This past week has been a tough one. Last Monday while away on my shoot at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico I received word that my 16 year old dog Curly passed away. I am a huge softy for dogs and so I have no shame in saying that my week has been a teary one. If you’ll indulge me I’d like to share with you a brief tribute to a best friend I’ll miss dearly.
Curly was a gift I received from my mother shortly after I graduated college. I was resistant to get a dog at this time, but my girlfriend at the time fell in love with Curly and against my wishes put her in my arms. Why the resistance? I knew once in my arms that I wouldn’t leave with out her. Luckily for Curly we found each other. The next day, our second day together, I noticed Curly wasn’t feeling well. It turned out she had developed Parvo, a disease that normally kills puppies. When I took her to the vet I was told the odds were not good that she’d survive and the cost of treatment was $1200. Being unemployed this was a huge deal, but I rolled the dice and put the $1200 on my credit card. 7 Days later Curly came home extremely emaciated, but had survived.
The day I picked her up there was a gleam in her eye. A seemingly unspoken connection of eternal gratitude. She was forever my shadow after that point in time.
There are few people or creatures I’ve had a relationship with for 16 years. Curly meant a lot to me and became an integral part of my life. I did everything I could to give her the best life possible. She was there for me between graduating college and my first job, moved to 3 cities with me, lived in 5 apartments/homes with me, and tirelessly endured hundreds of road trips between Santa Barbara-Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks-Los Angeles and San Francisco-Los Angeles. I knew after the first day I had Curly that she was special. It took no second guessing to spend $1200 on her on day 2 when I took her to the vet with Parvo. Little did I know the gamble to invest what seemed to be so much for me at the time, being an unemployed college graduate, was so little compared to what she gave me in return.
I will forever miss Curly.
She loved going to the beach.
She loved chasing tennis balls, at least until Moe showed up on the scene and then she enjoyed chasing Moe even more.
Curly was a fan favorite. Most people couldn’t figure out why, but my theory was that it was her eyebrows. How many dogs have you seen with eyebrows? Her eyebrows combined with her expressive eyes could always melt a strangers heart.
Curly’s last day was spent taking a leisurely walk to a park. It took her a lot longer to make her way to our local park a block away, but even with arthritis she persisted… avoiding efforts to take her in a wagon I bought for her. She never complained and always plugged along . On her last day she also enjoyed laying in our backyard on an unusually sunny and warm day in San Francisco. She loved to lay in the sun seemingly smiling as she soaked in the rays. Unexpectedly the next morning Curly lay in her favorite bed not wanting to move to take part in her normal morning routine… get a morning cookie and go outside in the backyard. In less than 90 minutes of starting the day Curly passed away.
It’s been a full week since this happened and I’m still a mess in sharing the story.
Curly I will miss you. Thank you for the 16 tears of loyalty, companionship and fun times. I wish I had been there for you as I had when you were sick as a puppy.