No dogs on the boat

Our wonderful vet John Taylor came out, yet again, this morning on a final mission of mercy for poor old Jet. Our dog was struggling to get his breath and Paul had been up all night with him, supporting his head because he wouldn’t lie down. The fluid on Jet’s tummy was putting a lot of pressure on his lungs and he just couldn’t breathe when lying down.

We comfort ourselves with the hope that his last 4 months over the summer were wonderful for him. He enriched our memories of the cruise to yorkshire through his exuberent enjoyment of new walks and experiences. Here are Pip and Jet in the sunshine at our favourite mooring at Shardlow July this year.

Mooring at Shardlow

Paul and I are pretty shattered with all the sadness, losing two wonderful dogs so close together. My little Pip especially, who with me, Paul and my three boys shared so many joyful times. Pip came to us as a rescue at 8 months old, we were her 5th home. She was suffering from chronic seperation anxiety and had destroyed two kitchens and the inside of a BMW with previous owners. It took us 2 years of patient work to win her trust and get her clean in the house. But we had such fun with her and she was such a faithful little friend – though full of tricks too – have to get used to not hiding the rubbish bin when we go out – as Pip’s not there to raid it! And who will get me up at 6am to share the early morning walks along the river and through the woods with me?

It will be so strange with no dogs around, the first time in nearly 20 years.

Here are a some of my favourite doggy related quotes and poems, one by Mr Kipling (of Jungle Book, not cherry Bakewell fame)

Fragile Circle
Irving Townsend.

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan.”

Losing Jake
Amy Waggoner

There’s a hole in my heart where a dog used to be.
He’s nuzzled my soul and is now part of me.
His pain is his life and I know what to do.
But when I release him, I’m losing me, too.

The puppy I cradled three short years ago
is a ninety pound bundle of love and I know
that he’d lick away all of my tears if he could.
It’s his sense of duty to make me feel good.

It’s my obligation to do what is best.
The love of his “master” is put to the test.
It’s a wrenching and sorrowful way that we part;
it doesn’t hurt less when the head rules the heart.

There’s a hole in my heart where my Jake has passed through.
When we say goodbye part of me will go too.

Tribute To A Best Friend
Author unknown

Sunlight streams through window pane
unto a spot on the floor….
then I remember,
it’s where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound….
then I remember,
It’s where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can’t be yours….
your golden voice is still.
But I’ll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I’ll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

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