Day 353- “Remembrance”


This photo, Day 353, should be for November 27th. November 27th is an extremely important day for me, for many reasons. It’s my brother-in-law’s birthday, it’s my goat Stoney’s birthday, and it’s Founder’s Day, the day that my fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi was founded at Oklahoma A&M College in 1919.

It is also the day, a year ago, that I came to terms with why I chose to major in photography. It’s a long, difficult story, involving guilt, depression, death, and acceptance.

I… I can’t really explain it again. It’s really a pretty tough story for me to even think about, but if you’re curious, check out my post from September 14th.

Sometimes, I wish things were how they used to be. The cemetery where I took this photo was a place that I used to go to as a kid. I used to take my dog Jenny there- since she was the only one of our three Corgis that I could trust off of the leash. She would run around happily, sniffing out rabbit holes while I gently placed flowers on all of the graves. This is an old cemetery; I think the most recent burial was before 1920. It’s a friendly cemetery.

But now, my Baby Girl is gone, after being hit by a car this summer. (You can read that post here.) I wandered around the cemetery alone, looking out at the sunset and down at the old, faded out flowers I placed on the graves back in March, when Jenny was still with me.

Jenny is gone, Alicia is gone, and sadly, there is nothing I can do about it, except keep moving forward.

And I do. November 27th was the first time I’ve ever played in the saxophone studio class. All of the saxophone majors get together every Tuesday and play for each other, then receive critiques from the saxophone professor. To me, it’s a bit awkward as a non-music major, a junior making a third attempt at the sax studio, to stand up in front of everyone and play. Nervously, I played my Telemann Fantasy,  and when I was done, I looked up at everyone and saw smiles and nods of approval. I don’t know why I was so worried. They’re are all my friends and they all want me to succeed, and they were all happy for me and all encourage me in my musical pursuits.

I would have continued pursuing art, had it not been that fateful moment on November 27th, 2011, when I realized that music is what I need to do. Jut keep pushing forward, and I will reach my dream.

Day 348- “Colter and Boo Boo”

Pictured here is my Corgi Colter with his favorite toy, which my mom named “Boo Boo.” We’ll ask him “where’s Boo Boo?!” and he’ll run and fetch it. It’s so cute!


Day 277- “Memories”

This is a throwback photo to 2010 of my Corgi Jenny, who unfortunately was hit and killed by a car back in May. (You can see my post about it here: I thought of her today, and was saddened by it, but at the same time I like the thought of her up in Doggy Heaven chasing bunnies and being with our Husky Emily, who died a few years ago. I miss Emmy  too, but she was old- almost 15 when she passed, and had lived a full, long life. Jenny was only six. 😦

You know what book I loved as a child? Dog Heaven. It’s based on a poem, and the book has simple but beautiful illustrations. I just found the poem on the internet and am tearing up reading the first few lines. I know she’s happy, and it makes me happy and sad at the same time.

You want to hear something even more depressing? Before you read this part, you should probably read the post that is up in the first paragraph, about Jenny right after she died. ….. Every time I leave home, I kiss Colter on the head and tell him I love him. I kiss Dakota on the head and tell him I love him. The last few times I’ve been home, I’ve picked up the tiny box holding Jenny’s ashes and told her I loved her. I miss my Baby Girl….


Dog Heaven

When dogs go to heaven, They don’t need wings
Because God knows that Dogs love running best.
He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.
When a dog first arrives in heaven, he just runs.
Dog heaven has clear, wide lakes
Filled with geese who honk and flap
And tease. The dogs love this.
They run beside the water and bark
And bark and God watches them
From behind a tree and smiles.

There are children.
Of course.
Angel children.
God knows that dogs love children more than
Anything else in the world, so he fills Dog
Heaven with plenty of them. There are children
On bikes and children on sleds. There are
Children throwing red rubber balls and children
Pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs
Are there, and the children love them dearly.

And, oh,
The dog biscuits.
Biscuits and biscuits
As far as the eye can see.
God has a sense of humor, so He makes His
Biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There
are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits.
Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits.
Every angel who passes by
Has a bicsuit for a dog.

And, of course, all God’s dogs
Sit when the angels say “sit.”
Every dog becomes a good
Dog in Dog Heaven.

God turns
Clouds inside out to
Make fluffy beds for the dogs
In Dog Heaven, and when they
Are tired from running and
Barking and eating ham-
Sandwich biscuits,
The dogs find a cloud
bed for sleeping.
They turn around and
Around in the cloud.
.. until it feels just right,
and then they curl up
and they sleep.
God watches over
Each one of them
And there are no bad dreams.

Dogs in Dog Heaven
Have almost always
Belonged to somebody
On Earth and, of course,
The dogs remember this.
Heaven is full of memories.
So sometimes an angel will walk a dog
Back to Earth for a little visit and quietly,
Invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old
Backyard, will investigate the cat next
Door, will follow the child to school, will
Sit on the front porch and wait for the mail.

When he is satisfied
That all is well, the dog
Will return to Heaven with the angel.
It is where dogs belong,
Near God who made them.

The dogs in Dog Heaven who
Had no real homes on Earth
Are given one in Heaven.
The homes have yards and porches and there are
Couches to lie on and tables to sit under
While angels eat their dinners.

There are special bowls
With the dogs’ names on them.
And each dog is petted and reminded
How good he is, all day long.
Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as
They like and this can mean forever.
They will be there when old friends show
Up. They will be there at the door.
Angel dogs.

by Cynthia Rylant


Day 164- “Jenny”

Every time I am at home and go to spend the night, I go to each of my corgis, kiss them on the cheek, whisper good night and that I love them, then kiss them on the forehead. I have little pet names for each of them.

For Colter: *kiss* “Good night, Little Boy. I love you.” *kiss*

For Dakota: *kiss* “Good night, Bubby. I love you.” *kiss*

For Jenny: *kiss* Good night, Baby Girl. I love you.” *kiss*

Whenever I leave to come back to Greeley, it’s the same thing. *kiss* “Good bye, I love you.” *kiss*

Last night, my dad called me in tears. One of our gates had somehow been left open. Colter was still in the backyard, Dakota was missing, and my sweet Jenny had been hit by a car and was killed. I leaped into my car and drove back home in record time, alternating between crying for Jenny and crying for Dakota. I pulled into our drive way, and no one was there. I ran inside the house and found Colter whining at the door. I clipped his leash on him.

“Let’s go find your brother.” We set out of the house in the pitch black night. I found my parents driving around, and they told me several of our neighbors were out looking for Dakota too.  We set off our separate directions.

Calling for Dakota, Colter and I walked along the road out toward some of our friends’ house. Suddenly, he started pulling his leash towards an old dirt road that only tractors use, next to an irrigation ditch. I’m familiar with it, I used to run there a lot before I injured my ankle years ago. We turned down that way and he peered into the empty ditch.

“Dakota?” A little head popped up from the darkness. “DAKOTA!” Dakota excitedly pranced around the bottom of the ditch. I tied Colter to a fence post, then slid down the mud to Dakota. I picked him up and carried him back up the embankment, crying and hugging him. I tied him and Colter together and started off for home, when one of our neighbors found me and took us back, where we got in touch with everyone else. Our boys were safe.

But not Jenny. Some of our neighbors had found her and instantly recognized her as ours. They wrapped her up in one of their blankets for us, which she was still wrapped in when I went to say good bye. I hugged her and cried with my parents, sister and brother in law. Colter and Dakota knew something was wrong, too. They tried standing on their back legs- a skill only Jenny perfected- to see onto the picnic table we had placed her on. They looked on sadly when we put her on the ground for them to see.

That night, I moved Jenny into the garage onto her garage bed (as opposed to her indoor bed). I stayed the night and woke up early to get to work at seven. I said goodbye to my parents, my cats, and Colter and Dakota.

And last, I went into the garage and hugged and kissed my Jenny, and softly said “Good bye, Baby Girl. I love you.” One last time.

You can see other posts featuring Jenny here:

Day 119- “Puppy Eyes”

Dawwww, it’s Dakota! And here are his adorable eyes. They say that the eyes are the window into a man’s soul, and I think it is the same with dogs. Look at them!!! Ahem. Either way, I got this while Dakota was crawling into my lap for a hug. I like the photo because, well, it’s Dakota, and also the focus on his eyes and the lighting.

Day 99- “Looking for Mice”

Pembroke Welsh Corgis- the smallest of the herding dogs. Well, my corgis do no such thing. But Colter likes to go on mouse hunts. If you say “mouse hunt” to him, he runs to the back door whining to be let out to go to the chicken house. And he has caught them before, too! Either way, they’ve mostly moved out, but he still loves to hunt for them, which is what he’s doing here. The chickens were obviously interested too!

I like this photo for the contrast and light.