August. August came and went like the tail of a kite cut loose from it's string in a strong summer wind, fluttering out of reach and unstoppable across the long fields of the prairie. And with it, went my friend and 10 year adventuring companion, Gershwin.
I've been trying to write this post for a few weeks, but every time I sat down to write, my stomach felt like lead and I just couldn't do it. Not yet. Wait a bit. Losing a pet is a terrible thing. It's also an inevitable thing. It's odd to see paintings, drawings, and photos of Gershwin and think he's now only these things and rad memories; stories I share with people about this rad dog I had once. I miss him every day, and most on Sunday mornings when he'd be the little spoon and convince me to stay in bed for snuggles for another hour. I miss his studio visits, a gentle head nudging one elbow or the other and then resting on my leg patiently until I put my brush or pen down to pet him and kiss him on the head. I was fine before I started writing this, but even now I'm typing and crying. Gershwin was my first pet, from purchase to training, to the last trip to the vet to say goodbye and thanks for all the adventures. What a grand 10 years we had. Oh, the places we went and explored!
It's not all sadness though. We still have Luke and now we also have Coltrane.
She is 10 weeks in this photo my friend Carmyn took of us when she visited the studio this past Sunday. Right now as I type this in the kitchen, Coltrane is playing under the chair I'm sitting in, contemplating if she wants to attempt another sneaky little bit at the rabbit fur lining the top of my moccasins. Training has already begun with some things.
We did not intend on getting a puppy so soon, but it just worked out that way, so here we are, with this tiny, fluffy, curious little girl. She's a treasure and a real distraction in the studio, because I'm always checking on her to see what she's up to in the kitchen when I'm not looking.
The blows and unexpected victories of life in the span of a few months. We keep walking in the woods, making pots of tea, going through photos and choosing which ones to paint and remembering the stories that accompany them. We keep going, and sometimes it's with a heavy heart. A heavy one, but a grateful one too.
Such is life, and life with dogs.