In the above photograph, you will, in the most likely of cases, find a dog. On any other occasion, this would, no doubt, be yet another picture that would be brushed past as you nonchalantly rifled through the stack that was, of course, forced upon you at the last minute by, say, a friend, co-worker, acquaintance or any number of people with whom you daily interact. However, to the person that presented this image to you, the being within is far more than a mere dog. To that person, the occupant of this photograph is a dear friend, a loyal companion and a perennial protector of his keeper’s best interest, comfort and happiness. Dear Reader, may I present Shipwreck.
He stands at the ready upon jagged rocky ground with mountains and waters filling the background – his background. With more travel miles than any of his canine contemporaries, Shipwreck learned to find a home wherever he was. His life involved going to the beach, prancing about in the park, chasing the girls, being a snob to the boys, squatting where he pleased, playing with his ‘bear’, and being what we knew him best as – a “damn” dog. Yet, in our hearts, he was much more than that. In all that he gave us, all that his life was, warmth, happiness, relaxation, loyalty, and being happy in all places we are were the gifts that we cherish the most. For Shipwreck, when it comes down to it, life is peeing on trees, going where you please and being with those you love. These were the rudimentary rules by which Shipwreck played. He laughed, he traveled, he smiled, and he was free … and we were the ones he loved.
In the end, after more than 15 years as the master protector of his family, Shipwreck, our dear friend, has passed on.
Yet, it is in these pictures (pictures similar to the above) that The Wreck remains timeless. He is, of course, always by us, ready to go for a walk or a swim. He is ready go to exploring and chase girls. He is ready to sit directly opposite his mom while she gently pets his face and whispers small, beautiful things to him that make the end of his tail wiggle mirthfully. Shipwreck lives on in our hearts and, though we don’t see him, we can be sure that he is waiting behind the door, ears perked, tail wagging and mutilated “bear” in his mouth, for his family’s return.