“We’re meant to lose the people and things we love.
How else would we know how important they are to us?”
It is because we never know precisely when life will be taken away from us, that I feel that we are all on borrowed time. Every once in awhile, we should learn to take a step back from the insanity of work, and truly appreciate the gift of time.
A buddy of mine in Portland found out that Bear, his beloved dog, has cancer. The prognosis was bleak and I did not even know if I was even going to make it up in time to capture some photos. As luck –or fate– would have it, Bear is still fighting the good fight. Some days are better than others, but the good news is, he’s still walking, eating, drinking, and sniffing other dog’s tush’s.
I had the honor of hanging out with them for a short while. I do not have a pet myself, but I have dealt with love and loss by this awful disease, and there are lot of parallels. So I can truly empathize. We do not want your loved ones to suffer, but the selfish side of us wishes they could be here forever. The reality of it is:
I look into Bears eyes, and he seems a little tired. He doesn’t quite know what is going on with his body, but he knows something is very wrong. The medicine and the drugs probably hurt or make him feel very ill at times. But he wants to hang around to play with his friend Henry just for a a bit longer.
Bear still smiles, hangs around, eats normally and goes about his routine. But I do get the sense that there is an implicit understanding between the two of them. It is as if they know the bond they share will be for an eternity, but Henry knows Bear’s health is giving out and he can’t be there with his friend forever. I think to some degree, Bear knows it too.
Having a pet seems a lot like raising a child. You train them, they grow up with you. They are there for you through good days and bad. You clean after them and feed them, but in return, they provide you with unconditional love, and provide comfort and affection. They don’t care if you are rich or poor. They don’t care what car you drive, they won’t argue with you or leave you.
I felt a bit sad as I pet Bear’s head one final time before leaving. I knew it was probably the last time I would see him. He probably just thinks I’m the strange little Asian guy that followed him on his walk today and wonders why I keep on pointing this odd black clicking device at him.
And when you are gone, and my memories begin to fade, these photographs will be here to help me remember this walk we had in the rain. And in the 30 minutes I have spent with you Bear, you have reminded me to love life: