Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday 22 April 2013

This is my 400th blog post.  But I have no pleasure in writing it.  I take up my keyboard for the very worst of reasons and with the heaviest of hearts.

Our small part of the world has lost one of its greatest treasures - and is consequently a darker and less pleasing place.  One who was proud to bear the genes of Canus Canidae and did them much honour has gone.

Ewan is dead.

Yes - my dear gangly-limbed friend; selfless, warm-hearted, loving and adorably insane, Ewan, has breathed his last.

His owner and my partner noticed that he had been a little quieter than usual on Monday last week and remarked upon it, for Ewan was always very robust in health.  He seemed to get over it by the following day, however, and was still playing with his football the last time my partner saw him.

At the end of the week, alas, Ewan was noticeably quieter again and did not want to eat his supper.  He was taken to the vet the next day, where significant internal bleeding was discovered.  At first it was thought that there was some minor damage to his spleen, which could be safely repaired.  Tragically it was not to be.  When the vet commenced surgery the scale of the matter became alarmingly clear.  A massive tumour in poor, good Ewan's liver, too big and too far gone to be operated on.  The kindest decision was made - which was not to awaken him from his surgery and go on to usher him into that most eternal, peaceful, of sleeps.

I sped back to - well, you know, dear Reader, to find him - but I could not.  Only Kipper waited for me there, alongside my beloved Isolde.

I cannot describe to you, lovely Reader, the anguished wails and sobs of Ewan's bereft widow Fizzy.  They would break your heart, as surely they broke mine.  Her screams of grief, her denials - that he had only stepped away for a short while and would be back at any moment - and her pleadings: "YOU came back to bark to us Jazz, bring HIM back too!  PLEASE!"  I cannot.  I don't know why I came back.  Yet I never have, and I never will, truly return.  'Tis but a half-life, this return of mine.  Like the Resurrection Stone in the final Harry Potter books, it cannot truly restore the living; nothing can.  Only moving on to The Next Place can ultimately bring peace.  But poor Fizz-Bang's - and my own - grief is too raw for such discussions.  I, who have always been able to find something to bark on any occasion, find that I am empty on this occasion.  My barks are spent - there is nothing I can say to assuage her grief.

Jasper Horatio Stafford finds that there are not words enough.


Ewan's body was laid to rest in a peaceful area of a quiet, protected, woodland.

He sleeps now in eternal peace, in the shade of a vast, mighty ancient Beech tree.  Birds sing in the branches above him, a bank of Primroses blossom beside him, and before him lies a beautiful outlook onto verdant pasture and rolling hills beyond.

So please, after you have read this, I urge you to fill your glass with a favourite drink, raise it up, and send out a toast to Ewan - wherever his spirit roams.  Frustrating, funny, foolish - and Friend.

Ewan on my patio, whilst his beloved Fizzy watches on,
when they visited my home for a weekend-stay last summer.

He truly was the greatest of dogs.

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