Today would have been Pongo’s (also known as my “original spotty”) 16th birthday. He passed away in April and my little spotty house just hasn’t been the same without him. I wish more than anything that he was still here with me physically, but thankfully I can take comfort in some of the many wonderful reminders I have of our time together.
Over the past several months I’ve had the pleasure (and admittedly, some heartache) of meeting some absolutely wonderful dogs who were nearing the end of their journey here on earth. I truly do understand how heartbreaking it is when the time comes to say goodbye. And while everyone deals with loss in their own way, I thought I would share a few things that have helped me through some very difficult days.
While photography has always been a passion, after Pongo passed, it became my therapy. I spent a great deal of time looking back through old images of him, most of which were never shared or published. I found myself looking at them with new eyes, and a greater appreciation of some of those little moments, that didn’t seem all that important at the time.
I am not a painter, at least not in the brush and canvas sense, but I started working on digital paintings from old photographs. They are still very much a work in progress, and may or may not ever be totally “finished”. But that’s okay…at this point, I’m not sure that I’m really ready for them to be.
I finally made the time to design a book, using images from one of my most memorable beach trips with him last November. And from those images, I put together a little video…
I’m not suggesting that the path to healing is through photography…or painting…or any other art form for that matter. But when I first started down this path, I really didn’t expect that it would be so therapeutic. kind of like why would you want to listen to depressing music if you’re already sad, right? I’ll admit that at first it was really difficult, but after a while, the tears were replaced by smiles. And now I have some lovely renewed memories of my original spotty dog.
Happy birthday, my friend. We miss you.