|Death: ||Jan., 1982, USA|
Note - September 6th, 2013: I have just added the second photo of Trapper after finding it in my mother's personal effects. That's the happy Trapper that I remember, before we lost my brother, and I want to say THANK YOU to my good friend Sue for the beautiful repair job that she did on a photo that had been stuck in a cardboard box for over thirty years. =)
This is a different kind of memorial for a pet story, but I hope that somebody will enjoy reading it, and that people with and without religious convictions will find something interesting to think about...Please, NO hate mail on this photo. It's an important one to me, and ties directly into my deceased brother Ron, and so if you do not believe in such things, fine...let's not argue.
The second photo of Trapper was taken six months after my brother Ron died; as anyone can see, poor Trap had quit eating, sleeping - really, living - after we lost Ronnie. Nobody could get near that dog except his master, and after the fact, I realized that in this photo, I have my own level of the famous story of the master and dog who could not be separated, even in death.
After months of trying to bring Trapper out of his loss and depression - and yes, animals get depressed and mourn, too -, I couldn't bear it, anymore, and spoke to a vet about what to do. Trapper had been trained as a watchdog, and I had to be honest about his poor odds of being adopted due to his age, training, etc. Trapper seemed only to take food and water when I wasn't around, as though he felt guilty having to have nourishment...I'd sneak up to a second story window after feeding and watering him, look down into my backyard, and watch as Trapper very guiltily and miserably wandered over for a lap or two of water, and a mouthful of food. Then he would go back over along my house's garage, where I was storing my brother's car, and sit there, hour after hour.
The vet agreed with me that Trapper had a very poor situation looking him in the face; he said that as a vet with ethics, he could not suggest 'putting Trap down' simply because the poor dog was mourning himself to death. He then told me that, if I were to trust him to do his best through his avenues and contacts, that he would take possession of Trapper and try to find a way to save him.
I went home in tears, but felt that at least it was some hope...I gathered up Trapper's odds and ends, and just before I loaded him into the backseat of my car, I grabbed a one-use camera that was new and all the rage, all this time ago. I pointed the lens at Trap, said, "Well, I hope that Ron agrees with my choice, Trapper, let's take a goodbye photo...", and snapped the shutter.
Now. It was not cloudy, rainy, overly bright outside, nothing but normal mid-afternoon weather in Minnesota. The photo included on this page has been published in various magazines (I write for a living), and I have sent it, and the story of Ron and Trapper, to terminally ill people, even prisoners doing life/on Death Row. The photo brought my own father great comfort when he himself was dying... The letters and cards that I have received in return about the photo are so important to me, and this is why I decided to share it on this page with my new site friends.
I'm not going to preach; I'm going to simply say that beside Trapper that day was a light that has been, as noted, studied in magazine articles and essays, and the majority of readers come away thinking, "Well...there's something, there...". This is not a ghost photo for Halloween, this is not a manipulated photo - it's just a photo that I felt belonged on this site if it clears with overhead supervision. It suggests EXACTLY what this site promotes - that there is comfort in the belief that our loved ones can still hear us and feel us and see us, and nothing ends.
I've thought about it, and I want to add a cute story about Trap...when we were trying so hard to get him to eat toward the end, I brought him fast food burgers out of sheer desperation...It was raining a Minnesota rain (read: ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS), but there he was out of his doghouse in the rain, and I'm slowly drowning. He sniffed at them and walked away; I thought about it and decided maybe if they were plain, he'd try them. I took the wrappers and wiped off the garnish and pickles, and then said, "Look, Trap, I fixed them, come try them." So Trapper wandered back over - I should say dogpaddled, right? -, sniffed again, and sure enough, gobbled them down. I was thrilled, and sloshed into the house after making sure Trap was ensconced in his nice dry house. My father was sitting in the living room and he took in the sight: "What in the world have you been doing?". I shook off about ten gallons of rain and said, "Finding out that Trapper doesn't like pickles." =)
Now, if you have problems with this page, please complain to me directly...as said, I want to respect everyone who takes the time to read this page. But I also feel that it is my right to explain a page, and the story behind it, and add that shortly after Trapper was given to the vet, he went home, quietly and naturally, and I think that that's the end of the story...but, in my heart, I know that wherever Ron is, he's got Trapper beside him.
Ronald Lucien Poynter (1960 - 1981)
Specifically: Cremated through professional animal services, ashes released
Created by: Rhonda C./Friends
Record added: Oct 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98990072