Since I have been away so many things have happened... and the freedom I enjoy here is that since nobody knows me, I don't even have to explain myself here... I can just be me, parts of me anyway. In "real life" of course I have to take the time to explain myself, to those around me as I try to understand myself; and so in the maelstrom of so much change some things get lost by those around me, however close they might be, however much we might share. So, what I share here is the bit of my "holidays" that will hold some *real meaning* to some of you who read this, whatever you believe or in, and if it doesn't; well, I can understand that too.

Anyway, for those of you who know bits of me that really matter to me you will know how much I love creatures and animals in general and others in particular. Odin, seen on the left, means more to me than I could ever put into words. He was 11 years old on the 17th November 2007 and had started slowing down more significantly since the summer, getting progressively worse but not seeming to be unhappy. It was a question of adapting to what he could do or understand and make sure he felt loved, safe and no pain. So, to skip the story and get to the facts, on Saturday the 29th I buried Odin at the top of the garden, in the company of people who cared about me and about him. It was the right time and he was in the perfect spot by the window in the sun and he was in my arms and Marduk was snuffling around us. And the best friend I could ever wish for the occasion, to care for both Odin and me. So I give thanks for that and the meaning that he brought to my life. I give thanks for Odin, for having the most loyal and loving friend who never let me down; he gave me so much and took so very little. I am so happy that he had such a long life after being operated on for dermoid sinus in 2000; everything I read on-line assured me death or paralysis was pretty much inevitable. The vet, my friend, said; forget about that, trust me, we'll operate. So he did and we cared for him and I didn't leave him alone for months till he was healed. That's another long story, but he recovered fully, the scar barely visible, not that it matters. The some years later the vet diagnosed he had leishmaniasis, quite common in this region unfortunately. Treat it with tablets and trust me, was what I got from the vet basically and this time I didn't turn to the Internet. I knew enough from what people had told me about their own experiences that it wasn't pleasant, not at all. I didn't want to define that further. Everyone always spoke so horribly; about pets "having to live outside" but not explaining either, but everyone I met who mentioned it (I never did, studiously avoided talking about the subject or that Odin had it) was very negative... my vet can be very vague and I never pressed... So the fact that he reached the age of 11 with such relatively few physical problems, when it could have been so much worse so much sooner, and that he enjoyed his life and didn't suffer or feel fear. I give thanks for that; it is a great gift.


So, I rein myself back and get back to being succinct, or trying to. Minimalism is not my forte. I'll be returning slowly as I'd like to get a bit more balance in my daily life now, though realistically I don't see that happening straight away, so I'll probably be present in unforeseeable dribs and drabs as and when circumstances allow.

I had an idea about a photo - the similarities between humans and their canine companions; was trying to show the "ridgebacks". Had some other ideas, but Odin can no longer be in them. So I cherish this photo because of what it means to me on its own, at the time and now in context; juxtaposed with the flip side I took more recently. I'll upload that one when I've got round to doing some sorting and tagging (much neglected tasks of late). This one I had ready to upload; I had been playing with different frames some months back when I had been experimenting with some effects and looking through them this thick black one, which is not something I'd usually opt for, seemed eerily fitting.




[Edit: I published the above post by mistake; I'd meant to save it as a draft. There are some blogs I write that I write and keep private, this one was work in progress and it was late when I left it, hence the mistake. I don't know what I would have ended up editing out or writing or what photo(s) I'd have included or not, if I had decided to make it public at some point, but since what's done is done and already been commented on, I'll take it as a sign, gulp and leave it as is - just rounding off a vague sentence and fixing a few typos.]