On His Last Full Day
On Sunday, I drove to Altadena to visit Bill and Kathy Korn. Also to see Icon on his last full day in this life. Icon was Kathy Korn’s seeing-eye dog, who, in his thirteenth year,had developed a serious shortage of red-blood cells. He had trouble digesting food, and his breathing was alarmingly shallow.
Although I have had no pets since my elementary school days in Cleveland in the 1950s, I have always developed friendly relationships with my friends’ pets. I can have no animals in my apartment because (1) it would be a violation of my lease and (2) I am allergic—sometimes more, sometimes less.
Whenever I visited the Korns, I looked forward to Icon’s onslaught, in which recently he has been joined by Duchess, Kathy’s current seeing-eye dog. (Icon has been retired for upwards of a year.)
Icon’s “Diploma” from the Seeing-Eye Dog Program
I got a little teary-eyed as I petted Icon for the last time on Sunday evening. I mentioned that we would see each other again in the next life. Who knows?
An Eerie Collection of Photographs
I saw it on the CBS News website. It was a slideshow of photographs of dogs sitting in cars. The photographs are the work of Martin Usborne which were published in a book called The Silence of Dogs in Cars. According to the CBS website, which I recommend you visit:
Fine art photographer Martin Usborne has a unique vision of man’s best friend. His book The Silence of Dogs in Cars is a entrancingly intense emotional study based on his memory of being once once left in a car as a child. “I don’t know when or where or for how long, possibly at the age of four, perhaps outside a supermarket, probably for fifteen minutes only. The details don’t matter. The point is that I wondered if anyone would come back. The fear I felt was strong: in a child’s mind it is possible to be alone forever.”
That deep-seated fear and his affinity for dogs led to his often dark series of images where very often the canines look sad or bereft, gazing forlornly through car windows, but really show a range of emotions … not unlike humans. The cinematic photos reinforce the connection between people and dogs.
The name of the dog in the above photo is Buzz. This is my favorite photo of the lot.