#dogs #aging #MFRWauthor
The “Portrait Torture” paid off. I came out of the photo session looking only half bad. For those like me who aren’t photogenic, this was a miracle in itself. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always chosen an avatar as my author image (aside from the ass-shitting fear that grips me every time a camera is pointed in my direction).
For those who aren’t familiar with my S.C. Dane media profile, my dog Sally is my public “face,” and has been for several years. Only I hadn’t realized how much time has passed until I compared the photo I used for my author avatar with the photo the professional photographer took of SalGal.
Yes, Sally went with me to my photo shoot. She has traveled from Maine to Wyoming with me and everywhere in-between, why would I leave her home? (Dog people will understand) The fact that she’s an Irish Wolfhound cross who weighs in at a slim 115 pounds doesn’t keep her out of places. It usually means she gets served: people move around her as if she’s another person.
So, I wasn’t too surprised when the camera lens angled for her.
It wasn’t until I got the pictures back that I realized how she’s aged. The face I’ve used as my own is aging in…dog years, damn it.
SalGal is nine, and for a big dog–an Irish Wolfhound cross, at that–she’s doing great. But the photograph reminded me I’m on borrowed Sal time.
I imagine when she slips from my life I’ll be as inconsolable as Will Farrell in the movie “Anchorman” when his dog Baxter got punted over the bridge. Nothing coherent is going to come out of
my mouth. Friends know this. Sally isn’t just my dog, I’m her human. We’re a team. She’s not my baby, but my friend. She doesn’t even wear a collar. The only time I attach a leash to her is when there’s the danger she’s going to get run over when we’re walking around traffic. It’s to keep her safe, and I never, ever pull on it. Why? It’s degrading to her, and I don’t do to her what I wouldn’t want done to me. Plain and simple. Sal is a woman who knows who she is and doesn’t apologize for it, and she has taught me much about that.
She’s my sidekick, my wing-man. She’s got my back, like I have hers. The Dynamic Duo forever. Then I saw the new picture and compared it to the old, and I realize that one day I’m going to have to let her go.
But not just yet. She’s still the pain in my ass, opinionated, and strong-willed woman I grew to love nine years ago. She’s still traveling with me, meeting new faces, making new friends. Reaching out–in the way she taught me how to do. So thanks, SalGal, you’ve handed me another lesson, and I think my readers are happier for it.
And a giant Thank You to Leah Yetter Photographer. A fellow award-winning artist and earth-roamer who ultimately planted her feet in Wyoming, where SalGal and I have had the honor to meet up with her. My cowgirl hat is tipped, Leah, thank you.