December 29, 2022

Unveiling my Redford memorial statue by Caroline Douglas! {Photos}

Unveiling my Redford memorial statue by Caroline Douglas! {photos}

8 months ago, or whenever Redford died, after 3 and a half months of shaking sad pain following an elective surgery that cut his life short (only days before he’d been running with me alongside my bike, had hiked Sanitas, he was his usual ol’self), I wondered how to honor him in a true simple way without all the BS obsessive self-love that goes into the billion-dollar pet industry, but with the love that humans may discover in animal friends (go vegan please).

So, anyways, I decided to plant a permaculture-appropriate tree over his grave. I planted bee-happy flowers over his grave. And now, thanks to my longtime friend, sangha member, and famous fabulous sweetheart sculptor Caroline Douglas, who at-first grudgingly but generously accepted this task (it won’t be literal, she promised, but it will evoke him; she doesn’t do pet memorials, she’s a real famous artist), I now have a little puppy version Redford statue sitting sweetly and alertly over his grave. And the rough draft mini version is in my house, with a collection of other statues, many by Caroline (I have many of her smaller statues all over my home sweet home, I’ve been in love with her work for years. No hyperbole: in love. It’s dreamlike, trauma-healing (read her story here), yet skilled and realistic while being playful and wild.

Many years ago, on one of the dozen plus Open Studios I biked around to with Redford and friends, I posed with a large tiger she’d created. It was one of many times I thought: someday, I’d love to have a larger Caroline Douglas work of a horse, or tiger, or dog, or pig, or…

Redford is smaller, a puppy, but the largest by far I’ve owned. He’s the size he was when I adopted him and, before he could run along the bike, I’d carry him in an arm or on my bike basket. So he’s the size he was shortly after I met him at the Humane Society, 14 years ago.

The smaller first draft version of Redford looks much more like he did as an adult. So I have a puppy Redford to give a boop on his nose to when I enter or leave my home, standing gently upon his grave, below his tree that’ll feed wildlife and bees both. And I have an adult Redford to look at and keep me company at night when I read or cuddle or watch a movie.

Here’s the first photos. Caroline significantly discounted her work for me, and we both shared lots of hugs and a few happy tears. She’s a gift and I love you, Caroline. And I love your work and I appreciate you doing this for me.

Before she left, after dropping them off for me (wouldn’t be super safe to bike Redford over), she said, “Redford taught you tenderness, or woke up your tenderness. And we all saw that and got that tenderness from you.” Something like that (Caroline feel free to correct). But…ugh…oh, Red. Thank you. Your little statue has helped transition my sadness to happy warm sadness. You’re kinda with me, again, a reminder of that tenderness. Happy tears.

Thank you everyone who supported me and my love for Red through all this. And everyone who helped make all this happen, including Mikal and Elyse on the Harlequin’s Garden tree-buying trip.

A few early photos (we’ll likely set Redford up on a tree stump over his grave, below the tree).

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