by Andy Weddington
Friday, 08 September 2017
All dogs go to Heaven because, unlike people, dogs are naturally good and loyal and kind. Whippet Angel
Smurf was her birth name.
Still young and rescued, thirteen years ago, her parents (re)named her Darby.
Same for her of a different litter "brother," Jake, tagged with Colorado at birth.
My good fortune for the past 11 years has been to visit them semi-annually - before and after fly fishing trips.
Always a hearty, hectic welcome - Darby and Jake so excited and happy to see family.
Darby the spirited, electric one.
Jake calm. And cool with an air of indifference.
The pair inseparable.
But came death to Darby last week.
At home, with parents and Jake, and an understanding veterinarian, comforting her to the end, Darby journeyed to wherever it is good dogs go; Heaven according to Whippet Angel.
Hurricanes and politics and such have been of little interest this week.
Darby and a family favorite photograph of her have preoccupied my thoughts and work.
With fond and clear memories of her vibrant spirit, my studio time spent in attempt to translate that photograph and those memories into something alive.
Early this morning I sent my brother an image of the portrait of his girl.
"WOW! I'm speechless! ... Don't know how you improve, it's Darby!"
Yes it is.
And I'm going to look at Darby for a while. Give her time amongst us its just due - she made my brother's family world a better place. Darby was kind and loyal. And good.
What more can be expected of and gifted from a friend, dog or not?!
Eventually her portrait will hang on a wall - where it belongs; with family. And closer to her brother, Jake.