Coping by Bike

Today was a very, very sad day.  Jackson, the very first dog I have loved–and those of you who love animals know that’s one special love–died.  Now, I loved this dog.  He was incredibly special, more of a man than a dog, really.  Or like a man who is secretly a cat dressed in a dog suit.  He was smart, well behaved, loyal, fun at parties, and, frankly, one of the few uncomplicated and purely loving relationships I’ve ever had.  And I only knew the sweet boy for six months.  But in that time we developed a strong bond–he knew the sound of my car pulling up in front of his mom’s house and would rush to the window to see me.  He’d meet me at the stairs, stuffed beaver or puffer in mouth, wiggling and whining a whine meant just for me.  He was scared of storms, as most are here in New Orleans, and I liked sitting with him, scratching him and letting him know everything would be ok.  And I loved walking him.  Loved it.  So when his mom called me late to tell me he was sick and early to tell me he’d passed, I was devastated in a way I certainly didn’t expect but in retrospect seems fully normal.  I loved that dog so, so much.

The only thing I could think to do in the face of this unexpected sadness was to bike.  But it was absolutely pouring rain for much of the morning and afternoon, raining too hard, actually, for me to safely bicycle around.  It was as if the universe was telling me to slow down, to sit with the sadness of loss, to remember Jackson and how much he taught me about love, to think of his mom, and to feel, from afar, with her.  When the storm lifted, I got on my bike for a long, long ride through Broadmoor, knowing this neighborhood is one where loss and life are very well known.  I snapped this shot of the sky as I came up Washington toward Ehrhardt Boulevard.  It captured how I was feeling–clear of the downpour but with a heavy cloud looming, over a neighborhood filled with love and hope but also immense and immeasurable loss.  I will miss Jackson so much.

4 thoughts on “Coping by Bike

  1. Oh, Kate, I’m so sorry about Jackson. You may well have given a lot to him, but he also brought our a lot in you. While he will not be with you any more, all he showed you of yourself will always – and has always – be there.

    And, you can scratch me behing the ears any day.

    Mourn on…

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