musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: dog

Losing a pet

Yesterday when I got home I had a message from my brother telling me that one of his dogs had passed away. This dog that went by the moniker “Ladybird”, was one of two that he got from the local SPCA many years ago and they were both probably about 4-5 years old at the time, although I always suspected that she was a bit older. She certainly had that grey look that an old dog has, and suffered from fits and was partly deaf, but that did not prevent her from squirming her way into his affections, just like the dog he had before, and the one before. And, when each one passed away he was left devastated. Such is the love that an owner has for their pets.

I never really bonded with her, although when I was looking after the house when he was in hospital I was her best friend because I wielded the tin opener, and I ended up having to deal with her fits. There isn’t much that you can do except make sure she doesn’t fall off the couch or injure herself as the fit happens. It was not a pleasant thing to experience, and I am sure that it was even worse for her. My brother did not use that as an excuse to have her put down, instead he kept her safe as she would have her fits and then made sure she had come out it properly. They were very attached and he will miss her terribly. Like so many dogs she would follow him around, and in spite of her deafness could sense the opening of a tin or the slight rustle of a packet from a mile away. She was not a picky eater and would gobble her food as well as the other dogs food and then still wander around looking hungry. I remember when he got her how thin she was, and after a few months she had definitely become more rotund around the midriff. When I saw her earlier this year she had taken to wandering around the kitchen in circles, in one door, out the other. She was however looking her age, which was over 10 years, possibly closer to 15.

Ladybird (L) and Teddy Bear (R)

They say that your pets wait for you at the place where you go when you die, in fact most people bank on that and I know it will be disappointing if it does not happen, because whether we like it or not pets give us a glimpse of unconditional love unlike many human relationships.

The other dog remaining is somewhat of a loner, he preferred corners or being underneath items of furniture, and it often made us speculate on his former owners treatment of him. But, he loved a good scratch, sleep and fart and was not that obsessed with food, instead he tended to nibble, but his partner would gulp it all down while he chewed thoughtfully. Unfortunately he is partly blind now, and I expect he will miss his companion, even though they were never really close. I hate to say this but think his time is not that far away either. (Teddy Bear had to be put down in August 2018 as he was no longer well)

I have never had a dog of my own, although I was very attached to our first dog from when I was very young. That dog was the one that cured my phobia for dogs, and when he was killed I was devastated. I have however enjoyed the company of other people’s dogs and cats and most have left my life just that little bit richer, and sadder when they left after a long and fruitful life.

Ladybird may not have been a beacon of light in the world, but she was my brothers beacon of light and he will miss her terribly, This is the third dog that he has seen leave him, and each parting has been difficult. But, she will live on in his memories and in mine, just like Nelson and Skipper do, and she will not be forgotten.

Update. 25/11/2017

This morning I saw one of the locals that lived in my area walking up the road, usually she doesn’t go anywhere without her little King Charles spaniel and will walk it many times during the day. I asked her about her little dog and she tearfully told me that she had to have him put down as he was suffering from what sounded like dementia and was unable to function. She was devastated, and I could see that she did not want to talk because of the anguish she was going through. I asked her whether she would get another dog and she replied, “I am old, there was only the two of us”. Her life has literally been turned upside down, and I felt very sad to see this woman in this state. The loss of that dog was traumatic for her, it gave her a reason to get out of the house in all weather and multiple times of the day. That reason no longer exists for her. Her life has become empty without her pet and I sincerely hope that one day I will bump into her walking another dog,

I enjoy seeing all the dogs in my area, and watching them chase balls in the field, they enrich our lives, and when they pass on they leave a large hole in our hearts; ask anybody that lost their pet, and they will agree completely. Dogs may be animals, but I would rather know some dogs than some people.  

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 18/10/2017

Updated: 18/08/2018 — 13:19

Animals in War Memorial

Occasionally you discover a memorial, grave or monument that touches you deeply, and I have had quite a few of them, but the memorial I saw on the 7th of February may just have outshone them all. 
When you walk towards Marble Arch in London with Hyde Park on your left, you will come to the memorial dedicated to “Animals in War”. It is a truly magnificent piece of work by designer David Backhouse, and it was carved by Richard Holliday and Harry Gray, and built by Sir Robert McAlpine LTD. The memorial is located at Google Earth Co-ordinate  51.511016°  -0.157499°. 
On the day I visited it was a cold, wet and dull day. And many of the animals that served so faithfully during so many wars probably would have experienced days that were much worse than this. 
 
The memorial takes the form of a broken arc, with two heavily laden mules walking towards a vertical break in the arc. On the other side a horse and a dog walk towards the gardens beyond.
 
The dog is looking over his shoulder, and has an extremely expressive face, his head and nose shiney from the many people who pause and rub his head. He is a well loved figure. 
 
It is an extremely powerful work, and left me teary eyed. I just wanted to stay there and photograph and absorb its aura. 
 
All to often we forget that in the midst of the human carnage of warfare thre is often a massive loss of life amongst the animals that were used as porterage, weaponry, transportation and support. I don’t think that there are any numbers of how many animals lost their lives on the battlefields. As is so eloquently stated “Many and various animals were employed to support British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns over the centuries and as a result millions died. From the pigeon to the elephant they all played a vital role in every region of the world in the cause of human freedom. Their contribution must never be forgotten.”
marble 108
 
 
I must return here one day, to see this in the sunlight, and to rub that nose and look at that long suffering mule. And again I will feel teary because even while I write Rhino are loosing their battle back in South Africa. And I suspect one day we may have to erect a memorial like this so show the world that mankind is very capable of making a species extinct even during peacetime.
 
Postscript.
I did manage a return trip but somehow the pics I took did not have the same feel as the ones above.
 

 

 

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 26/03/2016

Updated: 26/12/2017 — 15:57
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