Monday, April 13, 2009

Powdered Sugar

One of the magical elements of photography is that it captures and records moments in our ongoing histories, so it helps us comprehend the passage of time much more clearly than we can by relying only our memories. It's a wonderful tool for verifying our very personal perception of reality. Case in point...

My sweetheart dog Rusty has bladder cancer, diagnosed in January. Naturally, there's a whole story there. But my point is about visual changes that we can sense, but cannot fully appreciate until we see them on "film" (on screen), side by side.

Some combination of Rusty's cancer and associated changes and additions in medications caused him to lose a lot of his hair; much of his outer coat of longer, coarser, red hair, and most of his undercoat of soft, downy, cream-colored hair. But in the past month, he's been regaining his undercoat. It's thick and creamy, tinged with light cinnamon. I've been calling him my little teddy bear because he's so abnormally soft and fuzzy. And I've been thinking that he looks very different, but feeling unsure of that perception (true to form, my husband hasn't noticed much change).

On Friday our veterinarian giggled the minute we walked in, delighted by Rusty's new coat. She said, "It looks like he's been dusted with powdered sugar!" So, I now have a sugar-coated teddy bear!

What's marvelous is that this afternoon I was able to compare photographs to confirm that our perceptions are accurate. It's not just a mom's imagination that her beloved child has changed. You can see the metamorphosis... red dog at the end of February... sugar-coated teddy bear today (fresh out of the bath just hours ago, no less). Magic!

Note: I realize this may appear to simply be a difference in the lighting and saturation of colors in the photos themselves, but that actually has much more to do with two very different patios—pigmented earth-tone cement vs. old grey cement.


  1. What a lovely dog! Poor thing that is is ill.
    Love the idea of a powdered suger Teddy bear
    I have to bath mine too......

  2. Thank you for Rusty's compliment - I will pass it along to him!

  3. I love your teddy, he's so sweet. I take my camera everywhere, I have a new puppy and I cannot comprehend the speed she grows at until I look back a photos from a couple of weeks ago. Photos remind us of wonderful moments we would otherwise forget. Wish Rusty well for me.

  4. Rusty asked me to pass along a message to the friendly people who have said such nice things: "woof and wag, wag."

  5. Such a cute dog! So Sorry about his diagnosis--- looks like he gets lots of love!


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