The day was chilly I recall. Normally, a windy part of the country, but today, not a breath. A stillness held me as I looked across the field towards this magnificent tree. It sat on the edge of my sister-in-laws property about five hundred yards from the house. I walked into the field and kept my gaze fixed on it. I moved forward and then cut left sensing a better angle. Eyes up, intent.I was excited as I wanted to shoot this tree for a while. Not a simple snap on the phone as I walked by. The first gentle breeze blew across my face and I could hear nothing but morning sounds of prairie. Birds, horses, and a subtle hum that brushed over everything on this quilted patchwork that this land was. It’s energy, had sound. I set my tripod and placed the camera in the mount. Looking through the viewfinder I framed my shot and started to think about exposure. Suddenly from my left, the calm was broken by the excited presence of Turner. A farm dog who had just been let out of the old abandoned farm house that was now used for storage. He smelled of old carpet, mildew and what he rolled in yesterday, and cat, as he lived three of them, all mousers. His hair was dusty and a little matted, but aside from this, Turner was a beautiful dog. Friendly with a calm knowing. I gave him a rub and went back to work. I got a couple of frames off before he began running around in front of the camera. I yelled out “Turner!” moving my hand in a sideways motion as if he’d understand. I paused, smiled, put my finger on the shutter release and started shooting. A few frames later and he was off chasing something in the field.
A couple of weeks later, we got the bad news that Turner had died. He got sick after eating chicken bones from a neighbours garbage, and when the vet examined him, he found a large inoperable tumor. Sadly, they had to have him put down. A beautiful smelly dog with a wonderful spirit, caught one last time, then gone.