Marking a milestone

25 Jun

My 100th post! Wow – it seems a long time a go since I wrote the very first post on this blog, documenting our move from the UK to Australia. Since then we have also moved within Australia, although not too far! What is a few kilometres up the road compared with thousands of miles around the globe?

So I did wonder what I should write about for the 100th post. It feels like a kind of milestone and so the post itself should reflect this. I thought and then decided I would write about a special someone. I say someone, but actually, I’m talking about my dog, well, my family’s dog, who sadly had to be put down last Monday. I was hoping I would get to see her again when we come back to visit but it was not to be and at 14 ½, her time had come.

I suppose living so far from family means these events do happen and pass by without you being there and over the past 100 posts I have had to learn about the death of my Gran, the marriage of friends, the births of friends’ babies and now, the death of my dog.

I know she was only a dog, but you know, if you have one or have ever owned one, you know, they are not just dogs. Like all pets they become a member of the family, the friendly, familiar face that greets you when you come through the door, their tail wagging and in Jess’ case, a blanket or some such gift in her mouth.

This is not a Jess autobiography — I mean, she was a dog, a Labrador; she ate, slept, ate, walked, ate, played and ate some more.

©Louise Edmondson

I was a teenager, still at school when we went to the farm to choose a puppy from the litter and Jess was the one that scrambled on to my knee and sat there contentedly as a tiny, furry black creature that fit in the palm of your hand. One of my last memories is of her running across the fields near the reservoir, trying to chase the kite we were flying.

She had a crazy run, her ears always flew up in the air when she bounded through the corn fields so you simply saw a funny black head randomly appearing above the corn ears. As a puppy she licked everything and everyone in sight and as a dog she ignored the garden boundaries and saw the entire village as her back yard. A call from the local shop, a neighbour, or even the pub, was not unheard of. Jess was notorious, but if you were ever out walking her, somebody knew her and she was all too happy to receive their pets and strokes.

She was the most good-natured and friendly dog I knew but she had her mischievous streak. If an angler on the river made the mistake of leaving his bait unattended, Jess would have it; if a farmer left a brace of pheasants hanging in his shed, well, the contents might end up in Jess’ stomach and if someone accidentally dropped a Cornish pasty in the verge, it would be Jess’ next meal.

Incidentally, that was Jess’ last meal. On the way back to the vet after a walk in the sunshine, she came across said pasty and devoured it with the same gusto as when she was a sprightly, waggy-tailed pup. Some things did not change.

Like all animals, she had her own personality, her own quirks and plenty of endearing traits, which mean now she has gone, I know the house feels very quiet and a little empty. There is no longer a little dog padding about, sniffing the kitchen floor for any crumbs, sun bathing in the window or curled up asleep next to the armchair.

Although I have not been around to see her these past two years, I still miss her and have an abundant supply of memories, which I will not go on about here.

A sweet, funny, lovely dog and greedy to the last. She had a final walk in the sun on Monday and then fell asleep peacefully.

jess

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3 Responses to “Marking a milestone”

  1. vonschlapper June 26, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Beautiful words Louise – thanks for sharing them. In my job, I have the honour of seeing (and being involved in) relationships like yours and Jess’s: I will never tire of seeing it, or of hearing people’s stories. You have really captured how the relationship feels!
    Would you mind if I quote some of your words and link to your post in my practice blog?

    • Louise & James June 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Thank you! Absolutely share on your blog and link to it- would be honoured. I hope people can relate in some way.

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