Friday, October 30, 2015

That Big Giant Dog Park in the Sky

My art is more than a little autobiographical, although, given the amount of stylization and abstraction, maybe not immediately apparent. I don’t set out make a specific statement, or tell a particular story, I just go. Blank page, white space, orange pencil, gobs of pastel and onwards.
I started this one yesterday…and didn’t like where it was going.  This morning, fresh eyes, and I still wasn’t sure where it was going, but I knew without a doubt where it came from, and why it came to be. 
I wasn’t ready to tell this story until today. I wasn’t ready ready to tell this story until I got it down, in vivid colour in all it’s awkward screaming glory.
My dog died last month. There it is, now you know.
Her name was Dynamo, and I brought her home from the dog pound when she was 6 months old, and wound up tight and exploding with energy like a—Dynamo.
She lived up to her name. We did obedience, rally-obedience, agility, and frisbee. We even did some competitions, and got a little title for her. We also camped and hiked, taught her to swim and love it. 
Her most important lesson, (and the hardest learned) was ‘THOU SHALT NOT EAT THE CATS’, or chase them, or poke them, pounce on them, bark at them, or stare at them like they are nice juicy animated hamburgers.  And she learned this lesson, not only learned it, but learned to love them, with this the result.
What an amazing cat-loving dog. 
In her later years, circumstances (my aging in-laws) took her into the environment of public health care, the hospital rehab ward, and the nursing home, first as a family pet visitor, and later as therapy dog (the job was the same, though). Another new environment, and more great behaviour.  The lessons were likely as difficult for her as the ‘cat thing’ though not as obvious to us.
IMG_5234<—that’s June, our friend at the home (Dynamo treated her as family)
She was a better judge of who wanted to ‘say hi’ to the nice doggy, then we were.
20150929_135535 20150929_141043
This is how she spent most of her time in her last days, head on pillow with Riker for company.  I’ll say that she had a better send off than my previous dog. She still had her dignity, and her good days, and a reasonable level of comfort. It does make a difference.
She is missed by all the folks and staff at the nursing home we visit, and by us, of course, and although he can’t tell us, I’m sure she’s dearly missed by Riker the Cat.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...


kaslkaos said...

'Tis okay, I waited to write this when I was ready. She had some happy last days too, like a weekend at my sisters cottage, spoiled with treats, a "guest" dog bed, and off-leash walks. I still have to thank my sister for making that happen.

Michelle B. Hendry said...

I'm so sorry... It's so hard because we love them so much.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

that does sound like a wonderful doggy weekend :)

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Michelle. It's all worth it though.


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