Monday, October 24, 2011

coming home

It’s been hard for me to think what to write about this theme - I pondered for a long time over what home means to me. It means comfort, soft cushions, warmth, good lighting, the smell and taste of home-cooked food, books, music, conversation, a garden, a place of my own to write in, and many other things, but I could have all of these things and there would still be something lacking. Then I realised that home really isn’t about the place I live in, it’s about the people who inhabit that place. There’s my husband, naturally, and without him nowhere would feel good for long, but he hasn’t always been with me and when I was living on my own my pets were the ‘people’ who made the place home.

For sixteen years I had a handsome Golden Retriever called Raffles. He had such a lot of character, along with one of the most loving natures I’ve ever experienced. He loved being funny and would play to an audience, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I was with him. He saw me through a bad marriage – and in those days he was the one thing worth coming home for – and he was with me for some of my single years after I was divorced. I have two cats as well, and when I came home after a day at work all three animals would come running to meet me, Raffles’ tail wagging so wildly that his body got thrown around with the force of it, and one cat underneath him weaving through his legs. I was often lonely in those days, but my pets meant I never came home to an empty house and was always welcomed back. To have three living creatures so pleased to see me was warmth for the soul.

So when I saw this wonderful photo of canadianchick1959’s dog Max, those melting brown eyes brought back many treasured memories of Raffles, who died a few years ago. In our home, in the stairwell, we have a couple of shelves where we place mementos of pets that we’ve lost. Most of them are rabbits – my husband adores rabbits and unfortunately they don’t live very long – but my lovely old dog’s ashes are there too, in a little wooden box, along with his collar and a photograph. In a sense, he’s still there to greet me when I come home.

by gilly of the camera points both ways

Me and my shadow
me and my shadow by canadianchick1959


fiona jones said...

Love this post, sums up so completely how I feel about my own dogs.
Gorgeous picture...x

Suki said...

Oh Gilly, this made me teary-eyed. Wonderful words.

Ashley Sisk said...

Awwww what a wonderful memory - reminds me of my own dog growing up. That certainly was home.

Karen/canadianchick1959 said...

How sweet of you to feature my "Max" picture. I treasure having him close by when everyone has gone about their busy lives for the day....Your words make me appreciate him even more as he is getting older and slowing down a bit...Thanks for the link.


Anna said...

Loving and treasured pets do really add so much warm and happiness to a home! Our furry friends include an old, beautiful cat, Tigger and a crazy, cute puppy, Teddy.

Christina said...

a beautiful and heartfelt post. i love it.

urban muser said...

pets really can be wonderful companions. raffles sounds like he was a great dog. beautiful post gilly.

Kirstin said...

oh my, how those brown eyes melt me. Raffles sounds like quite the character! Gorgeous post, Gilly.

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