05 January 2013

Epilogue to Suka's Blog on this 12th Day of Christmas
and Eve of Ephiphany


As contraries are known by contraries, so is the delight of presence best known by the torments of absence.

~~ Alcibiades, prominent Athenian Statesman, Orator, and General, 450–404 BC

What matters isn’t being applauded when you arrive – for that is common – but being missed when you leave.

~~ Baltasar Gracián y Morales, SJ, Spanish Jesuit and Baroque Prose Writer, 1601 - 1658


Suka waiting at the door for his walk. Such a beauty. And always so patient. Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa Summer 2004.

Suka, soon after I adopted him, hanging out in his new yard. It was an apartment building but we had our own private yard. Such a sweet face. Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa Spring 2004.

Suka happy in his own backyard. He had the best smiles. Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa Summer 2004.

Suka a few days after I adopted him, happily and playfully destroying my couch and floor pillows. At 1.5 years old, he was still such a puppy! Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa April 2004.

Suka having a cool down in Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The dog park was directly across the street and after playing in the dog park for over an hour we would cross the street for Suka to cool himself off in the lake. It was a great ritual that Suka loved. Circa Summer 2004.

Suka joyfully approving of his new 10 acre yard in Kansas. Such a gorgeous Suka!

As Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in “The Knight’s Tale,” from his work The Canterbury Tales, circa 1387 – 1400, “All things must end.” And today, on this 12th Day of Christmas and Eve of Epiphany, it seems aptly appropriate to write the epilogue to Suka’s Just Sayin’.

Suka was my “Christmas Miracle.” A few years ago right after Thanksgiving Suka took off on one of his journeys. For a month I prayed for his safe return. Just a few days before Christmas Suka showed up at the back door extremely thin, very haggard, and a bit dazed. My prayers had been answered. Suka was home and he was safe, and just in time for Christmas. So I feel that as the Christmas Season comes to an end, on this 12th Day of Christmas, so must Suka’s blog conclude.

Before I continue I would like to take a brief educational and historical detour:

For those who do not know, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 6th). Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. The Feast of Epiphany unites three events in the life of Christ when His divinity shines through His humanity: the Adoration of the Magi; the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan; and the first miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana in Galilee.

The Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” celebrates the official Christmas season which starts liturgically on Christmas Day and ends twelve days later on the Feast of the Epiphany. While some claim the song is French in origin, other evidence indicates that it originated in 16th Century England, written by English Jesuits. The song was used to educate the faithful in the doctrines of Catholicism, yet not be obvious to the persecutors. The gifts in the song are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. This was done because for 232 years, from 1559 – 1791, it was illegal to be Catholic in England.

And for one more historical tidbit, I just completed reading, “The Travels of Marco Polo [The Venetian].” Originally published in 1300, the book I read was published in 1926 and is based on the William Marsden classical English edition of 1818. Early in his journey, Marco Polo discusses the Three Kings, also know as the Magi:

“In Persia there is a city which is called Saba, from whence were the three Magi who came to adore Christ in Bethlehem; and the three are buried in that city in a fair sepulchre, and they are all three entire with their beards and hair.”

Marco Polo continues, “…After three day’s journey you come to a castle which is called Cala Ataperistan, which means the Castle of Fire-Worshippers...” Marco Polo then proceeds to relate the story of the Fire Worshippers, whose origins are intriguing. The Three Kings were making their way back home carrying the gift they received from the infant Jesus, which was a box with a stone in it. The stone was

“intended for a sign that they should remain as firm as a stone in the faith they had received from him. When, however, they saw the stone they marvelled, and thinking themselves deluded, they threw the stone into a certain pit, and instantly fire burst forth in the pit...When they saw this, the repented bitterly of what they had done, and taking some of the fire with them they carried it home. And having placed it in one of their churches, they keep it continually burning, and adore that fire…and if ever it happen to be extinguished, they go for more to the original pit where they threw the stone, which is never extinguished…”



Master of Sant'Apollinare, The Three Wise Men, detail from "Mary and Child, Surrounded by Angels,” mosaic, circa 526 AD (Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy)

German Gothic Glass Painter Adoration of the Magi, stained glass window, circa 1325 - 1330 (Former Abbey Church, Königsfelden, municipality of Windisch in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland)

Adoration of the Magi, depicted on the smaller southern tympana of Collégiale Saint-Thiébaut (Saint-Theobald Collegiate Church), circa 1332 – 1516 (Thann, Haut-Rhin, France)

And one more surprise Moment of Beauty...

Suka, beautifully drawn by JM of Bailey Be Good.

JM is the mom of Bailey, who was a dear friend of Suka's. JM is a very talented artist who is known around the pet blogging community for her incredibly wonderful portraits of our pets, including my Suka. And, I am thrilled to write, I have finally received his portrait and am delighted by how gorgeous and life-like it is. The photo I took does not do JM's work justice, but I think you can get a sense to how fabulously she has captured Suka's smile and beautiful, soulful eyes. Thank you, JM! Every time I look at your portrait of my Suka I feel he is smiling at me. It brings peace to my heart and it is a treasure that I will cherish forever.

Sweet is the memory of distant friends!
Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.

~~ Washington Irving, American Author, Essayist, Biographer, Historian, and Diplomat of the early 19th century,
1783 - 1859

Suka receiving a kiss from his best horse friend, Little Gray, in Kansas. Little Gray would come running from clear across the field when he would see Suka. Very sweet!

Suka super happy to see his best horse friend, Little Gray.

Suka and Silvius playing soon after Silvius showed up and joined the Pack.

Thank you to all who visited, commented, and befriended my Suka, and in extension, me. Your friendship meant the world to us, and pulled me through many difficult times. We always anxiously looked forward to reading your comments and visiting your blogs, seeing what all our animal and human friends were up too. We lost some amazing friends, who will forever remain in my memory and heart, and constantly made new friends. We were always in awe by the kindness, compassion, and love shown by all those we encountered in the pet blogging community and felt privileged to be a part of such an extraordinary community.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

~~ Seneca, Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Dramatist, and in one work Humorist, 4 BC – AD 65

Writing Suka’s blog has been a fantastically amazing and wonderful experience and I am so grateful I embarked on this journey with Suka. Translating his never-ending love, joy of living, and exuberantly happy spirit into words on a blog was a thrilling and creative adventure and has given me a lifetime of memories. But with Suka gone it does not seem right to leave his blog open, so it is in his honor, and with respect to his memory, that I bring his blog to a close.

Thank you for those who have continued to write such kind comments. And I truly appreciated the heartfelt New Years wishes. I am sorry I was unable to visit all of your blogs to wish all of you a successful, healthy, and joyful New Year 2013. So, a belated "Cheers!" I will be checking my comments on a regular basis, so I will always get any messages you leave me, and I will continue to visit your blogs but may not always be able to comment. When I do comment, it will be under a new name, of which I have not decided, but you will know it is me. I definitely want to come back to blogging but I am not sure when or on what topic. I am not ready to adopt a new dog, and probably won’t be ready for quite some time.

Suka is laid to rest, and now his blog is laid to rest as well. Peace.

Beautiful Suka in a field in Kansas on a warm Autumn day.

Suka and Silvius walking in the snow. Goodbye my sweet Suka.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

~~ Dale Evans, American Writer, Movie Star, and Singer-Songwriter, and third wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers, 1912 – 2001