“We but half express ourselves,
and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.”
(from “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A week-and-a-half ago I wrote a post I could have called I Am a Writer, and said how I anticipated that embracing that fact would . . . well . . . make all my wildest dreams come true; the main wild dream being to escape immobilizing depression.

I mean, really, don’t you get sick of fighting it EV–ER–Y day?

Apparently writing isn’t the omni-cure I had hoped it would be. (It has its depressing side too.)

The other day I was skimming through my daily feed (think about that term for half a tick: “daily feed”) on Facebook. and saw a lovely face. She’s a painted drawing by Katie Kendrick, friend-and-artist (whose classes I’ve taken).

painted drawing by Katie Kendrick
(25 Feb 2017)

Something about her delicacy, wistfulness, the hint of wind (maybe she has a windswept mind as well) . . . . Also, the glints of light—particularly the one in her bouquet—said something to me.  “Whispering Hope,” maybe. I liked her and made inquiries. Katie meant to paint her, but I was graciously granted permission to purchase her as is. Read More →

Maggie and I had an agreement–when she went, she’d take me with her. Actually, I’m not sure Maggie ever agreed, I mean, we didn’t shake on it. (I should have made her shake; she knew how to shake on command.) On Wednesday morning, 30 March 2016, I had to release her from her semi-contract.

24 Feb 2004: Maggie and her litter-mate sister, Millie, came to live with us. They were 2-3-month-old puppies we adopted from the South Utah County Animal Shelter, through Lab Rescue of Utah. We picked them out from an online photo titled “the Yellow Girls.”

Baby Maggie and Millie (formerly known as The Yellow Girls)

Baby Maggie and Millie (formerly known as The Yellow Girls)

From the start, Maggie got to me with that contented, sanguine look of hers.

At the South Utah County Animal Shelter with Maggie and Millie (and an appropriate built-in caption)

At the South Utah County Animal Shelter with Maggie and Millie (and an appropriate background caption)

The day after we brought the girls home, we had to take them to the vet to get their last set of shots. We suspected Maggie was having a little trouble (with something personal), so we had to leave her with the vet for a couple of hours. My friend gave me a ride over to pick her up.

They were keeping Maggie in a back room, and went to go fetch her. The assistant had to put this little puppy (OK, she was fifteen pounds) on a leash–which she resisted, as all good puppies will–and drag her down the hall. I saw them go by and cried out, “Maggie!” She turned toward me and dragged the assistant back to the room where I was waiting. I’ve never forgotten that moment–when she recognized my voice and ran to me.

That day at the vet's when Maggie recognized her master's voice.

That day at the vet’s when Maggie recognized her master’s voice. Thirty pounds of puppies and me–well, my hand and foot.

There were plenty of times when Maggie could be a pill. She and Millie ran away from home whenever they got the chance, the brats! After leading us a merry chase, they always came happily back home. We finally, finally got the fence fixed and that put a stop to escapes.

Three years ago we had to let Sister Millie go–she had cancer. It was in March. (We also lost our dog Christy in March a number of years ago.)

Last October Maggie was so sick that we thought she needed to be let go. A few days before the scheduled appointment, I posted about it on Facebook. Some of our friends prayed for us and cared about us–thoughts and prays work: Maggie got better! I’ve been calling it a Facebook miracle. But we knew Maggie wasn’t going to live forever. During her five remaining months she went on numerous hikes with us–always lagging behind, but always game to be there.

Autumn hike, Dec 2015

Autumn hike, Dec 2015

Maggie was a photogenic dog. On most hikes we got a really pretty portrait of her. (It’s easy to get a photo of a dog sitting still.)

Maggie at Big Springs, Nov 2015

Maggie at Big Springs, Nov 2015

Maggie in Rock Canyon, Nov 2015

Maggie in Rock Canyon, Nov 2015

At Big Springs, Autumn 2015

Foothills north of Orem, Autumn 2015

Overlooking Provo Canyon, Dec 2015

Overlooking Provo Canyon, Dec 2015

We somehow lost track of Maggie’s age and added a year to it. She was really only 12 years old–not 13–when she died. (We can blame that on Polly–she’s aged us all.)

Last Wednesday morning Kerry woke me up because he thought Maggie was dying in agony. It was another seizure–she’d had a few in the past five months; they only lasted a few seconds, but this one went on and on and on. Though she slowly recovered, the seizure was the sign we’d been needing. “She’s never going through something like that again,” we decided. Kerry made the phone call and got us an “emergency” appointment.

I’m not sure why, but Maggie didn’t want her picture taken; she would NOT look at the camera. Did she sense what the photo meant? Do photographs really steal one’s soul?

We had enough time before her appointment, so we drove up into the foothills and let the two dogs out of the car. Overly friendly, unshy Maggie still wouldn’t look at the camera.

Her last hike--lasted about two minutes.

Her last hike–lasted about two minutes

In the end she gave in.

At the vet's office.

At the vet’s office, Wednesday morning, 30 March 2016

When we got home Kerry had to go to work, so Polly and I prepared to take a walk. As I got Polly’s walking gear out of the closet I glimpsed, out of the corner of my eye, Maggie shambling down the stairs to join us. And then she was gone again. Perhaps she was still trying to keep her pseudo-agreement not to leave me behind . . . .

It's taken a few days to complete--so it's not technically a daily sketch--but this is my good-bye painting for Maggie.

It’s taken a few days to complete–so it’s not technically a daily sketch–but this is my good-bye painting for Maggie.

Something has been on my mind for a while: the way we readily judge with our eyes. If something looks good to us, we like it. If it doesn’t appeal to our eyesight we express no opinion of it, dismiss it. Do we ever stop to consider how it makes someone else feel when we don’t say something kind or don’t recognize their effort, and bravery in sharing it?

10 Jan 2016–a fun, loose sketch.

Not long ago I showed some samples of my Weave-it squares to a male acquaintance. Each square was woven with the same pattern; only the color choices and sequence of use varied. (See photo below.)

Four squares, same pattern, different color combinations.

Four squares–same pattern, different color combinations.

Read More →