a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Erasing

Thursday, July 02, 2020


SUMMARY: Chip is complete--
Text mostly from Facebook posted July 2, 2020


You might work for years on a piece of art or a piece of writing, scribbling in the margins, sketching in the shape with pencil, trying little colors or different words. And then suddenly--sometimes without warning--you realize it’s done. So you erase all the extra pencil marks, print a fresh copy of the manuscript with no markup in the margins. Erasing.

So many pencil lines never completed, blank areas never filled
(No idea when I drew this. Intending to fill it in completely--and then suddenly stopped.)

That Monday morning that I took Chip in for his blood test and still didn’t know what was about to land on us, I got home to discover that his leash had dragged behind my car on the freeway at 65 mph for about 15 miles. I don’t recall that ever happening before. The handle became quite filthy. I don’t believe in omens, but clearly this was an omen. I didn't know it then. The next day I learned. I learned.

Two days later--the day after Chip left us--when I took Zorro out for a walk, looking at the leash, a knife of memory said, this leash belonged to Boost, who died early of cancer. And now it belongs to Chip, who died early of cancer. I love it, because I love blue and I love Paisley, but with that realization, it hurts every time I look at it. It is retiring. I will wash it and put it in a box with the other extra leashes for extra dogs. Maybe to use again someday. Or maybe I’ll never be able to resurrect that one.

I bought Zorro a brand new leash today that matches his coat. And that reflects light like joy.

Chip is a completed work of art now. I’ll erase all the bits I don’t want to see. That aren’t needed any more. That break my heart.

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