Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dog Shrine Explained

Last week, in a post titled A New Dog on the Block, I wrote about my experience buying a new camera, sharing some of the first shots I had taken with it.

This morning I dumped a few of those photos into Dropbox and carried them to Japanese class on my iPad to show sensei.

I was surprised to learn how straightforward the pictures seemed to her. Where I saw shades of Marwencol, she saw only someone's shrine to a dead dog. When I asked her if she thought that perhaps a homeless person or some other idler living near the beach had constructed the little rottweiler grave, she said that most likely no, it was simply a decent, no cost burial for a beloved pet.

I thought back to half a year ago when I was a regular beachcomber on a stretch of sand not too far from the dog shrine. In the tide wrack there was a poor bloated creature, its skin burnt red and black, its hair almost totally worn off (a little tuft left at the midriff) its tongue spilling out like an overripe plantain; its yellow collar which in life had marked and controlled him, in death served only to remind one of an absent master and walks not taken.

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