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As part of a sequence (probably inspired by my watching episodes of Night Stalker) I dreamt of Pegasus last night. Now here's the thing - I rarely dreamed of Peggy when he was alive, and the last dream I had of him (that I recall) was just after his death, where (in the dream) he wanders on the other side of a country fence and can't get back. The dream:

In the dream I'm somehow led to a clearing in the middle of the bush. There seems to be some sort of altar near bye and the remains of a fire. I have the sense of imminent danger and of a malevolent presence somewhere about. Then, along a path come three dogs. One of them is Pegasus and he's growing - not at me, but at the unseen presence. I feel safe and together we move away.

This morning while walking Bobby I realised that the otehr two dogs were probably Maxine and Nihou, two dogs who've lived here and which Pegasus knew. Don't know what the dream meant (if anything) but it's nice to see him again.

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When I was walking Bobby and Hallie I kept on thinking about Pegasus, Jenny, and the nature of death.

See, sometimes when I walk the dogs, I think about when I walked Pegasus on the same or a nearbye route. And sometimes when I travel on bus or train I think of some of the places where I wanted to walk Pegasus, like the hill between Boolaroo and Lakelands (what is it called?), or in the Mardi Gas parade. And thinkingv those things often acts as a trigger for feelings of loss and grief.

And I know that will be the case with Jenny as well. Saw an advert on TV for the next House season. Was going to record and watch that with her. Sigh.

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I went out the back a little earlier and talked to Pegasus. I sat next to the bush and talked, and while I did I could have sworn that Peggy was on one of the sofas out there looking at me.  Gabby the cat came up and sat next to the bush. I came back in and finished the wine.

Just now Kevin came back in. It seems he went outside and sat on the sofa and saw Pegasus sitting next to him. Gabby came up and sat at the bottom of the sofa. Kevin told Peggy that he missed him. Peggy disappeared and Gabby went back and sat next to the bush again.

 

Oh Poogle, thanks for the visit!

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Pegasus 1997-2008Today marks the first anniversary of Pegasus's death. It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since he died. Some days, it feels just like yesterday, other days it seems like a dream. But he died one year ago about 10:20pm on this day.

So much has happened since then, but in many ways it has been much as it was before. The ever advancing mark of day after day, season after season, and year after year continues. My life seems to be unfolding as it should. And for so long Pegasus was (for me) a big part of that life). He was a constant in my life while much else changed. And then he was gone. But that's life isn't it? To quote Shakespears Sister,

hello, hello turn your radio on
is there anybody out there?
help me sing my song
la la la life is a strange thing
just when you think you learned how to use it
it's gone
- Hello, Turn your radio on.

And it's true. We may think when we're young that we'll live forever but we won't. Everyone dies, even me. Even Pegasus. And his death brought home to me the nature of mortality, and exactly how much his company meant to me. I recently did a comic about Pegasus, and writing it was the hardest thing for me. I kept crying and missing him. But I'm glad I did it - because all the grief just shows me how much I cared.

Today, Peggy's painting hangs in my lounge room. I never quite finished it last year, but I may do this summer. It is a constant reminder of feeling for me, as is the bush I planted over him.

In fact, lately that bush has been prospering, and I'm pleased to see this. I've tried some of the fruit from it, and this is very sweet indeed. Today I took Bobby to see Ron at a nursing home. Ron is Jenny's husband and together they had Bobby for 7 years, and Jenny for another 3 years. It was oddly appropriate to do so on the anniversary, but I enjoyed doing so.
 
Tonight I bought everyone pizza and we'll be eating that (which we ate last year at his wake) and drinking sparkling burgundy in Pegasus's memory. And I may still cry today, and for some time to come.

Miss you mate.
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I was trying to do something like this three weeks ago, but didn't have the right software (I used DVD slideshow GUI and ImgBurn) or frame of mind to accomplish it.

That's it for now. I have to pack and go!

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I got an SMS message from Michelle that upset me this morning. I was checking for another, and read this:

Hey Laura just 
wondering 
where you are 
coz we are
gonna be going
to glendale soon
so just
wondering when
you gunna be
home coz you
wouldn't want
peggy here by
himself? Just
checked on him 
and he is in the
hallway and 
wagged his tail
at me :-)

It was only then that I saw the date - 10th October, 16:26 - the first time Pegasus got sick last month (I had just over two weeks more with him). Over a month to deliver it?! Wouldn't want to be urgent, would it?

I miss Pegyy, still.

two weeks

Nov. 13th, 2008 11:32 pm
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Went to Westfield's at Kotara earlier today with Kevin and Michelle for window shopping. I enjoyed it (especially buying Sweeney Todd, the original story which reprints the penny dreadful serials from 1846-7) on the whole although I got separated from them at JB's HiFi.

I sat on a sofa there and realised that it's been two weeks, and shed a few tears.

Still very sad (but not suicidal).

Wednesday

Nov. 13th, 2008 11:43 am
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Jayne told me Wednesday morning that I cried and sobbed in my sleep so loudly it woke her and Alex (her son). Apparently when asked I said "I'm fine" but I don't remember this at all (then again, I said the same thing while asleep when asked if I wanted coffee the night before). I've been so sad lately after Peggy's death. Maybe I needed to do some more crying.

In the morning while I waited for Jayne to wake up, I watched Pan's Labyrinth. A film about any number of things, where being true to oneself is more important than staying alive. Very sweet and sad.

08-11-12 TrainI knew though that I needed to go home. Spent most of the day travelling. Normally I like the trip by train, but yesterday I just felt tired. It wasn't the regular 8 carriage intercity train, but a shorter 4 carriage thing that was poorly air conditioned. Hated it, and was glad to get off at Cardiff. Did a little shopping on the way home. Not much. Was greeted by Hallie at the front gate. Kevin and Michelle were in the shower so I quietly went out the back for an hour and read a comic, and then just sat there thinking about things.

08-11-12 Power LinesI finally met Kevin, who seemed glad to see me back. Then I borrowed Hallie and went for a bush walk to the cairn. When I walked the fire breaks and bike tracks around here with Pegasus, I discovered a cairn on top of a hill. I have no idea who started it or why it was there, but it had survived the big fires of 2000 (when everything between Barnsley and Holmesville was burnt to the ground). Every time something important happened in my life, I'd walk up there with Pegasus and ad another item or rock.

08-11-12 WirligigThis time around it didn't seem right to go alone, so I took Hallie with me. I also took a windbreaker I'd bought the day (shown left) before and marked 7 of its 8 petals 08-11-12 CarneP E G A S U S. It'd been a while since I'd been there (Peggy wasn't up to the walk the last year) and the animal trails up to the top were overgrown. But we got there, and I planted the windbreaker on top of the cairn. Ave Pegasus.

Then we walked home. Been a long day, and later when I walked to the chips shop with Bobby (who seemed very happy to see me) I found that it was shut, so it was a cheese sandwich, watching House on TV, and an early night for me.

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2007-03 Peggy with his Ball

I was upset the other night. While looking for a flea collar for Bobby I came across some arthritis medicine I'd bought for Peggy, and a ball that Kevin had bought for him and forgotten to give him. Started crying again. But it got me to thinking about how much he liked to play with balls.

1998-01 Pegasus as a puppyWhen I first got him as a pup I lived in Carrington. We were there for 2-3 weeks and I didn't have a backyard, only a tiny front yard with no fence and a front veranda. I used to walk him but most times we were inside. It was a pretty intense time as he wasn't properly house trained. Anyway, we used to play a game where he'd lie with his head under the sofa and I'd gently roll a tennis ball past him and he'd try and grab it. When we moved to Barnsley there was a huge backyard to play in, though initially we didn't use much of it. I bought a rubber ring and used to roll it along the concrete path and he'd grab it. That lasted until he discovered he could chew it to bits. Then I'd throw sticks, tennis balls and roll the odd old bicycle tyre.

2008-04 Waiting for a kickThen one day when we were walking past the sports ovals, I found a #9 basketball left in a gutter. No one had obviously missed it, so I took it home and started using it to play with Pegasus. Most times I'd stand downhill and he'd push the ball down the gentle slope. Then I'd kick it past him and he'd try and intercept it. He was a "soccer dog" and once when we walked past the local soccer team practising kicking goals, he intercepted the ball in play much to the amusement of the team.

When he was younger he'd be back in the grassy area and I'd kick the ball with some force. Every so often I'd accidentally kick it into next door's, or it's bounce off Peggy's nose there as well. On those occasions I didn't like to enter their property - I'd use a dead branch / long railing / jerry-rigged contraption (bits of the above with a looped hose and kid's hoe attached to the end) to get it back. I also added a piece of time at one spot on the left side fence which would bounce the ball back in our yard.

There used to be a small tree/bush on the back left side of the grassy area - vines from next door would grow over it. However, I accidentally kicked the ball into so much that I think I killed it! When I got the Muscovies, and would let them out to graze each day, I swapped to a smaller #5 ball. The idea was that it'd be less dangerous if it hit one of them. In fact it did hit one and after a 5 second delay the duck fell over! I also hit Gabby accidentally once in the face. She was not impressed. But there was no permanent damage done to either, and the pets learnt to stay out of the way.

As Peggy got old, I toned down the force with which I kicked those balls, and the strategy became one of trying to get it past him in a narrow space. Instead of being at the back of the grassy area, he stood at the top of the path, much closer. He was so used to me that I must have been predictable. Sometimes he'd get tired or bored. Pegasus loved playing with Kevin though and vice versa. Kevin however has hypermobility in one leg, so those sessions were usually brief. Pity.

2008-07-31 It's Mine!And lastly there was the arrival of Hallie. This complicated things because she'd sometimes steal his ball from him. Other times she'd be standing there blocking his efforts of rolling it, or discover a torn bit of old ball (he must have gone through at least 20 of them) and come up and play a tug of war with him over it (they both loved that).

I always loved playing ball with Pegasus. He was still playing ball up to a couple of days before he died. I buried the ball he was currently using with him, and gave the "spare" I had in reserve to Hallie. She's not quite a "soccer dog" yet, but between Kevin and me playing with her, she might be one day.

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#3's playing - Pegasus by Pegasus!

I'm really pleased with what TripleJ did tonight. Not only did they play my "mixed bag", but they made the theme for "Theme Thursday" one of pets. What a nice way to remember him.

laura_seabrook: (cheerful)
SONG #2's up!
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IT'S ON! :)
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A few days ago I put in a request for a "Mixed Bag" on the Super Request show on TripleJ, as a tribute to Pegasus. I got it, and it's on tonight at around 6:30pm today (local time, for your time, go here).

You can stream TripleJ, so if you want to listen to this check out this page. And if you can't, my selections were:

  1. Pegasus by Pegasus;
  2. Truth about cats & Dogs by Pony Up; and
  3. Do You Realise? by Flaming Lips.

Hurray! This is brightening up my day.

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Michelle had a dream about Pegasus that seems related to my one this morning (even though she wasn't aware of it at the time).

In the dream Michelle is out the front (painting the house?) and looking in a window watching Pegasus follow me around. Then somehow Pegasus is next door and come outside and call him back. He can't seem to return but instead sprouts large fluffy white wings on his back and flies in a circle above us. We wave at him and happily he flies off.

I can see similarities between this and mine. Peggy is called, can't return, and leaves happy. I don't care if this is coincidence or not. See, it matches with my original dream of Pegasus as well, which Michelle was unaware of. For me it's emotional confirmation that Peggy is OK and on his way.

Kevin said that he felt Peggy's presence at the wake tonight, but that it left with the thunderstorm. Well, we all together with lots of food he liked - where else would he be?

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It seemed relatively easy to get the mandarin bush today. I could a bus that stopped right outside the nursery. I explained what I wanted and why and bought a Thorny mandarin bush, carting it home on the bus (it was lighter than I expected).

The Planting

Kevin and Michelle were back home when I returned. I had a hug from Kevin and then seemed to babble on for some time. Later, Kevin and I planted the bush over Peggy's grave. Here's some pics (select each for a larger image):

2008-11-03 Mandarin Bush Planting - Kevin & Hallie
Kevin & Hallie
2008-11-03 Mandarin Bush Planting - Laura & Bobby
Me and Bobby

2008-11-03 Mandarin Bush Planting - Laura upset
Um, guess I got upset

2008-11-03 Mandarin Bush
Mandarin Bush planted

A funny thing happened while I dug the hole - I found a gemstone. I don't remember losing or putting one there, so where it came from was a mystery. Kevin suggested that Peggy was giving me a parting present.

The Wake

Early evening we had a wake for the Poogle.

I bought some pizza and beer and we sat around the grave eating and drinking (and both Kevin and I left food and drink for him) while I told Kevin and Michelle stories about my life with Pegasus. Bobby and Hallie joined us, while Gabby and Xena kept a discrete distance.I talked about how:

  • I dreamt of him and got him from friends;
  • and where we walked and travelled;
  • I got him back after he was stolen;
  • he participated in my own and other religious rituals (and once as an honoured guest);
  • he saved me from suicide;
  • other pets came and went and came and how he always had playmates;
  • Peggy would brake up fights between the Muscovy drakes I had;
  • he played soccer with his ball, and how when it would bounce next door I'd get it back;
  • he was obsessed by goats (there were two near door for a long time) and once chased a wild one for over 3 hours, while I chased him;
  • growing old, he was still loved by all in the household and how we pampered him; but most of all
  • I loved him and treasured our time together, and will miss him.

A thunderstorm rolled in at a distance as we did this, and it seemed fitting. Though Pegasus was frightened of thunderstorms (often hiding under a desk or at my feet) this time he didn't have to be, as he had the perfect hiding place. When it was all over and done I was glad, as I felt now that I've "seen him off" properly.

The whole thing took place within a brick circle I'd created back in 2001 for religious rituals. It seems fitting that Pegasus would end up at the centre  of that, as he was in the centre of my affections. Two photos (select each for larger image) illustrating this:

2001-06 Brick Circle
Brick circle in backyard in 2001
2008-11-03 After the wake
The centre of that circle tonight

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Had a terrible shock as I walked out the back with the dogs. In the distance at the back fence I thought I saw Pegasus sitting there looking at me!

As I came closer, I realised that it was a simulacrum, and was actually an old plastic paint bucket, mostly white but with darker stains. Just happened to bear a resemblance to his colourings. Not the first time I've seen such things. The most memorable was a face in a bush track under the power lines that was caused by erosion looked at from a particular angle. Sometimes when I bush walked, it seemed I could see the "spirits of place" in the corner of my eye, but when I looked there were always trees and stumps (though they could have been both).

I originally placed the bucket at this location to stop Hallie from getting out via a gap in the fence. I've placed a yellow Hessian bag over the bucket to avoid future shocks and will probably remove it later. Peggy is gone - this is just my memory playing tricks on me.

Not out of the woods yet, am I?

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I didn't start crying when I woke up this morning, and maybe that was because I had a waking dream.

In the dream, I saw a puppy in the back alley way near where it meets a bush track. It looked like a plush toy and had different markings, but somehow I knew it was Peggy, about to be reborn again. I (though I'm not actually visible in the dream) shout out his name and he comes running along the bush track. I seem to be in an adjacent horse paddock separated by a fence. He comes up wagging his tale but just as he tries to go under the barb wire red lines saying "NO ENTRY" appear (just like in Second Life, when you try and enter a private area) and he can't get through. Then I say "It's OK boy, you can go now, I'll be OK" and he barks and wags his tail and runs off down the bush track a happy pup.

This morning when I walked Hallie and Bobby, as I passed the sofa and grave in the backyard (the solid red line in this map) it didn't feel like Pegasus was still there. It felt like he was gone. Ever since he died I've been feeling his presence here, especially around the grave and sofa under the trees that we'd rest on so often. The sofa was a favourite spot for both of us. He'd sit listening and watching (and barking at distant dogs) and I'd be reading a book or a comic.

2005-12-12 Peggy's Sofa

For the last three days I've been talking to him as if he was still alive, watching me around the other dogs.And I've been feeling like his spirit's here, even watching me dig his grave.

But not this morning. This morning he wasn't there.

And I believe that we all move on. That when we die our soul or personality dies with us, but that our spirit lives on, to be reborn anew to re-experience the world as a witness to the divine, whether one is human, animal, plant or whatever. And the dream I think means that to me. Yesterday I had a ritual in Second Life, and afterwards I planted a memorial candle for him. Though these things are all virtual, it was the best I could do until I do the same thing in real life, and regardless of that such rituals do seem to make a difference to me.

In any case, what the candle said was more or less "thank you for being in my life, and speed on to your next life". And last night - after I had a warm bath but before I dressed - I went out the back and sat next to the the grave, and said the same things to him, thanking him for his time with me, that I will never forget him, and that he can move on now. Then I came inside drank some wine, and fell asleep.

And this morning it feels as if his presence has been lifted, like a great weight taken from me. I will still cry and be upset for a long while to come, but I feel... ...relieved. And I will have my ceremonies, but I know now he's gone to restart the great cycle.

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I've been keeping busy today. I've done the washing up, mowed the lawn, washed and hung clothes. And each chore reminded me of how much Peggy was part of my daily routine, and how much I miss him. Hallie (when she's not escaping) has been sniffing the pram I had Peggy's body in. I don't know what she or Booby think or feel, but they both watched me lower Peggy's body into the grave.

I haven't spoken to a single human being today. Yesterday I had a call from my mum, asking how I was, and that was it. I've been documenting things since his death, taking photos of the grave and whatnot. I took one today and had a shock when I downloaded it to the computer. There's a white towel lying on the sofa in the background, which is the in the same location that Pegasus used to lie, and resembles his outline vaguely. 

Yesterday I went through my old style photos and scanned in those with Pegasus in them. Not as many as I thought, but (including ones already on the computer) I collected at least 96 photos. It was good to see images of him over the years. I'm tempted to make a Youtube Video in tribute, but lack the software and experience to do so.

I still feel lost. Kevin and Michelle should be back tomorrow. When Hallie starts sleeping down Kevin's end again I think I will really notice things in the morning. I keep bursting into tears at random moments. I feel a strong need to have a ceremony with them (especially Kevin, who also loved Peggy) to mark his passing and to plant that bush over him. And I have a strong need to visit Jane in Casula, whose dog died in 2006 while I was visiting her, and whom I helped bury. She'll understand.

Sorry is this is getting repetitive -  you must be getting sick of reading about this. No matter what I do though, I keep circling around to my grief today. I feel totally at a loose end tonight. I might watch a video or TV. I've been on the computer so much these two days that I don't think it's a good idea to be on it tonight. I might get a little drunk. I've been drinking beer and Green Ginger Wine since Friday. maybe I'll finish the bottle tonight.

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In real life I'm a pagan and follow a non-Christian religion. Just a few days ago, my dog Pegasus died. He was not only my companion but also my familiar, and I sense his loss greatly. Earlier today I attended a Sahmain ceremony in SL (technically in my Hemisphere it's Beltaine, but I needed this). I was glad I attended.

Afterwards we went to an area where people could light candles and add text as a memorial to the deceased they loved. I added one for Pegasus:

It always feels odd when something in Second Life can make a difference in Real Life. My experience in doing rituals in SL however has shown that it does. I will add a memorial in real life later (I'll plant a Mandarin bush on his grave) but for now, this has helped me come to terms with my loss.

Pegasus as a puppy

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Morning Walk

I'm crying less today so far, though I woke and immediately though of Pegasus and started. Anyway,after I fed the cats I took Hallie and Bobby for a walk.

It seems easier to take them for a walk in the mornings and each day. Neither has a problem back leg and seem very healthy. Instead of a slow stroll that I had with Peggy for the last two years, it was a brisk jaunt. Of course neither dog was stopping much to leave their mark along the way, which Peggy did. And it was strange too in that only a quarter of the dogs that barked at Peggy and me barked at us on the way. maybe they don't have the new scent yet.

Where I walked Peggy

Barnsley Dog Walks

I used to take Pegasus on all manner of walks around Barnsley. When we first moved here I'd walk him twice a day up the street/back alley way and back again (solid red line). As I got adventurous I first decided to see where the gravel road at the end of Charlton St led (broken red line). Then we'd cut through the bush and horse paddocks behind us and around the shops back to Charlton St (cyan lines). When Peggy had grown fully, we go all manner of ways down bush tracks working our way around to Appletree and then Government Roads, and back again (all green lines).

After Peggy's leg injury started playing up, we went those ways (dotted green lines) less and less. Eventually we stuck to a much smaller set of routes (dashed & solid green lines). At the same time I started walking Pegasus much more down local streets, and less in the bush. I could vary the route quite a bit (all yellow lines) and make it shorter if I needed to. The longest route was up to Nelson St and then doubling back over the creek and then through the sports oval and horse paddocks (solid yellow line, and this was the route I took the dogs this morning). We started going that long route less and less this year.

There were many other routes that I walked Pegasus with while I had the car and could drive us there, but I'd need a much bigger map to show any of them. We walked down any number of vehicle and animal trails in the bush near here. We climbed and descended the mountain ranges here so many times I lost count. We would go to WakefieldFreeman's Waterhole, Seahampton, Awaba, and Weston and walk the bush tracks near there. We would go a walkin' and meet friends and strangers in the process. We walked alone and with friends, both human and animal. As we walked, I could often feel the "spirits of place" as we walked through the bush. I felt the local ones liked us both, and I never worried about encountering poisonous animals while we walked, making sure at the same time that we left those areas as little disturbed as possible. Sometimes I took him to visit friends in Katoomba, and I would walk him at Parramatta Park, and other places as well.

The last few months had seen us use a much smaller range of routes (mostly solid green, cyan and solid red ones). When Peggy wasn't feeling very well, it was as much as he could do to get to within a hundred metres from our home and back (mauve lines). The last walk I had with him (last Monday) we went a bit of the way up Charlton St and home again.

I will miss my walks with him, but will continue to walk both Hallie and Bobby.

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