When I first see Lola, I think she is an especially well-trained cat.
She is this tiny little thing, dragging a pink leash heavy with sand and seawater behind her, chasing a Yorkie-sized tennis ball her owner Jean throws for her, over and over again.
Lola is the third Yorkie Jean has owned. She – Lola, not Jean – is seven years old, but, watching her, you wouldn’t know it.
“She would do this all day, if I let her,” Jean remarks, squinting at Lola’s form bounding into the setting sun.
Lola had a brother, Stout, whom she and Jean lost to kidney failure on Sept. 11 of this year. Lola knew Stout was sick, before Jean took him to the vet.
“She would just sort of hover around him, and sometimes lay her body over him,” Jean recalls.
She thought about getting another dog, she says, but after losing Stout so suddenly, “it’s Lola’s time.”
Glancing at my camera, Jean tells me she owns a Pentax, but that she hasn’t taken it out in ages. She used to love making photos, she says, shading her eyes against the day’s fading light. The wide ocean spreads out behind her, endlessly blending with the sky.
When Jean finally scoops up the three-pound spitfire, their combined shadow stretches almost to the water.
(© Carolyn Bick)