Wednesday, November 02, 2011

dog days of death


Christine -- my landlady, my friend, and sainted laundress -- told me this morning that she would be building a remembrance altar for two of her pets as part of the local Day of the Dead celebrations.


I will not bore you with the background of Day of the Dead.  You can find far more interesting pieces elsewhere on the internet.


Because the grave of Luna, one of her pets, is in my courtyard, she wondered if I wanted to remember Professor Jiggs, as well.  I took her up on her very kind offer.


So, there he is.  In the snow.  Where he was far more comfortable than here in Mexico.  And I can relate to that.  The tropical heat of the coast is not my favorite thing about spending a bit of time in Mexico.


But this is not about me.  It is about Jiggs and his favorite hedgehog.


What I like most about the Day of the Dead is that it is a ritual that helps us to remember what is far too easy to forget.  The people and pets who made us what we are today on our journey towards death.


And who have left their hand prints -- and paw prints -- on our hearts.

18 comments:

Mcotton said...

Jiggs, you brought much happinss while on this earth.

Steve Cotton said...

Plus a lot of rascaly charm.

al lanier said...

We have three dogs buried in our ranch--two belonging to the gardener and a third mutt to a fried--and I thought of putting some flowers on their graves but feared that would be inappropriate or even offensive to Mexicans because altars were reserved for people. Not saying that it is disrespectful; I just thought it might be. 

al 

Babsofsanmiguel said...

I have seen altars all over Mexico to pets...........it is not inappropriate at all.
I remember the last time I made an altar.  I found myself pausing and reflecting many times while it was there.  It is a treasured celebration.

Steve Cotton said...

I think you are probably correct, Babs.

Even it it were not the case, we Gringos are a source of constant amusement to our Mexican neighbors.  A role I relish.

Steve Cotton said...

I doubt a sentimental gesture would ever be considered disrespectful.  Even though most of my Mexican neighbors think the visiting Americans and Canadians are a bit unbalanced when it comes to cats and dogs.

However, this little shrine is behind closed walls.

Kim G said...

How sweet! But I have to admit I giggled at the title of your post.  But of course that's the great thing about Day of the Dead. It's about remembering and celebrating the lives of those loved ones who have passed on.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where I miss being in Mexico for this holiday.

Nita5 said...

A spot in my yard is like a pet cemetery. Five dogs, three cats, and everyone loved. All lived long lives and gave much joy. Even though we don't do a Day of the Dead, we do Memorial Day. All pets graves are marked with stones. Maybe it's time for you to get another dog.
                                                                                   Nita

Steve Cotton said...

When I stop traveling.

Steve Cotton said...

Everyone should have at least one giggle every day -- along with a belly laugh.

Larry Prater said...

What a beautiful altar.

Steve Cotton said...

i
It is indeed. But I can take no credit.

Felipe Zapata said...

Nice.

Nwexican said...

Ahhh, THAT a true pearl of wisdom. We are truly unbalanced and imperfect and I believe we should celebrate it. Perhaps put up some sort of shrine to our, "less than" and then laugh at it until our sides hurt..

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks.

Steve Cotton said...

I think that is what I call my daily routine.

mdoneil said...

I have a different picture of Professor Jiggs as a screen saver.   He looks so happy with long hair standing on a sidewalk in the damp early autumn up north. 

Steve Cotton said...

He was definitely a winter-autumn dog. The heat down here was way too much for him.