The Collapse of Infinite Joy
A sculpture by Inga Hamilton aka rockpool candy
I am lucky enough to experience boundless amounts of true, deep and enduring love every day.
But I had never experienced unconditional love before I met Grand Duke Eduardo Bonzo Doo Dah Frogmorten the Brave. (You can call him Eddie for short.)
A rescue dog, Eddie stole our hearts the moment we saw him. He’s quick, intelligent, funny, cheeky, energetic, affectionate, beautiful, and the sort of dog that could sniff mischief at 100 paces.
I have an auto-immune condition, angio-oedema, that makes me acutely allergic to varied items on the planet. Cats trigger it, but we were unsure of dogs. We spent weeks visiting Eddie in his rescue pound to acclimatise me. The decision to adopt Eddie was a long, drawn-out process of checks on my health. But I seemed fine.
We were so nervous bringing the little guy home. Would he like living with us? Could we offer enough love to undo his previous mistreatment? Could we make him happy?
What we didn’t realise was how much we needed him. There is nothing like being greeted by another sentient being that is so happy to see you, he nearly wags his backside off!
But by day two, of Eddie living with us, I noticed that I was beginning to drop things.
By day three, serious fatigue was setting in.
Day four brought memory problems.
Day five; numbness in my right-hand side.
Day six; balance problems.
And within the week, I’d begun to lose the sight in my right eye. My angio-oedema causes the plasma to leak from my veins, in this case pooling in my skull behind my eye and pressing on my optic nerve. I was having trouble walking and the right side of my face was palsied. I was allergic to the protein in Eddie’s saliva.
Against my judgement, my husband chose me over the dog. Eddie went back to the rescue home amid floods of tears from us both. A depressed cloud fell on our house for weeks. Tears flowed freely. Hearts broke and broke again. I grieved as much for Eddie as I did my father. My husband wept like a child lost.
‘The collapse of Infinite Joy’ is crocheted from yarn that I dyed and spun in all the colours of little Eddie; deep tan, soft white, shiny black and a little pink dot here and there! It’s plied with a silky white commercial mohair – a yarn that I’m allergic to.
Beginning as a tightly-bound infinite loop the same size as Eddie curled up in my arms, it begins to drop down, winding itself smaller and smaller, as the fear of giving Eddie up wound tighter and tighter in my gut. The stitches get larger and larger as I had to spend more and more time away from him, locked in another room.
Finally, the piece unravels and is wrenched apart. The bottom threads are always wet.
Our hearts will always relish the enormous amount of love Eddie gave us in just the tiny amount of time we knew him.
And Eddie? He was adopted the very next day, by a little old lady who fell in love with him at first sight. She goes walking in the hills of Northern Ireland every day with Eddie by her side, where there are more than enough rabbit holes to keep the little bleeder ecstatically happy.