Well, here is something of a surprise. Which, being me, will probably come as no surprise at all to anyone except myself. I have tried to find a new writing-style for Jasper's blog - tried, but failed at every attempt. I just cannot do it. This evening as I was walking Benji (Cinnamon Trust devildog) I realised what was wrong.
My writing-style IS Jasper, for this blog at least. I recall, on Jasper’s passing, that one of my friends, Keetha, said that in time I would find my own voice. I have tried – but this The Dog’s Blog and not my blog. Several times since that bleak January day there have been incidents, silly little happenings, Ewan’s ongoing innocent blunders at work, etc., and each time I have imagined how it could have been expressed here on the blog by Jasper. His sardonic style and brand of wit (if one can call it wit) were all his own. I cannot find the words to put into the mouths of his canine friends and his various misadventures without him.
So, I have come to a decision. This will continue to be Jasper’s blog. He is gone – but his words live on. During his lifetime, I was in Jasper as we composed our blog entries. Now that he has gone he exists in me – and “his” writing continues. Please don’t be deceived in me – I have not spent too long out in the sun and baked my brain. Nor have I lost the few marbles remaining to me or taken complete leave of my senses. I know and accept that Jasper Horatio Stafford is dead, physically and spiritually, and that he is not coming back. But his forceful character, which long-time readers have seen grow and develop here since the inaugural post on Sunday 13 August 2006, has imprinted itself so firmly on this blog – and my part in it – to fall away. Forgive me then, if the posts continue from Jasper’s viewpoint and in his voice. I hope you understand.
I have been steadily learning to live again through the good offices of Betty. I now have a new permanent canine sidekick. She came to me in the most coincidental, unlooked-for and convoluted way – the merest coming together of chance and fate. I didn’t want another dog – indeed, I STILL owe the vets’ £400 (or $616, if you prefer) from Jasper and can barely afford to feed and house myself, let alone another dog. But we will find a way, I know it.
She is a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier (undocked and unspayed). The name with which she arrived was Gizmo, but I prefer sensible, proper, names for dogs and so have rechristened her Gisèle (with Gizmo, or Giz, for short). Here she is:
Sweet, isn’t she?! She is about two years old and has an utterly delightful character. She is already great friends with Rosie next door, William across the road, as well as Ewan and Fizzy. And here she is making friends with a colleague’s young Cocker-Spaniel puppy, Bug:
I have been caring for Gizmo for just over two weeks and she became “officially mine” at 11.28am on Friday 1 June 2012. She and Betty have yet to be introduced. I have no qualms about Gisèle – she delights in meeting new doggy friends and playing games with them. Betty, on the other hand, inspires less confidence. I’ve been told by her owner that she greatly dislikes other dogs. I have yet to see evidence of this myself – the only dog Betty truly despises is Fizzy (and that is entirely mutual) – but all other dogs we’ve encountered have been tolerated with equanimity. Fortunately, Gisèle has already charmed my parents (particularly my father, who is utterly entranced by her. I cannot blame him – Giz is very reminiscent (apart from the curly fur) of our first-ever family dog, Jaki the Jack Russell) and they have generously offered to look after her whilst Betty is staying, should the two ladies fail to get along – for I cannot afford to do without the money that Betty brings in just now.
The next post will describe how Gisèle came to find a home with me, precisely WHY Fizzy and Betty would happily tear each other limb from limb, and – to mark a clean break between the old Dog’s Blog and the new Dog’s Blog – a revelation of which of Jasper’s friends and characters were real and which were fiction… stay tuned!