14 January 2011

Bogart in his Monochrome World . . .

Who would have thought that I can own this beast?
That I can actually make him mine and me his own human?
Who can ever realize the enormous pride we have of our animals
as we tame and domesticate them to our harsh environment?
That in doing so, we get tamed as well . . .

"So what is he saying, Lui?"
One of my kid friends asked me this question while I was patting the head of their Rottweiler.

This question always pops up whenever I am playing with other dogs, as if I am some kind of a special medium or gifted animal "whisperer" which I think I am not. I believe we all have the capability to communicate with every being. And to illustrate this point, I would ask them if they met a deaf or mute person and if they can communicate with this person without saying a word. Chances are, all of us were able to communicate with each other without a single word spoken. The same thing for most animals. You learn their language (body and sound and scent) and they learn yours.

From my late dog Bogart, I learned to smell and hear flowers. While all the other dogs were busy to greet me with hugs and calls for attention, Bogart would walk to the corner of the house and summon me with his look. And I would suspiciously follow him and he would lead me to the garden. And I would look for dead preys or signs of danger or anything but all I see are flowers. Bogart would stop in front of them and I would pat his head and move on. But after several attempts of leading me back to blooming flowers, I once carried my mini chair and sat with him. It was my day off and I had no plans that day except to take long naps. Right then I decided instead to rest with the hounds in front of Bogart's garden. And before long I heard this soft sound like a wailing animal emanating from the plants before us. All the others dogs were lying around me in relax mode except for Bogart who was standing stiff beside the flower. The sound became annoying and urgent and strained my ears until I went near Bogart thinking perhaps that the sound was coming from him and that maybe he was in pain? And before long, I discovered that the sound came from plants!

Through the years, Bogart would lead me to singing plants and flowers and I learned to recognize the sounds until it does not hurt my ears anymore. I discovered a monk whose world of silence allowed him to do this as well. The monk can hear trees and rocks as well! At the risk of sounding loonies, this experience taught me, that aside from energies (if you can not sense or feel energies around you this may be difficult to comprehend) our magical earth is a huge, throbbing, singing, scented paradise!

On the week before he died, Bogart called my attention again, and again I followed him and he led me to a section of Heaven where he sat quietly. I sat beside him on the cemented ledge. And there in that corner of Heaven he said goodbye to me! I cried wondering the hows and whys. I remember hugging him and wondering if he was in pain and how I can help him if needed. But he was healthy and happy and there was no sign of impending doom. I told my sister Luchie about it and true enough, after a week, Bogart had a hearty breakfast, played with his brother Sweepy then went to his house, arranged his pillows, and went to bed. He remained that way until I found him dead a few hours after. This black beast, this beautiful animal, this bumbling creature who never fails to melt my heart, who taught me how to stop and smell the flowers and hear them sing, has also taught me a beautiful way of saying goodbye.

When I walk the quiet path in Heaven
I take a pause to close my eyes and listen
to the haunting sounds of nature
to the myriad shapes and movements
unseen by our hurrying eyes and minds
untouched by cynicism and doubt
except to the brave insane lot
that unveils the magic that enfolds . . .

What's up, Bogart?

This is part of my continuing tribute to my dog Bogart who passed away last April 2010. On January 15 is Bogart and Sumo's birthday! Yes, the black hounds, the father and son tandem, share the same birthdate. This is my gift to Bogart and to all those who loved and cared for an animal. As for Sumo, he will get his rowdy pawty complete with his chewy cakes, yogurt ice cream, long walks and possibly a longer massage tomorrow. ;-)

My beautiful pictures of Bogart converted to monochrome I share with Dragonstar's Black and White weekend. It is not a monochrome world after all. . . .


Dragonstar said...

I love this post. It's so hard to lose our hairy friends. Beautiful photos.

michael bird said...

Lovely, Lui. Can tell Bogart is still very much a presence in your life. We've had lots of pets but also farm animals along the way. But tonight your Bogart poem brings to mind all the wild things that finally came forward and accepted us into their back yard - we had settled on 70 acres and built a house and farmstead while our children were still very young. The wild things, there all the time but out of sight, at least to us busy ones,started showing themselves shortly after our own kids had gone off to school and lives of their own. The mornings and the evenings, when we were finally back from our day jobs, were blessed with wild things suddenly not so cautious, or at least willing to take a chance on the two remaining older humans. We were delighted at their acceptance of us into their wild community. Dinner? Great! Poached chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and wine if you like. A bit of fudge - old fashion penuche, with coffee or tea, for dessert. Yum.

Lucy Corrander said...

It bothers me that the flowers hurt your ears. It reminds me of 'The Iron Woman' (by Ted Hughes) where the sounds of nature were anything but singing.


Lui said...

Hi Lucy!
In the beginning it sounded like shrill notes and later I developed and enjoyed them as powerful arias!

Like wine and caviar, you develop a taste for it as well!

Thanks for your comment and I will check out Ted Hughes one of these days...

Lui said...

Dragonstar, you are such a gracious host too!

And Michael, what a yummy spread! The wild in your woods have embraced your family now and watch out intruders, for they are your protectors now!

Carver said...

Wonderful tribute for Bogart and fantastic shots.

Self Sagacity said...

I enjoyed reading about Bogart Lui, I think that you had expressed the relationship in a wonderful way and it seemed almost equal. Thanks for making me realize there could be ways we can learn and appreciate another being if we only listen more intently.

Pat said...

Your wonderful tribute to Bogart brought smiles and tears. We just lost our fourteen-year-old dog, Gracie, in November, and miss her so.