It's often easy to forget that when you care about someone you start to care about all of their parts too. Their worries become your woes, their happiness brings you joy, you become acquainted with their heart beats and feel for them; with them. On one of my first trips to Simi Valley, Shay let me meet Cosmo. It was simple. We took him for a walk around his neighborhood and I remember the uncomfortable boots I wore leaving scars on my heels as I nervously clicked along hoping his dog would like me. Silly how significant everything is to me. I figured that if his dog liked me somehow that would radiate off onto him and then I'd know he was feeling something too. Cozzy was beginning to get sick then. His bones were showing scattered along his spine and his eyes were happy when Shay's showed sad.
He let me meet Cozzy and therefore, I introduced him to Sparcky. The day Shay met Sparcky was our first attempt at a kiss. We were still playing the mombo and I was nervous and embarrassed about how Sparcky would react. He's temperamental. Sparcky is the love of my life but he's hard to understand for most people. He's never liked people and stayed to himself, yapps and plays tough while he always ran back to cower behind my legs. The day Shay met Sparcky, Sparcky licked him right off the bat. He let himself be pet and he embraced the love my new strange friend gave to him. I'm an animal person. Always have been, always will be. I have a strong belief in the fact that animals can sense how people are, their real selves, their smell and attitude; animals know. Sparcky loved Shay from that very first day and that's when I knew he was going to be something special.
It's almost been five months and since times at my house are progressively worse, I go to Shay's most days. Cozzy would greet us at the door and he'd always watch over and protect Shay while he cooked us our nightly meals. We talked about it sometimes, how he was getting worse and Shay felt pain. He loved and to love usually means you'll also have to lose love too. The day I bought my camera, we drove straight back to his house and he let me play with my new device. That was the first time I was allowed truly in his kitchen and able to watch him cook. Shay's an incredible cook and watching him work his way around the kitchen is mesmerizing. The dogs gathered around him and watched him rush and every once in a while he would stop so I could gather a few shots of him with them. I knew time was running out and I wanted to collect the memories so I watched Shay look at Cozzy through my lens and I remembered for him.
Cozzy passed away on the eighteenth of October. He was a beautiful animal that lived a long life. Rob and Shay's mom mourned and held his hand through the end. Shay stayed strong, like always but I could feel the pain. When you care about someone you care about all their parts. Yesterday I had two prints made for Rob and Shay. I was able to frame their memories and gift them a piece of their now missing piece. I still go to his house every day but it's lonely now without Cozzy welcoming us home and watching us laugh and play.
When you care about someone you feel it when they lose a part. You feel it too; the missing parts.