12 November 2009

One of a kind and never, ever forgotten.

It occurred to me last night while talking to a friend that I still haven't really addressed Grover's passing on my blog. While I've certainly accepted the reality of it, it's still incredibly hard to actually put into words that he is no longer with me. I took a slew of photos the last night he was with me, I burned two disks, saved them on two external hard drives, my laptop, and I can't bring myself to clear the compact flash card. I drive around with one disk in my car, and I carry the flash card with me in my camera bag. I can't bring myself to do anything with them yet, and I'm terrified of losing them.

In the mean time, I had to share with all of you how amazing my friends and family and acquaintances are. I have mentioned in countless emails and Facebook messages and phone calls and posts that I am still incredibly overwhelmed by how beloved Grover was by SO many people. The outpouring of love has been almost disconcerting. Here I am, destroyed by losing my best friend, and all I can think of is how sad his passing has made so many people! It also troubles me how eloquent and kind and wonderful every single person has been to me... I've never read such beautiful, thoughtful, well-written outpourings of the heart as I have these past two months. I hope I can be as supportive and eloquent when people need ME to lean on.

I wanted to share a couple things that... well, I can't even seem to find the words that do these justice. I've always been into photography my whole life, but Grover was really the catalyst for me. He made me really push myself into doing it a little more professionally 4 or so years ago. He was my favorite subject, the most willing participant, and downright hysterical. :) So, I have my handful of absolute favorite images that everyone else seems to treasure as well, but I don't necessarily have them hanging up in my house.

Imagine my surprise when I was gifted these amazing, unique, one of a kind pieces based on those favorite photos:

Gorgeous oil painting gifted to me by my dear friends Cathy, Christie, David, Kim, Liz and Sue...

Beautiful painting by my friend Angela who chose to make Grovie's beanie on his head into a heart. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

These paintings join the other one of a kind "things" I have collected over the years that have been handmade by other talented friends. Like my Grover sculpture by my dear friend Barb:

And my Grover Poochface from Pam that I won in a photography contest years ago.

Everywhere I turn, Grover is still with me.

I have necklaces of him, his pawprint in plaster, and of course, about a kabillion frikabytes of photos from the day he walked into my life 8 years ago. :)

And then this arrived today, which inspired me to post... I'm a blubbering mess. My dear friend Robin, an incredible woodworker and artist, made this with "Pointillism" - the practice of applying small dots to a surface so that from a distance, they blend together.

Along with a poem she wrote for "us." Seriously, grab the Kleenex. I'm giving you fair warning.

Your Grover-Man
I saw you first, your loving eyes
You kissed my head, I'd become your prize!

Your Grover-man, that's who I'd be,
From now through all eternity.

McDonald's fries, now that may be
The favorite food I'll ever see!

My mommy dear, please hear my heart,
I've adored you from the very start!

My funny looks, my teeth, my nose,
My crazy antics, an afternoon doze...

In snow we'd run, in spring we'd play,
I promised to love you day by day.

Just us alone, it's got to be,
God's plan for us, jus' Mommy and me.

We'd love, we'd sleep, we'd play, we'd see
A life of love through photography!

As time does by, I can really see,
You're happiest now, just you and me!

I've helped you lean, I've helped you heal,
I know time helps the way you'll feel.

As the time has come that I must go,
There's something that I want you to know.

When the time is right, with the way you feel,
Find another little heart to help you heal.

A bully boy or a bully gal
I know you'll find the proper pal!

And know dear Mom, I'll always be
The bully-boy you taught me to be.

I leave you now, off to "the Bridge",
The first thing I'll do is find the fridge. :)

Know this, dear Mom, my heart will be
With yours through all eternity.

I love you Momma,
Your Grover

I have the best friends ever. I'm so grateful.



08 November 2009

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
- Kahlil Gibran, as quoted in a favorite book of mine, "The Shaman's Bulldog."

I still don't understand why sometimes, but I hope it's somehow true. I've never experienced pain like I did two months ago, so I'm pretty sure I have a cavernous chasm just waiting to be filled with said joy.

I've never seen anything like the outpouring of love and emotion I saw the days leading up to and including my losing my Grover. I had no idea he was so beloved by SO many. Everything happened so unexpectedly and my dear friends and acquaintances and total strangers held me up as I had to make the worst decision of my life. I will never be able to thank every single person enough.

I'm still pretty much a wreck. I'm crying typing this. He was my absolute best friend. I lived my life around him. He got me through the darkest moments of my life. He was the most amazing creature. And I'm so lonely without him. My house is silent, and I feel like I have no purpose in life, and I swear that emptiness is making it all WORSE. I haven't even been able to go through all the photos I have of him - though I plan on putting together a giant tribute once I can muster the strength. ;) Be forewarned and stock up on Kleenex.

Before Grovie passed, one of my best bulldog friends had puppies. As many blog readers know, I feed raw, minimally vaccinate, and approach everything holistically. I learned pretty much everything I know through my friendship with her through the past 9 years. After her puppies were born, I got to visit. We joked about my taking one, but I had Grover and that was plenty. :)

Then my world collapsed around me. The last night I had Grover, I sat on my living room floor holding him, asking him if those puppies came to be because "someone up there" knew that he wouldn't be around for me. I didn't get an answer... but after I lost him, I went back to play with the puppies again, and on the way home, saw an absolutely ENORMOUS rainbow, and it wasn't raining. I cried all the way home.

I went back for some "puppy therapy" again when I was feeling particularly lonely. I hate when I knock something over and no one "moof"s. It's AWFUL coming home and being able to actually swing the front door wide open, because no one was home during the day to dig all the beds and throw rugs up into a nest in front of the door. So, 9 baby bullies was the perfect therapy.

After much deliberation and soul searching, this past Saturday, I brought "her" home. =) And lucky, lucky me, I will have the most amazing puppyhood scrapbook the world has ever seen, as everyone involved is a photographer!!! :) How lucky am I?!

Her first photo at 10 days old (all courtesy of Paw Printz Photography)

Then at 3 weeks

These are from my first visit! (And I apologize that my focus is so crappy in so many of them. I wasn't really thinking like a photographer... I was just snapping like a puppy lover!)

And yes folks, my other friend Christie has confirmed that she is a CANON girl.

My next trip, which you've all already seen, but not with MY pup in mind...

She pretty much picked me that day.

Already working the camera.

A couple weekends ago...

Thankfully Liz and I are kindred spirits, and she sent me this, since the way everything timed out, I would miss getting her in her first Halloween costume!

Christie sent this to me one day and I wondered what I was getting myself into...

And finally, her pick-up day!

I love you Mom!

And Dad, you're the coolest...

Let's try a family portrait... whatdya say?

OK, everybody look at Julia, ready one two three!

Yeah, notsomuch.

Home, and happy as a clam. Like she's always been here.

Dragging all her toys into her crate

Claiming her spot on my lap already.

Loving her first Jolly Ball from Auntie Christie!

And REALLY loving Grandpa because he let's her CHEW ON HIM.

Can you just see the attitude?!

All tuckered out and snoring...

So, Grover's torch will be passed on. She will be photographed within an inch of her life and smothered with love. And in case you couldn't tell, I still haven't decided what her name is! =) So don't ask!!! Hahaha...

04 November 2009

Saratoga Springs ::: 10.30.09

Last weekend, I hopped up to Saratoga for a couple days of rest, relaxation, and fun. It's changed so much over the past few years... I'm not sure I even recognize most of it. But it still felt welcoming. :) Behold all the randomness that occurred when I dragged my camera along.

Why can I never resist breaking out my camera at a Farmer's Market?!

I most definitely do not eat enough brussel sprouts (that would be NONE!) as I had no idea they grew on a stick! =)

This photos needs no description.

More randomness!

A trip to Saratoga Apple is tradition.


But we were apparently bound by certain town rules...

... which were, of course, abandoned for cider donuts.

A little touristy stuff is always a nice addition! :) (I love how the leaves are all blowing everywhere so you can see how windy it was!)

So, yeah, I'm a dork.

Back in town, we stumbled onto a doggie costume parade. My favorite entrant!

Oh, ok, so I can never resist a bullie!

Especially this very well-educated one!!!! ;)

Always fun finding equine details here and there...

I even snuck (sneaked?) into the track, even though it's all closed up for the season!

Across the track... seemed interesting.

A pleasant little find...

...the most pleasantest of company...

...and an even more pleasant end to a wonderful trip. =) YUM!