miserable. I had taken him to see a doctor in July of 2021 and he said Spike in his condition probably had six months, and that is almost exactly the time he had left. He had a massive tumor on his hip and a couple more developing. It broke my heart to look into his eyes and see how much pain he was in.

You can tell Spike is ill in these pictures, both the one above in January and the one below in February. He was pleading with me with his eyes then to help him. He had become very quiet that last year of his life, but he had become ever closer to me. I was all he had and ever knew. As his cancer progressed he became more loving. Spike had always been stand-offish, and very much his own dog. As he began to fade and get weak he would get closer to me, responding with obvious pleasure that I was paying attention to him when I spoke to him and would pet him. He knew he was sick and I was always the person who had taken care of him when he was sick in the past. So he looked to me to help him. Spike only went to the vet once, when he was diagnosed with inoperable, terminal cancer. Many like to say he did good to live as long as he did. I've said all this before, but as the fade took hold our time together became precious, measured and faster. Same as it does whenever you learn someone you love is very sick and will die. You cherish the time together and are never ready when that time comes. Spike seemed to know, but even on that last day when he could not walk, his tail thumped the floor hard when he saw me coming and I'd talk to him. His love for me was unmistakeable. That love made the fade that much harder, as time passed and our life together began to come to an end.

Spike February 9th, 2020

Spike had begun to lay around a lot after May of 2018, when I'm pretty sure he was given an almost fatal dose of poison. My house had been entered multiple times leading up to that. A month or so after that sick spell he had I discovered I had a couple dozen electronic devices in my house, about all of the stuff inside, had stuff like bootlegged wi-fi antennas installed in computers without wi-fi or had cards inserted that broadcast over proxied connections. I get "yeah right" pretty much anytime I mention it until I show the people who wouldn't know anyway the specific evidence, both in hardware and software. Why someone would do this could be in the reasons I laid out in Issue 70. For many years I was "supposed" to have been some kind of who knows what, a gangster, dealer, a "we're not sure but he's something" kind of nonsensical bullshit I gathered straight from horses' mouths. That started many years before I was raising hell about the electromagnetic phenomenon, what some call now "Havana Syndrome", was raging inside my house. Who knows the "authorities" were "supposed" to be investigating WTF that was all about, but I NEVER had anyone ever come talk to me sensibly though I raised hell about the exact same symptoms and nightmare years before government employees started to. Who really knows except the stupid motherfuckers breaking into my house why it was being done. The hearsay became concrete reality when I ended up with many devices full of spyware, malware and compromised electronic devices in my house, car, and homes of immediate family. The biggest crime of all though, to me, was hurting poor Spike. He did live a long life but his last years, after he was poisoned, were sick ones.

Spike Laying Around, 2018

His life became labored and as The Fade took hold slowly it became where he couldn't walk much for far. We'd always taken our long walks together, both when I lived in Adairsville and along our wooded road in Cartersville. Starting in 2018 he'd just lay around mostly. When we would go on a walk his breathing would be labored and he would tire easily often having to sit down and rest a while. That resting part was ok with me I have bad stenosis which is very painful sometimes so much I can barely walk at all much less any distance, and other health issues, but as it progressed along with Spike's worsening health it worried me because I could see Spike's life slipping away. He'd still give me that smile and sometimes play around a bit, but he was a very different dog. Sure he was getting older he and I both were. Yet the Fade was setting in, and it began to quicken.

Above is one of the last pictures of Spike I took. It was taken on the porch on December 26th, the evening before he died on the 27th. He couldn't walk and was in great pain, he'd try to stand but just couldn't and was in great pain trying to sit or lay back down. He could not come in to lay next to me as he had done for 15 years that night and his breathing was fast and labored. I could not stand to see him in such pain. He was my companion, I did not want him to die, but life for him was just pain by that time. He held on to me and would gaze at me. He knew our time together here on earth was over. It was up to me to help him cross over. I feel ashamed I could not have done it better, been more dignified for my old friend. I had been saying good bye for a month at that point. The Fade had come to an end, and darkness was calling to take my friend. Those of you who have had to put your friends to sleep because you loved them too much to watch them suffer, holding on for you to be near you and feel you touch them and speak softly to them one more time, you understand and know it is one of the hardest things you'll ever do in your life..

Spike and my mother, whom he adored, in October 2016.

Old Spike knew when the vet showed up what was happening and he was very quiet and looked away. Sometimes when I am grieving over Spike my little five month old shepherd comes in to comfort me. I suppose it's a dog thing feeling all the way on the otherside of the house or out on the porch that I am upset and mourning, but if I ask him if that's Spike come to see me he'll dance around a bit and bark, like he understands what I am asking and is saying "it's me Dad, I'm alive in Little Bruno!" When Spike was euthanised that night I lay on my bed trying to go alseep. I dozed off then awoke with a start as I felt Spike pulling at me from the darkness. As if he was scared and was reaching out to me to try and save him. It was so real I could feel his paws trying to grab hold of my arm. Since then I've had lucid dreams we are back where we used to live and all that's still there and we water the gardens, fix a good meal and go on long walks. Never seeing a car go by, or anyone else there, or any planes in the sky or noises of life anywhere near by. It's just he and I together again and I often like to think that we are. Long before The Fade began to set in.....

Spike and I



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