I was reading an LRB review of what appears to be an extremely interesting book by Alice Kuzniar, dealing with the dog-human relationship and called Melancholia’s Dog, and this image, seen in the Guardian round-up of readers’ pictures for 2006, came into my head.
This is the caption that accompanies it:
This is a special image for me of my dog Charlie, who passed away this August. I used the clippings from a trim he had during the summer heatwave to create the image, which reminds me of the mischief he regularly got into.
Kuzniar talks about mourning in her book, and refers to a photograph by Sally Mann showing a piece of skin taken from the corpse of her beloved greyhound, Eva, on which ribs and other bones from Eva have been lined up. The photograph is entitled ‘What Remains, 2003’. She comments:
Although Sally Mann might be accused of uncovering and publicly displaying what is intensely personal, namely the remains of a loved one, by representing finitude and loss she militates against how grief over a pet is socially foreclosed.
If this is true of Sally Mann, it’s even truer of Charlie’s owner.