25 June 2012

Ripple


There is a road, no simple highway 
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

(Grateful Dead - Ripple)


There's a land beyond the river
That we call the sweet forever

(Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird)






Ringo.

Two photographs taken on 35mm film in 2003 or 2004.

Digital pictures taken in 2010
and 2011, respectively.

A digital photograph and another
picture taken on 35mm film, 2012.



It was not so long ago that I thought that my dog, Ringo, would be around for a few more years to come, and hoped that he would pass away, peacefully, in his sleep… not leaving me with the choice to make that I had to make now - twelve years, one month, and fifteen days after Ringo was born…

In bold defiance of the many hot summers and cold winters that had passed in his lifetime, Ringo remained young at heart to the very end and continued to bring joy to my life… the youthful desires of his mind at times exceeding the physical realities of his age… running through the fields, chasing his green rubber ball, carrying his cuddly toys around the garden as if they were his own puppies…

On a routine check-up half a year ago, the vet diagnosed Ringo with a tumour, which, by the time it was discovered, had grown too big inside his nose to remove. Despite the fact that with every week that passed by, he’d breathe harder, he never gave up on being alive, right until that sad day when he was too weak to get up, which was when I had to have him put down and looked into his eyes for one last time.

It’s on occasions like this that sometimes I wish I could just believe in the hereafter, like so many other people do… a world beyond this one, a place where he’d be allowed to forever run through fields and jump across creeks and chase that rubber ball… free of all our earthly bonds, forever young and wild at heart. But I can’t…

Nevertheless, his memory will always remain… his dark brown eyes, his fur, the way he’d always reach out for me with one paw when I’d sit close to him. Time heals all wounds, so they say… but I’ll be working on this one for a long time.


And when your sorrow is comforted
(time soothes all sorrows)
you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)



I will miss you forever, my dear friend, and I will think of you – every day – for the rest of my life.


15 comments:

Babzy said...

Great serie of portrait of your beloved Ringo, he was a happy dog :)

Jenny Woolf said...

What a beautiful looking dog he was, and your pictures are a fantastic tribute to him.

Yes, some animals have as much of a bond with us as some humans. If they were human, we'd say it was their humanity that we love. Of course that doesn't make sense so I guess we could say it is their spirit that we love. If spirits of any kind survive, then animal spirits will survive too.

And as long as you are alive a bit of Ringo will be alive too.

chiendent said...

What a beautiful creature. It is so heartbreaking to loose a dog. Ringo's life was full, that's important.

Brooke said...

As you know, I faced this very same thing two years ago and I know exactly what you are going through. Death of any kind is hard to deal with but as I read from a comment above, you'll soon find that as long as you are still around, a part of him will always be with you too. I feel that with me about my dog Bonzi. I have pictures of him up and always will as he was one of my dearest friends through such hard times (really...)

Ringo seems to have had a full, loving life and that alone is what a lot of dogs never, ever get.

JM said...

Ringo is gorgeous, but he looks amazing on the second pic!

Dominic Doherty said...

Ely: Thank you! Yes, he was a happy dog.

Jenny: Thank you so much for your words of comfort... I really love what you said about his spirit surviving... thank you!

Chiendent: Thank you too.

Brooke: I know, those were hard times you went through. Thanks a million for your support. I'm glad that my friend from England, Ollie, arrived in Hamburg the day after Ringo was put to sleep, so I'm not all alone and we've been busy catching up and exploring the city and searching for an apartment, so I didn't have that much time to think about it.

JM: Yeah, he was a gorgeous dog indeed. The second picture was taken after a hailstorm.

James said...

What a beautiful dog and a wonderful tribute to him. I feel your pain because I've been through it with two of my dearly loved cats.

Halcyon said...

Sweet story. He was a beautiful friend! :)

Dominic Doherty said...

James - Thank you, and I'm sorry for your loss...

Hal - Thanks! He was indeed.

Emm said...

Such a sad occasion. It is such a painful thing that I don't know if I'd get dogs again. They have such short lives and we don't like to see them suffer. Hope you're doing okay.

T. Becque said...

Oh I'm so sorry Dominic! That sucks. I could come up with something wise to say about time, love, etc., but it still just sucks. You caught his personality beautifully in your photos.

Dominic Doherty said...

Trisha: Thanks very much for your support! I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures, too.

Dominic Doherty said...

Mandy: Sorry for the late response - your comments ended up in my spam folder. Thank you for your support, and you are right - I don't know if I'll ever get a dog again. I'm doing okay, but I still miss him... the house is so empty without him around.

Gunn said...

Great dog and great images!:)

Dom said...

Thank you Gunn! He was a great dog indeed...