“sissy– silly– fou fou– little rat dog”– i can remember meeting my diminutive chum and thinking perhaps words similar, although the actual verbiage escapes me at the moment. i have never been much of a fan for smaller dogs, thinking them mostly high-strung and noisy, barking more than is needful, always underfoot, always needing a lot of attention. knowing this it never occurred to me that i might form a lasting bond with spanky. first, that name seemed pretty wiffy to me, so right off the bat my first move was to call him “spike”– he seemed to understand my plight, and never held it against me. he was like that, very wise at some things, and a fountain of good energy.

so– time passed, and he began to work on me, slowly at first. when we’d go walking his pace was always a unique jaunt, head tipped back and very regal, prince-like, that tail coiled to the max. he would always have a smile upon his face, especially at the end of the walk, when it was time for a little treat, fixing you with his little eyes and willing you to pull something out good to eat.

sometimes lynda would go for a week at a buddhist retreat or some suchlike, and we would spend a lot of time together. at first he found it hard to accept me, but after a while we got to be such good pals– he would bark and get me to bring him out into my sculpture studio, laying patiently under a chair as long as i wanted to be out there. we got to be closer and closer, and he enjoyed my company at least a small fraction of what he experienced with lynda, for which i am eternally grateful.

we had some ups and downs over the years, small things really– he was a very stubborn guy at times, not wanting to take a good walk or whatever, but they were only tiny bumps in the road and not taken very seriously by either of us. we knew how to get along and not get in each others’ way.

this last year he had been having some problems, more and more it seemed, but he was a real trouper, never given to whining or such, and it always seemed like he rebounded quickly, always giving me his smile and good humor. but the past couple of months his breathing got pretty ragged, and then about a week or two ago he got some sort of an infection as well– no energy at all, a little listless and not wanting to do much of anything.

yesterday afternoon, while he laid in our arms, mr spike passed away. i know he is in a better place now, and it is selfish to cry as i am doing right now, but that is the way of humans i suppose.

but i can do something– today i am going to be painting on my new piece. i just finished doing the basic painting, and was going to begin the second phase this morning– light and shadows, but i feel like i am just going to concentrate on the light this time, in his memory– good luck buddy, i miss you so much already

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