Monday, June 07, 2010

early dog days

My land lady in Villa Obregon was good enough to let me store my personal belongings at my rented place while I was in The States.

I merely needed to pack things up and set them aside. 

When I drove down last year, most of my property fit in four plastic containers in the back of my truck.  One was dedicated to Jiggs's dog paraphernalia.

That container and his large feeding station came over from the beach house.

While setting things aside in April, I decided I would get rid of anything I would not need when I returned in November.

Quite a few things went out.  And the contents of the dog box should have.  I was going to donate it all to the local neuter clinic and adoption center.

I put it all beside the door to give to my land lady.  But when it came time to pass it over to her, I simply could not do it.  His dog dishes.  Collar.  Leash.  Toys.  I was not ready to part with them -- not yet.

When his wife died, Theodore Roosevelt immediately gave away anything that would remind him of her.

I am not that type of guy.

But my nature is not sentimental.  I surprised myself that I was still holding on to items I have never bothered to look at since he died.

I think I know why I did.  When I returned to the Salem house, I found myself thinking a lot about Jiggs.  After all. he lived in that house for twelve years.  It was his back yard.  His couch.  His bedroom.

And those memories are still alive around here.

But each day they fade.  As they should.

By the time, I return to Melaque, I suspect I will be ready to turn over Jiggs's things to people who could still use them.

And that is the best memory.



Mike Nickell, Sitka and Cynthia Johnson said...

Hi Steve - I think I found the following in a comment on your blog last year:

Rainbow Bridge - Author unknown

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Chrissy y Keith said...

Steve, you will always miss and love Jiggs, what is changing in you is your ability to cope with his absence. Dont fight the emotions that God gave us, but rather enjoy the ability to control them.

Steve Cotton said...

Cynthia -- Thanks. I appreciate the sentiment.

Chrissy -- I am not really grieving. At this point, his life causes me to be a bit pensive.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention his stash of port and good cigars he kept in his study for after dinner.


Gloria said...

When my beloved Chorizo left us back in October of 2007, in fact a couple of months after my dad passed, I too thought of getting rid of all her toys, blankets, water jug, feed bowl and I still haven't. I have everything in a plastic container.Her favorite baby is amongst her items. There was always one stuffed animal she loved more than the others. I still miss her very much Steve. Her spirit is still here with me. Good old Jiggs would probably be very happy that you are still hanging on to his "things." They were his things, you know. He knew that, just as that home he lived in for twelve years was his place of life. It's where he grew up. He knew every inch of the place and he is still there. Wherever you are, or where ever you go, he will always be with you. Hold on to his things, at least for now. Take care, good to see Jiggs up front again.

Diane said...

Have you considered visiting with PDX Golden Bond? They are a wonderful group and maybe you could even find a new beach companion.

Adrienne on E Street said...

Foster's leash and collar are on a hook in the stairway to the basement. It's a gentle reminder of him - but as I crossed the Archives park coming home from work the other evening, I thought of how wonderful it was to have a place where our critters could sniff, romp, and act themselves. Do memories fade? Maybe they just become less of our daily lives, and go deeper. Make us pensive.

Steve Cotton said...

ANM -- And the fact that you gave him the honorific "professor" even before his birth.

Gloria -- Some things I may keep. Others can be put to use with other dog families. By the way, I thought of our excchanges about our dogs when I wrote this piece.

Diane -- I have. They have previously approved my place for adoption when I was looking for a companion for Jiggs. I'm just not readuy for another dog -- yet.

Adrienne -- I am looking forward to walking through the park. It will be bittersweet. But it will be a good oppotrunity to remember how much he added to my life.

mdoneil said...

I still have the Professor's picture as my screen saver, and I had to make sure it went with me when the firm gave me a new laptop last month.

The photo of Jiggs sitting at the edge of the surf on the beach is a wonderful way to start my workday.

Steve Cotton said...

Mdoneil -- Jiggs would really have appreciated the gesture. I know I do.