December 27, 2011

My Boy

Way back when, I entered young adulthood without knowing a whole lot about how to connect deeply with other people, perhaps like many of us. I had my friends from childhood and that was about it. I socialized only when I had to. And I consciously limited those occasions.

In college, I worked at an animal pound and ended up adopting a dog. I had no idea what this would mean.

He wanted to be with me all the time. He loved me no matter what. It was all a new experience for me. I found joy in giving him a good life, and I ended up getting in touch with something inside me I hadn't often experienced since early childhood: The ability to be with another exactly as I was, without fear of judgment.

For someone who never loved a pet this may be hard to understand, but he was the twinkle of my mornings, the blue of my evenings. 

Love can lift that way.

After arriving in California in January 2006, I rented a beach cottage with a large yard for my dog’s last couple months. He had a brain tumor, and when he died, I understood that I was going back to an animal pound to do some work and honor his memory.

This multi-media project I’ve completed is nothing more than my best thank you for all the impossible doors he unlocked within me.

56 comments:

Mary said...

Ed, this is so very touching. I have two dogs who are my best friends, so I know if what what you speak. I love the way one can just BE with an animal; and they love unconditionally as you love them. I am glad you completed your project; and I hope to be able to see it somewhere. Blessings to you.

darlin said...

Aw, it's awesome that you dog was loved so dearly and you were both blessed to have each other.

Wishing you a Happy New Year Ed, life is still busy on this end, how I'm not sure... it just is. Take care and stay safe!

cj Schlottman said...

ed,

You have a sister in the love of animals, especially dogs. I wonder if I cold have survived the death of my husband without my two dogs. They let me cry as much as I needed to without trying to "fix" me. They tucked themselves close to me in bed as I tried to sleep. Because I could not let them down, they gave me a reason to get up and get out.

I am so proud of what you do, and, like Mary, I hope to be able to see your project some day.

Namaste..........cj

Claudia said...

i know exactly what you mean ed - i had a dog when i was a teenager and when i thought no one understands and cares...he did... and loved unconditionally.. love that you went to the animal pound and you sure honored his memory with this..

Stephanie D said...

Beautiful post. It's amazing what animals can bring out in us. I'm glad you had that and I'll bet it contributed to your writing in so many ways.
Happy New Year!
Stephanie

Birdie said...

what a wonderful touching post Ed! i can so relate in the love you felt for your dog ... the love a dog brings is completely unconditional, there are no judgments just pure joy & it is contagious - they are not only our best friends but teachers as well if we are willing to see it ... i'm sorry that your friend is gone but i'm sure he had the best of lives with you! you do a great job to honor his memory!! i'm looking forward that animal shelter story ... & if i don't 'see' you a very happy new year and all the best to you!!!

Birdie said...

ps: and i just love the picture :-)))

Ed Pilolla said...

mary, thanks so much:) spending time with a dog is to experience an ancient sort of love. as you say, just being with them.

darlin, don't work too hard. always great to see you.

cj, i love what you say about how it's not about fixing us. just being present to someone is what dogs, as well as cats, somehow know so well.

claudia, sounds like we have similar experiences:)

birdie, it is indeed contagious. there's something divine in that.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...one of my best friends growing up was a hound dog named hobo...i feel you man and your project is a great tribute...i understand that love for sure...smiles.

Ed Pilolla said...

hobo is a great name, especially for a hound dog. my dog's name was kopas. i named him after a very talented though uninterested racehorse at the time armbro kopas. someone told me kopas means fat and lazy in greek, but i don't know if that's true. my dog was not fat and lazy, however:)

Ed Pilolla said...

stephanie, what animals can bring out of us, yes, this, to me, says something about our place in this world, all connected. thank you so much:)

Little Ms. Fun said...

What a great story! I love stories of man and animal uniting :) If it wasn't for my spinal surgery, my dream job was join the animal rescue cue. I hate seeing sadness in animal's eyes.

I know that your story about your time at the animal shelter will make a difference. You made your pooch proud!!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

You said it, Ed. The unconditional love of a dog, cat, bird, or other animal friend is such a joyful experience. The dimension these guys open up in us, human animals, is amazing if we let them. Around Thanksgiving a stray grey cat adopted us. Totally has made a difference to the household. A glorious Dragon 2012 to you!

Ruhi Shah said...

I fell in love with my pet dog when i saw him..little cute with a pink nose...he would listen to things i could not confide to anyone else

He unlocked many of my doors too...

He passed away few years back...but he is always in my memory...for his playfulness and innocence that touched everyone he met.

Except for the mailman..they didn't get along so well.

Susie Clevenger said...

Ed, this touches my heart. I have two cats..one is even now sitting on my lap..they were both rescued animals. My life would be much emptier without them. Thank you for your work and wonderful writing and images on animal shelters.

Bernie said...

I can think of nothing in this world which compares with the unconditional love of a dog.....Hugs

LauraX said...

Oh Ed this is so beautiful...I'd never had a dog as a child...but our girl Ellie is one of my dearest friends, every true.

EcoGrrl said...

Spot on how i feel about my girl daisy - she's close to 14 now which is amazing for a rottie, and some don't understand why ive put off all travel til her time comes (soon). She's seen me through 8 years now, and deserves everything :)

~*Princesa Fiona*~ said...

WoW! This one really touched me emotionally, Ed! I'm a huge dog lover and at times in my life, I've often felt that they were my best friends :)

It's heart wrenching when we lose them. It's the same pain as losing a loved one. I'm so glad that you can reflect on how much he transformed your life and you still honor him by the work you do!

Such a 'feel good' story! Thank yo u for sharing this with us. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all the very best in 2012 :)

Pat Hatt said...

So true, they are there with you no matter what, just wanting to be around you and that's it. I'll take animals over most humans any day of the week.

Being Pramoda... said...

that's emotional.. culd feel the immense love of u both for each other.. we get attached to our pets so deeply and naturally..

good work..

LOLA said...

Oh fuck. Now I'll cry some more.

Snowbrush said...

Oh, gosh, I've always had dogs and also a few cats. I love both, but if I had to live on a desert island with just one, I would choose a dog. Cats sure are low maintenance though. With a cat that's one and dog that's 14, I guess I'll be down to just a cat within another year or two.

By the way, I couldn't make that multi-media link take me to a multi-media presentation. It took me to a photo and from there to a link to another post. Was that what you had intended?

Ed Pilolla said...

the multi-media package is not available yet. i linked to my homepage where i posted a new photo (late, as usual), which is nothing more than a preview. sorry for the confusion. i am still shopping the package. i will of course keep current here:)

Betsy said...

Pets are wonderful. Sigh.

Ed Pilolla said...

i feel the same way, betsy. my living situation since that beach cottage, no matter where i've crashed, has been dog prohibitive.

Margaret said...

This "project"... I read the whole link. Is a book or documentary coming out?

Ben Ditty said...

Thinking of the dogs I've lost over the years. They really were some of the best friends I've had. And they seem to love so unconditionally, regardless of our flaws.

WomanInLove said...

Connecting with others comes naturally to some and mostly to women I guess its easier.
And love can make you a totally different person, love of nay kind
For me its kids

oceangirl said...

I remember that awkwardness in college before we made new friends. Sweet to know that he came with you to California and to the beach cottage.

Jill said...

Unconditional, uncomplicated love. There is nothing better than a furry friend that lends itself to us, giving us a safe place to fall.

Gloria said...

Ah Ed Love this pic I have three dogs but are more olds, they come and go out from the house, some times I believe they think are humans:)
thanks for stopping by:)

Lynn said...

Animals do bring out the buried hearts in us. Love this post! And the picture.

suvaiba said...

:')
the pic did not upload -
urghhh my net.
but i bet every happy memory that it must have been really really good. :)
and yes em a CATS person. my name means TIGRESS itself but i respect DOGS. they are indeed faithful.
and i could see through the words- the tears and the pain.
well life isn't a bed of roses and walking on the road of thorns is not that bad
:)
take care/.

Ed Pilolla said...

margaret, it is a non-fiction narrative feature story, which will run somewhere online. it also includes a short video and photos. looking forward to seeing it run:) thanks for stopping by.

Raajii said...

Pets really are the best friends :-). I miss my dog too.

Ed Pilolla said...

i am so very grateful for all the support. but i'm no saint. in my life, i have sinned.

Alexandra said...

Sorry for your loss, Ed. I do not have a pet, because my husband is allergic to animals. But was so moved by your writing, as I often am, and your choices and actions in life.

Mark Dixon said...

That's the little pup whose feet smelled like Fritos?

And kopas doesn't mean fat and lazy, it means a moment of peace, like the lull before the storm. κόπασ

Matthew said...

ol' frinkidino (sp. ?)

miss ya both, dude.

Laurie Kolp said...

Ed- Thanks for sharing your motivation for the animal shelter story. Pets, esp. dogs, have a way of touching our hearts like no other. I had a yellow lab that died from a brain tumor. She is dearly missed. I hope you have a blessed new year full of what your heart most desires.

New End Studio said...

I think most dogs are guileless, they love full throttle, no matter your looks, size, income level, whatever. As long as they sense they're safe and loved they're all in. My #1 Sweetie (my first dog, not his real name) was at a Second Chance shelter, but it really was my good fortune to be there at the right moment. He needed help and I had no idea what was going to become a long love affair. He passed on about 15 years 3 months after coming to live with me. I can't tell you how empty the house was without him. That 30 pounds of beagle filled every inch of space and made my life so much better for sharing it with him. I will always miss him.

Thanks for doing your work with the dogs. They appreciate every kindness.

Best wishes for the new year!

Wine and Words said...

Hey Shutterbug. I can't wait to see the project completed. One can already sense it was a true work of love.

Sheila Moore said...

I know that type of love as well. He's a golden retriever. Beautiful write

ayala said...

Ed, a lovely tribute to your dog. I am touched, and I feel you. I am a dog lover and I have loved and I have lost and it's so sad but the love that we share with them is amazing.

Kitty Moore said...

That is so beautifully written and emotive.

Happy New Year Ed x

Amish Stories said...

Ed spoken like only a true animal lover can ever do in words. The joy of having them in our lives for just a very short time, and the pain of losing them one day. Happy new year Ed. Richard

She Writes Here Now said...

Oh my gosh, Ed, I have absolutely loved some dogs. It would be a tragedy to go through life and never experience the unconditional, crazy, adoring affection of a dog. I wrote of my deepest love, Huggy Bear, which I think you may have read once. At any rate, I get it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's to wishing you all the very best in the coming year.

PS I used to say if there was a heaven I wanted a beach cottage where all the animals I loved would greet me when I got there, but they would be free to come and go as they liked :). Yes, I preferred my dogs over people! hah! :)
xxamy

New End Studio said...

My correction is 15 years and 9 months. Every moment counted.

Magic Love Crow said...

Hi Ed ;o) Thanks for coming by my blog ;o) I love animals so much! I think without an animal in your life, you are missing something. I agree with you, they love you no matter what! You can be yourself! Be free! I am so sorry you lost your dog of a brain tumor. I hope he didn't suffer! So special of you going back to an animal pound to do some work in his memory. I will check back when the link to your project is up! Happy New Year!! All The Best!!! "Stacy"

Jannie Funster said...

Ed, what a beautiful write.

I felt like that a bit too in young adulthood, not quite aware of how to be socially, much of the time.

The twinkle in your morning, what a nice way to say it.

We've 2 canines and I can relate to the love for them.

AWESOME on your project!! Kelly and I were talking earlier how she'd like to work rescuing and helping animals.

xo

DWei said...

And that's why people who have never had pets should never be allowed to say "It's ok, you can just get another one.".

Actually nobody should be allowed to say that...

Komal Ali said...

What a beautiful post. You indeed gave him a great time. I can relate to how you feel because I have been really close to my cat, muffin.

Tracy said...

May we all keep unlocking all the doors... Thank you for sharing your inspiring story of love & courage, Ed. Great to be back in blogland after two weeks away for Christmas in the USA, and catch up with you here now. Wishing you all the very best in 2012--PEACE, LOVE & JOY! :o)

Birdie said...

how exciting to finally find someone who also reads ruiz!! i'm reading the mastery of love as well (i didn't mention it in my post as i thought it may be too much of ruiz ;-) and yes, there is so much good in it ... it brought lots of freedom to myself ... i find that when you read his books second or more times it always brings something new ...
happy days Ed!

Daydreamertoo said...

Aww... there is something he taught you so well too, he taught you what it is to unconditionally love. Our pets love us anyway no matter how we dress or what mood we're in and never, ever judge us.
This made me smile Ed, lovely story for the new year.