Saturday, November 21, 2020

Finding and Losing


It's already Christmas on the high street in West Hampstead! I took this yesterday morning while walking Olga. You can see how dark it is when we walk at about 6:30. There's just a hint of dawn on the horizon.

My boss lost one of her earrings yesterday at work -- a little jade leaf that her mother had given her. We all went into full-scale search-and-recovery mode, walking slowly around the library and crouching down to peer under tables and shelves. One of our teachers, who is of Pakistani descent, said a prayer that is supposed to help with the recovery of lost items. And then, after about half an hour, voila! Guess who found the earring? That's right -- eagle-eye Reed. It was lying right in the middle of the floor between two shelves. We mused about how all of us had searched that space before and none of us had seen it -- I think we were naturally inclined to search near furniture or around other obstacles, rather than right out in the open. It's a miracle none of us stepped on it.


On my way home from work I walked behind this man, whose sweatshirt amused me. I have no idea what "Against All Odds" is supposed to mean. I immediately thought of the Phil Collins song, and the movie it came from by the same name. When I started my freshman year in college, and had newly moved to the dorms, that song was on the radio all the time. I remember hearing it while lying by the pool, back when I did things like lie by pools, and while driving around in my '77 Pontiac Sunbird. I still have a soft spot for both the song and the movie, featuring a handsome Jeff Bridges and a stunning Rachel Ward and exotic locales in Mexico.

I'm sure that man's sweatshirt has nothing to do with any of that, but it sent me down a nostalgic rabbit hole.

We got some bad news from my brother in Jacksonville. Remember Queens, his dog, whose aggressive affection left me with scratches on my arms from her nibbly puppy teeth? Well, she broke two molars, and while treating her for those damaged teeth the vet discovered she had an aggressive form of lymphoma. She wasn't eating and was clearly unwell, so Queens is no longer with us. It's pretty shocking, considering she was less than four years old. This morning I re-watched the video we made last year with my Go Pro camera attached to her back. Poor crazy dog. My brother says the whole family is broken up about it.

Meanwhile, back in London, another annotation has appeared on the mural of our own deceased celebrity dog, Sugar... 

41 comments:

  1. I love the annotated Sugar. So sorry to hear about your brother's dog. It's hard enough to lose them because they never live as long as we'd like, but to lose them so young is especially difficult. I once found my uncle's lost contact lens - outside under our pin oak tree! He gave me 50 cents!

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    1. OK, you definitely win some kind of prize, finding a contact lens OUTSIDE!

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  2. "Everybody Knows" that Eagle-Eye Reed is the hereditary chief of the Timucua tribe - known for their tracking and squirrel hunting skills - passed on through the generations. Eagle-Eye Reed no speak with forked tongue.

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    1. I had my DNA tested, though. No Timucuan, sadly.

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  3. I love Sugar and feel for your bother and family. Losing animal companions is hard.

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    1. Especially when they're so young and it's so unexpected.

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  4. Thanks for the links to the doggie pics. You should send me more. Queens is missed something awful. Yesterday my daughter insisted she felt bad and her stomach hurt and she wanted to go home from after school early. I picked her up a couple hours earlier than usual and asked how she felt and she said the same. Stomach hurt. So I offered her a Moonpie and she was suddenly cured. (I’ve been introducing my kids to the horrible foods of my childhood) My other daughter has erected shrines of chew toys and tennis balls on each of Queens’ dog beds. She loves that they smell like Queens still, which makes us all tear up. Yesterday morning I cried in the shower.

    Queens was our little comet, I like to say now. In and out of our orbit way to quickly and shining so bright. She was one in a million.

    And yes. JM stands for Jumbo Monkeynuts. That is also what’s spelled out on my car vanity plate.

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    1. I don't think I have many more pictures of Queens, but of course you're welcome to whatever I have! Moonpies cure many ills. (And also cause many ills.) The shrines sound very sad.

      It took me a while to figure out where the Jumbo Monkeynuts reference was coming from. In England, monkeynuts are peanuts in the shell. Just so you know. :)

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  5. I will feel embarrassed if you've already covered this before, but what is the story of Sugar?

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    1. A guy named John used to sit by that wall (near the train station) and sell used books. He had a dog named Sugar. They were both well-known and loved locally, but both of them are gone now. I've mentioned them several times. If you search John and Sugar you'll find those posts.

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  6. Parts of that movie were filmed in Cozumel. And some were filmed, I think, in Isla Mujeres. Lord, that was a long time ago.
    Good for you for finding the earring! I will admit that I have used the St. Anthony prayer for lost items occasionally. "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down. There is something that is lost that must be found." And sometimes...it works!
    I am sorry to hear about Queens. So very sad.

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    1. That WAS a long time ago, wasn't it? It's shocking to me now. The prayer in this case was an Islamic one (which is the only reason I mentioned my colleague's Pakistani roots) -- but I can't remember how it goes.

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  7. Bummer about the puppy, heart break, that's what happens no matter how long they are with us. I am glad they did not do tortuous treatments. I had to look up the movie, sounds like a thrilling plot, twists and turns and lots of murder going on. 1984- was when I graduated uni- couldn't afford movies, or time away from finishing papers and reports and all of that "important"stuff that has been forgotten.
    Great that the earring was found,great photographers eye!! Observer of all that is out there through a focused lens. Helpful!

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    1. Sadly, heartbreak is an inevitable part of pet ownership. But there's a lot of joy before that happens.

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  8. sad for your brother and his family. sad to have to lose a young loved dog.

    I never did find my diamond stud, but really if you could see where i lost it you'd know there was no chance. not even for eagle eye Steve.

    and I do like the annotated Sugar as long as they don't mess up Sugar.

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    1. I wish I was there with my metal detector! Maybe we could find it then! (Was the diamond still in its setting when it was lost? You might see if you can borrow someone with a detector!)

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  9. So sorry to read about Queens. Such sad news in these already sad times.
    Really excellent find of that earring, Steve. You are the best eagle-eyed co-worker. Well done.

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    1. I just DID NOT GIVE UP. Which I suppose is the moral of the story.

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  10. I was thinking it was too early for Christmas but I was in London near the end of November one time and I remember that decorations were up everywhere. They are probably starting to show up here too but I haven't been out to see them. Sorry to hear about your brother's dog. It's always hard to lose our four-legged family members.

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    1. When there's no Thanksgiving (as in the UK), it's got to be tempting to start the Christmas season earlier!

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  11. Our Christmas decorations are up all over town but they won't be lit (or at least they're usually not) until the end of the first week in December. I love the sweatshirt. So much better than Melania's I DON'T CARE DO YOU. I'm so glad you found that earring. I can imagine how heartbreaking that would have been for her.

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    1. December is a much more civilized time to start all this, I agree. And yes, that awful coat of Melania's! That will be the single most famous outfit ever associated with her. Sad!

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  12. I am not a betting person. However, "Against All Odds" just about sums up life.

    As to losing and finding; it's the human condition. Sometimes it's great to lose and never find again. Other times, finding is essential. One of the funniest incidents, touched on by Susan above, no, make that two funny incidents. One was when, age eighteen, at home, I thought I'd rinsed one of my contact lenses down the sink. For some bizarre reason in the kitchen. Kitchen? Maybe the bathroom was occupied. Anyway my poor father took the whole sink and drain underneath apart. At midnight. Both my father and I are optimists. We had visions of the lens being caught in the bend beneath the sink. Waiting to be found. No joy. Until I realized that the lens had been stuck to my barefoot sole all along. As good as new. But then I do have soft feet.

    The other funny one? A year later, in the South of France? It'll keep. Let's just say it involved sand. And patience and a sieve. Unsuccessfully so.

    To all dogs, still alive and already gone, remember you live four to a human's one year of life. And some don't even make it to the 27 year club.

    U

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    1. I can't believe that contact lens was still usable! I would think standing on it would do it in -- even with soft feet!

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  13. That vandal who think he's an artist should leave Sugar alone!

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    1. I know. I probably shouldn't glorify him/her by posting the pictures, but it's fun to see what they come up with next. I think someone needs to install a camera and catch them in the act.

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  14. A neighbour attached one of those dog and cat cameras to her cat. It regularly used to come and sit on our windowsill when they were out. They got a wonderful video of me eating my lunchtime sandwiches.

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    1. Ha! I would think a cat video would be very slow-moving. Cats are pretty inert much of the time!

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  15. I’m so sorry for your brother and his family. It’s the hardest thing to lose a fur baby. I’ve used a variation of the St. Anthony invocation, you have to say it with a Brooklyn accent. “Tony, Tony look around. Something’s lost and must be found “
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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    1. Ha! I love that! I've never heard the Brooklyn version before.

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  16. So sorry about Queens.
    The mural of Sugar is really well done. At least the tagger is not defacing her face.

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    1. Yeah, but it's still annoying. I think that person needs to find somewhere else to graffiti, personally.

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  17. I'm so sorry about your brother's dog. It's always hard when young ones get cancer, human or canine. I'm glad they didn't let her suffer.

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    1. He made the right decision. When it was just a dental issue, in the beginning, my brother was prepared to spend thousands to fix her up -- but then it became apparent that wasn't the problem after all and no fix was going to be enough.

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  18. I just went and looked at the photos of Queens, what a beautiful face she had.

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  19. It's heartbreaking to lose a pet, and losing one suddenly is in a category all its own. My sympathy to you and your brother and his family.

    Christmas decorations are starting to show up here. About two weeks earlier than usual, I'd say. But we are all being good little compliant citizens and keeping our distance from each other and I think a lot of folks just need that cheer sooner this year.

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    1. Yeah, a little extra holiday cheer is certainly called for this year! Might help gear up the economy a bit more, too.

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  20. Replies
    1. She was an old dog with three legs when I met her, but she always appreciated a pat. She and Olga were on uncertain terms, though. (Apparently female staffies sometimes don't get along with each other. Some rivalry/dominance thing.)

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  21. "Everybody knows" is a great song, too! Especially the Rufus Wainright version.

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