comfort & joy

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

sweet ol' beach bum - Jake

Yup I'm sad again, not that it ever really totally subsided, but things get better for awhile and then something (?) triggers another big wave of aching sadness, of where did my big red dog go? How is it that he's not here? The sun doesn't set over the harbour, these last few nights, until nearly 8pm. Spring and summer are just around the corner. My first summer without Jake. summer is his season, his favourite time, swimming out into deep water to retrieve one or two smooth pale sticks and then coming ashore and galloping and bucking like a young stallion, dripping wet and racing around the beach with his beloved sticks.

You see he wasn't just any dog. He was my soul mate dog, my everything, my buddy, my confidante, my courage, my comfort. No matter how shitty things seemed in my life ... I always had Jake to cheer me up and make me smile. He was very high maintenance and bad, in the best possible way. Busy and always into something. He was so full of life and had so much personality. He was goofy, and silly and calm and unflappable. He followed me everywhere, and always had to be smack in the thick of whatever was going on. He'd bark at me if I talked on the phone too long, he'd sit patiently beside me as I peeled and pitted baskets of peaches (peaches were high on his list of most excellent foods), and he slept near me every night, he was my Noodle dog and God I loved him more than I ever thought possible.

A concerned good friend of mine wonders if maybe I'm depressed, if maybe I should be taking something. I've battled the blues and anxiety my whole life and I've thought about this question of depression, over and over. I don't think I'm depressed - I think I'm sad, I'm grieving and I'm a little lost. The love of my life and constant companion for over 12 years is gone and I'm learning, very slowly, how to live my life without him in it ... and it's very hard at times and there are many, many days I just don't want to get used to life without him. I just want him back. I would give anything to have him sitting on the sofa beside me and to be able to bury my face in that neck of thick red curls and breath in deeply, once again, his smell. Like fresh cut grass with a tinge of roast chicken. To kiss those big beautiful paws one more time. That's how it feels.

Comfort & joy, that's what Miss Dixon is, and has been, especially lately. She's the good dog, the easy dog. The dog who walks off leash, through snowy pastures, so close behind me that I often turn around in a panic thinking she's gone. She's my little shadow girl, my little velcro girl. And then there's Bleet who sleeps on my chest, just under my chin, all 20 lbs of him, like clockwork every night, purring madly & deeply. Crotchety old Lulu curled up on a bed of pillows beside my head, Oliver asleep draped over a leg or an arm, a soft calico blanket and finally Gussie, Mr. Aloof, who has his own apartment somewhere else I think, but prefers to curl up on my bed only after I've left it. My tribe, my pack, who all in their own way, help to chase away this sadness that clings to our home.

There is snow in the forecast today, winter's hanging on. I have an elaborate and difficult (in a good and very challenging way) design project from my new Chicago client on the go. And a tub full of Lavender & bubbles awaits me.

comfort & joy - Miss Winnie Dixon


  1. I feel so sad for you. Animals are a comfort and joy. You have such wonderful photos to remember Jake...I wish I would have taken more of Ralph.

  2. I'm sorry you are feeling so sad. I don't really have any words for you other than I am thinking about you and wishing you a brighter day.

  3. Thank you both, It feels really good to write about how I feel. This morning when I sat in my lovely hot bath, I felt so much better, just from having admitted it. I needed to explain it (again), and to honour both my sadness and my beautiful red dog.

    Time is the only thing that's going to heal this broken heart. I know that, in the meantime it helps me, tremendously, to continue to acknowledge how I feel and to continue to talk about him and to post more photos, from my seemingly endless collection, of his exceptionally handsome self.

  4. Winn is such a sweetie, so cute dozing in the light. Glad your Dr.s appointment is soon, but really, you don't seem depressed, just grieving. And you're right, only time will heal.

  5. Blog hopping got me here, and your entry on the loss of Jake truly touched me. It is never easy to loose a faithful and loving companion. I am sure you will always miss him, as I am sure you will always have wonderful memories of the times you had together.
    You remind me of my friend Nina at Ornamental:

    She is also an artist deeply in touch with her feelings and who lives with her charming dog and surrounded by the greatest source of inspiration-nature.

    I'll be sure to visit. Enjoy your day!


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