Today set against tomorrow

By Ineke Hill

Immersed in the trance of my rhythmic beating heart I walk just a block away to Carrickalinga Beach with Jaspar, my leashed, much-loved dog in tow. This feisty white and tan friend has a way of taking me from the doom and gloom to a lighter location.

I feel fortunate strolling along the rough path, descending the wooden steps to Carrickalinga Beach. Jaspar’s ears are raised, alert and ready to advance ever onward. We reach the unblemished beach which sets the tone where no mobile phone ought to go. I choose to dip my hot feet and, what the heck, my clean jean shorts into the cool, clear Carrickalinga Beach. Show me a better retreat to beat the unyielding horrible heat.

It seems all the region and holidaymakers have arrived at Carrie Beach to frolic expectantly through South Bay aiming to get to North Bay as rapidly as they can with children breaching the peace; yelling, splashing, and swimming as far as they can.

Dogs especially make a grand entry onto this extraordinary scene. The smells, sights and sounds are a magnet to their minds and they respond with wet, black noses breathing in; vigilant brown, round-shaped eyes; happy tails wagging and operative, pointed ears.

Ecstatic and enveloped in the summer’s day they walk, run, chase, plunge and play. Dog owners elect to walk their charges with or without restraints or to let them run as they please. Seagulls are chased without grace. Dogs plunge out of view sprinting or tracking a twig.

On our return home we’re both worn-out and lifeless. Jaspar’s spent and finds comfort sitting by the ticking clock on the mantelpiece. Time stands still for me every time Jaspar and I go on foot to Carrie Beach. Time stands still today. Memories earmarked always.

It is not so long ago that we adopted this male, Bull Terrier X from the RSPCA, as a 12-month old; naming him Jaspar. I am forced to return him to the RSPCA tomorrow; to stay. He’s been the best dog by far!

His trusting face confronts me. Through tears of anguish I find myself overcome with a terrible sense of guilt and immense grief. It has been a safe and soothing sensation to have had him at my feet when wrestling with writing. He was the best dog by far!

Countless happy, profound and arduous hours have been shared collectively. I loved and cherished Jaspar and he had counted on me to protect him. An outpouring of rhythmic leaked tears cascade onto his motionless body. His prized spirit laid to rest.

 

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