Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Animal Family, a work in progress

Quackers and Cheese (l to r)

Cheese and Quackers (l to r)

Wini and Lula in pretty kerchiefs

Sweet little Cheese
Blue and Green, aka Frog

Green, aka Frog, as a pup
Foster Dog Big Dog


Foster dog Foxy

Foster Dog Helmutt

Add caption

Foster Dog Holly

Foster Dog Reiner

Foster Dog Rinty

Foster Dog Sox, who always barked at the mirror

A foster whose name I forget

Another foster whose name I forget

10 months later

Well, after Elle died, Frog died.

Frog was Blue's littermate, initially named 'Green'.  I raised them both, along with Red, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Pink and White, and Mama.
Frog was adopted by Bill Kelley, and lived his entire life with either me or Bill.
Bill died, and I made good on my promise to always take care of any dog I raise.
But Frog was in poor health when I took him on in February.  Not much later, it felt like, he got sick and died.

And then Blue died.
Blue older (he lived only to 9)


And in all of that, Mr. Warren died.  Raphael died.
Yardbird died.
Then Ivan died.


I was devastated by the losses of Blue and Ivan, and pretty much shut down.  Blue was my True Dog Love.  I loved him so much it was impossible to convey to him (or anyone else) my depth of love.
Not that it needed to be conveyed, he knew, as much as he could comprehend, but I always felt inadequate in my expression.
I have loved few things as fiercely as I loved Blue.
Ivan was not my first love but would have been if I hadn't been so afraid of Love.
I have a drunken recording of me and him and Lara on New Year's Eve of  1986 and she said:
"Ivan, I used to be sooooo in love with you."
He moaned in reply, "Why aren't you anymore?  What did I do?"
At 14 he already blamed himself for others not loving him.

The danger of being in love with Ivan was that he would love you back and I wasn't ready yet  (because I was 15!).  Maybe he wasn't either, that's why he chose me and others like me for decades.  Crazies, the wounded, the shrunken.

But I stayed in love with him and we did have our moments through the years, reconnecting when living off Genessee St., riding our bikes along the canal.  Playing Scrabble on Facebook.
I visited him in Portland in 2010 and that visit was a turning point in our lives.
He turned towards Binti, the extraordinary woman who became his wife.  I turned inwards, withdrawing myself from an unhealthy relationship and setting my boyfriend of 7 years free to be happy somewhere else.

Losing Blue and Ivan (and Frog and Elle and Jim and Bill and Raphael and Yardbird) threw me into survival mode and that's where I was until about October.

Sorry this is a bummer but I couldn't leave the blog hanging.  Someday someone might want to know what happened next!