Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Spuds Last Ride

Spuds was a cute little dog that Mary found wandering around a few years ago. People are always coming and going at the trailer park where Mary lives, and sometimes pets get left behind. She fed him and cared for him, she made sure that he had all of his shots and was properly licensed. For his part of the bargain he barked menacingly at all who came to the door, and put up with living with way too many cats. Mary is a Cat Lady, without a doubt! She has the four cats the law allows, maybe half a dozen more that are "still just kittens, really! I'll find them homes! Just give me time!" And then there are the Outside Cats, neighborhood strays that hang around her trailer because she feeds them, and makes sure that there's always plenty of fresh water to drink.

Mary's vision isn't what it should be and she had to give up driving a couple of years ago. She's 83, a Libra soon to turn 84. When Spuds needed his annual shots and check-up at the vet so that he could get a new license tag I took the two of them. He always looked so alert and excited when he got to ride in my truck, even though I suspected that he knew a shot was part of the day's adventure. As long as he could sit up high enough to look out the window he loved going for rides. I suppose it was also a welcome respite from being the only dog in a house full of cats. Fresh air for a change!

A few weeks ago I answered the phone too early one morning. Mary was crying, all upset. I asked what the trouble was. Spuds wasn't moving. He was just lying there. He was dead. By the time I got over there Mary had already dug a hole in the yard and buried Spuds. It was all over. Even the cats seemed somber. I had a cup coffee with Mary, we smoked a few cigarettes, and we chatted. We talked of Spuds, how he loved the cats and how they loved him. I made plans to take Mary to the grocery store later that day and drove home.

P.S. Want an archival quality print of this or one of my other photos? E-mail me at preacherpop42@aol.com for details.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pic, Al! Looking at it makes me scared and shaking. Just how do you do this, making your self-portraits like something out of a horror flick?

Keep it happening,
Photopoo guy.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous rob skinner said...

Hi Al. Been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I am a photo.net lurker and poster,and a photographer.A few weeks ago I think I spent an hour and a half reading many of your posts, fine work, full of pure humanity. What a sad story about Spuds. My girlfriend and I have 2 dogs that are really our children, so I understand the connection and the loss, its sad.
Thanks Al
Rob Skinner

6:32 PM  

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