Dec 30, 2015

A Special Goodbye


As the year comes to an end there is always a moment of reflection and good bye to special moments.  This year ends with a special goodbye for me.  My little companion, Rusty has finally succumb to cancer. We said our last goodbyes this week.

The painters life can be a lonely life at times. You spend hours in the studio or the field pursuing that moment of inspiration.   Even my husband will abandon me in the bush, as I capture that special light as it reflects off the trees or the sun setting on the water.  But Rusty has always been there. 

He was happy to wonder for miles on the trails as we searched for just the right spot. Clamouring over logs, slugging in the mud, well okay.  He didn't really go for the mud and for that matter he wasn't a big fan of blackberry vines either.  I carried him over that.  But the rest of the time, he was there.  We would find a place and set up.  As long as he had his spot, usually on my lap, he was happy.  Did I mention he was a lap dog?  I think he could have written the book, How to be a Lap Dog.  He know all the tricks.  We would settle in and I would get to work.

Now this can be a dangerous time for Plein Air Painters.  (See my blog-  Beware: 5 Health Hazards of Plein AirPainting).

You are obsessed with the project.   You know what I mean, 'in the moment'.  Time stops. You see and hear only what relates to the goal. You are oblivious to anything else: bug bites, sunburn, thirst,  coyotes, you name it.  Rusty was my watch dog.  After a few hours, he would tell me: time to drink, time to stretch, time to move out of the sun and oh yeah! Time to move, that noise I had been ignoring was a group of coyotoes, howling in the bush.  They were kind of close, definitely time to move!!

Back home in the winter it was studio work for me. Rusty wasn't much of a lap guy in the studio but he did like to sleep there.  He had his own bed, well actually, 3 beds.  When I worked at my drawing and painting stations he curled up and slept.  I could always hear his soft  snoring as I paused to reflect.  His other beds were at my computer desk.  I think he liked the one at my feet because it was close to the furnace vent.  In the evening he would curl up there while I worked on my writing.  In the daytime he wanted up on the counter where his bed faced the window.  He was a real taskmaster then.  Telling me to hurry up as we needed to get out for our walk before the sun was gone. You know how short the days can be in the winter.  Important to get out there as the weather can change in an instant. 

So to my little guy a special good bye.  And don't worry Rusty, I have learned my lessons well. Painting or drawing, take time to stop, reflect and stretch.  And of course go for a walk every day. RIP little guy. 
Rusty - 1996 - 2015
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Ceci Lam said...

Sad news, Wendy. I know the feeling too well.

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

So true, unfortunately every pet owner faces that day, they have such short lives compared to us. Doesn't mean we don't love them though.

Nan Johnson said...

I too, share your feelings. Lost my buddy just a few months ago. They are always in our hearts.

Brenda Hill CDM said...

He was a special little guy!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Yes he was, we will miss him.

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thank you Nan, I know you totally understand. I drew many pictures of Rusty when he was alive and I am so glad I did. This one of us, Walking Buddies, was my favourite.