Dog gone it…..

This little image goes back to the summer when I was experimenting with Xerox transfers. It’s kind of a cool low tech process. You simply make a Xerox copy of the image you want to use (it has to be a Xerox type copy because of the toner), paint a little matte medium onto the surface onto which it is to be transferred, and then give it a coat on the back as well. Make sure you get all the air bubbles out or it won’t stick. Let it dry over night. Then using a lot of water and a soft sponge gently rub the paper from the surface. The toner bonds with the acrylic medium and holds it to the surface. The process isn’t always successful, as the little patches indicate, but I like the unpredictability of the process. I then painted the image with thinned out acrylic paint. Viola, art!

My family had a dog, a Dalmation, named Sparky. Sparky was the greatest dog in the history of dogs. He was both smarter and funnier than most people I know. He was a big excitable dog but he was gentle, especially with kids. In college this girl I was dating and I bought Sparky and his brother, Taegan, from an Amish family in Ashland. Sparky seemed like the runt of the litter. For me that meant he was the pick of the litter. I have a soft spot for the underdog (literally in this case). I picked him out and took him home, much to my mother’s frustration. She had no interest in having another dog but she fell for that dog the same way I did. He was a handful as a puppy and chewed everything including a hole in the carpet, the rungs on the kitchen chairs, and even the woodwork. He’d dig so many holes in the yard it looked like a golf course. Mom would catch him digging and yell at him. He’d immediately lay down over the hole. Clever dog. When I’d go to visit my folks he’d run to the door to greet me, hop around, and curl his lips into a doggie smile.

A few years ago he was sick and my mom took him to the vet. Living far away I called my mom that evening to see how things went. Crying, she told me that Sparky had  stomach cancer and had to put him down. I was heartbroken. I was able to track down my old girlfriend that had his brother and told her that Sparky had died. Taegan was still alive. I wished I had been able to have been with Sparky when he had to go. I kind of feel like I let him down…I really loved that dog.

My mom says I’m one of the most spiritual people she knows which seems at odds with my agnosticism. She swears I’m the “religious kid”. I’ve been told that animals don’t go to heaven because they don’t have souls. If that is the case, and there is such a thing as heaven, I don’t want to go there. It’s hard to imagine an eternal God much less one that wouldn’t let a dog like Sparky in. I’d rather end up where he is. If that’s nowhere then I want to go nowhere, too.

 

 

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~ by Kelson Barber on December 4, 2011.

2 Responses to “Dog gone it…..”

  1. Well, guess what? You got your Mom crying. I miss him to. I know when it’s my time he’ll be waiting there for me. I guess somewhere over that rainbow. Darn it Kelson you are deep. You’ve done your Mom proud. This world is a better place because of you. Now, I’m going to blow my nose and go to bed. Keep up the good work.

  2. yes he was a smart dog. He used to sit on my feet when I’d come to visit so I couldn’t get away then look up at me with those innocent eyes and lick my knees. He knew I hated that and made sure he did it at every visit. Silly dog!

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