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Billy Blue Eye, a Good-bye

I found you online, a “tweenie” dachshund with one blue eye and one brown.  A few days later, we met in front of the Ralph Lauren outlet store in Carlsbad, you on a string leash, no collar, walking two humans, anxious to let you go. You and Joey didn’t seem to mind each other and so I said, “I’ll take him,” and the string leash was handed to me. We walked, and you, well-trained dog that you were, stepped to my left and stayed there while Joey, still being trained, pulled and jerked his leach, his “must smell everything” at full operating mode. You didn’t seem to care.


Until we got in the car. Then there was a minor dispute about who would occupy the front seat and who the rear. You claimed the front as if it was rightfully yours, and this time, Joey didn’t seem to mind. No growling, no snapping, just as it always was between the two of you, brothers in spirit if not in breed.


Billy Blue Eye, little Billy two-shoes, Billy of the Wild Niguel, always available to be petted and admired, loved and stroked. The softest of fur as if you  were put on this earth just to be petted. And so everyone you met automatically reached out to touch you, even in your last days, carried in my arms, friends and strangers would stretch out their arms and wiggle their fingers behind your ears, stroke your snout, kiss you.

A couple of years in, you popped a disc and had to have back surgery. You never complained. A year after that, another disc popped and you had a second surgery and suddenly you were our “$9000 free dog”. What was to be done, though? We loved you and you loved us back.


You loved to go for walks almost as much as you liked to curl up by the back door in the late afternoon sunshine for a siesta. You and Joey were inseparable. We traveled together; up the coast a couple of times to stay in Carmel and no matter where we went you were the star attraction.

There’s so much more, after all we spent almost 16 years together, but this last year, your 20th, was rough and today was the roughest. We had to say goodbye. But you had one last little surprise for us, didn’t you? Driving down the freeway this afternoon, after our last good-bye, Michael said, “look, a rainbow!” And sure enough, there you were, one last doggie kiss in red, orange, blue, green, and violet.




exposé: flowers reveal their true feelings

“all i ever do is bloom,” opined the azalea.

IMG_2173 (2)“i feel your pain,” drawled the bird of paradise.

IMG_2174 (2)“well, that’s nothing compared to what we put up with,” said the yellow rose.

IMG_2175 (2)“puh-leeze,” muttered the heritage rose under her breath, “that yellow rose drops its pants with the slightest provocation.”

IMG_2176 (2)“i would too, given the opportunity,” squeaked the rose’s bud-dy.

IMG_2177 (2)“what’s a little blossom like you, doing in a garden like this,” purred the honey-throated horny old hibiscus.

IMG_2178 (2)“well, i never!” huffed the succulent. [editor’s note: not true.]

IMG_2179 (2)“look what happened to me when i flew too close to the sun,” wailed the neighbor’s rose from its imposing height.

IMG_2182 (2)“god, i’m depressed,” whispered sonia (the only rose in the garden with a name, except for mr. lincoln and princess diana, neither of whom wished to be on camera for this story.)

IMG_2181 (2)























getty center, 6 (seems like dog years, doesn’t it?)

“don’t get old,” i said to him.

DSC08114he just looked at me with those dark, soulful eyes

DSC08125and licked my hand.

DSC08126which is, i imagine, the best promise he can make at this point in time.

DSC08132in the meantime, i’ll hold him on my lap and stroke his silky, warm head.


a walk along the edge of the world (letters)

they tumble away from you like an unfinished word, the last few letters slipping down the valley w

a    l


the period stopping their fall, but they end up all a-jumble at the bottom of the bowl.

DSC08014the l all ornamental anger at being the last one, all filigree wrought from vowels and consonants.

DSC08016you start over then, sweeping and stumbling, gathering momentum, that rolling stone of accents, slights, punctuation, and clouds (unformed thoughts).

DSC08017someone’s left a marker, a guidepost, a stele (minus the priapus guarding the flock), but you ignore it, little puffs of dust marking your transit.

DSC08019c l o u d s h a n g i n t h e s k y, parked like aircraft waiting to land, bringing all those memories (your mother on the motorcycle, your cousin in pig heaven, your grandmother’s mustache) laughter like tears (and rain.)

DSC08022the ocean

tilts away from you

blue blue blue blue blue blue blu bl b (the variations too numerous to name

or blame for the melancholy of your letter-writing.)

DSC08025you stop being so cryptic and speak the truth: catalina island hangs between the sky and the ocean, a mirage.

DSC08026the truth then comes unabated, a rush of sky-scraping

DSC08031until all you see is the edge of the world,

DSC08037flat (letterless)

DSC08040and with nothing left to say, you turn and amble

DSC08041like a sleep walker down the hallway headed toward the past.


a flowerering shrub (i wish i could tell you its name, but it’s monday and i just don’t see the point of research at this time))

m. calls it the “dr. seuss bush”.

DSC06094i have nothing else for you today.


a walk, i thought it would never end

even joey was ready to turn around and walk back home.


i guess the metaphor of pushing the empty plate away from you after you’ve sated yourself would be inappropriate at this juncture of a walk. oops! too late.


in other news from that same day: the cloud cover finally started to break up and the blue sky said hello to my goodbye.


a few suggestions regarding the use of paper bags

a few suggestions regarding the use of paper bags



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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