Saturday with Shutter – Photographs and Memories

Well the “Dog Days of Summer” are quickly slipping away. Soon to be replaced with the cool Autumn chill and then followed closely by Winters icy grip. While Mother Nature has adequately provided me with the necessary physical attributes to subsist in most any environment, I can assure you I take no pleasure in having to relieve myself multiple times daily under those frigid conditions. Six inch legs, twelve inches of snow, you do the math.

It’s amazing how quickly time passes. Everyday I watch with great curiosity as my Human Servant prattles about plying his avocation. Some days he seems almost as giddy as my sister Reese was when she found the squeaker in the butt of her stuffed frog. Other days, I feel his frustration as acutely as if my tennis ball were under the sofa just out of reach. I hate when that happens!

I know he is doing his best to provide for the Pack and I. Truly we want for very little. Oh it would be nice to take more trips, I do so love exploring. Too I enjoy entertaining my human with our prolonged games of fetch. There is just something immensely satisfying about the expressions on his face as he hurls that fuzzy green spherical projectile as hard as he can, while I endeavor with each return trip to saturate it with as much saliva as possible. In this I am extremely adept. I have on many occasions during these rousing games of fetch, sufficiently dampening the exterior of my ball to the point where a fine spry comes off it creating tiny rainbows in the sunlight with each bounce. He seems quite fascinated by this so I accommodate him whenever I can. But I digress…

The topic for today’s conversation is after all “Time”. That non corporeal possession that we tend to value to little, squander too much, and never seem to have enough of. Each morning I sit on the table next to the sofa and watch as you humans go about your day. With half opened eyes looking down at you phones and clutching a hot caffeinated beverage you climb into your automobiles and are off in pursuit of that life sustaining paycheck that keeps us all eating and sleeping indoors.

Aside from the necessities with these paycheck you also have a tendency to buy. More shoes, more cars, more this, more that. I too on some level share in this seemingly compulsive behavior. The number of my “toys” seems to grow almost daily. At present I have four yellow balls, one orange ball, three chew bones, and two soft rubber balls with stars in the middle that inexplicably smells of mint. I’m not sure what that’s all about but I confess I do like it.

But in all this obsessive accumulation there seems to be one very important item you humans tend to take for granted. Photographs. I think this stems from the fact that every new hand held gadget and gizmo that you humans seem now to create has a camera in it. Photographs that used to be a physical representation of a time past, something we kept, collected, and cherished of our journey through this life, now seem to have as little value as last years iPhone 5.

I know many of you are thinking I have some personal bias in this area because this is how my human servant makes his living. But I can assure you this is not the case. You see when I adopted this human four years ago now I found that he was already under the watchful eye of another brilliant dog named Bear whom welcomed me in as his brother. Bear taught me a lot. Bear was kind and Bear was gentile. Bear could with great expertise manipulate our human into getting pretty much anything he wanted. Treats on demand! Now that’s a well trained human.

But sadly my brother Bear left our Pack a mere two years later due to age and illness. And we were left with a hole that can never be filled. In his absence the Pack and I have picked up the mantel Bear so lovingly created and have done our best to keep our human safe and pointed in the right direction.

Now Bear, Bear had possessions he too loved. Some of these my human has carefully preserved. His collar with tags still attached. A partially chewed up rope. His food bowl and an old rolled up sock he loved to chase. These things have no monetary value but simply serve as little reminders of the fourteen and half years he touched my humans life and the two and a half he was part of mine.

But it’s the photos… the photos that I love most. My human took a lot of them. Hundreds. Maybe even thousands over the years. Photos that span nearly a decade and a half in the life of this beautiful little soul. And it is in these photos we still take comfort and draw fond remembrances of the life and love we shared. And they are in the end amongst our most prized possessions.

Dogs know better than most how brief life really is. That one day we will all be assigned to the ages. And when we are gone and all the material things we worked so hard to attain are scattered like the wind. All that will really remain are the photographs and the memories. So make them good ones.

Carry on,

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