As you might have guessed from the the length of time 'twixt the last post and this one I have had trouble settling young Gisèle down for long enough to get her to share some of her recent experiences. On several occasions my partner opened up a new entry for Giz to write something, but the minxy little terrier wouldn't sit still long enough to compose anything even remotely coherent. To cut a long story short, she has been enjoying the light summer evenings.
The excessive heatwave we are currently enduring here in England has driven her inside, however, and I have encouraged her to spend at least a part of this time in a productive manner. But it really has been overwhelmingly humid - and with no end yet in sight. We are not yet subject to a hosepipe ban, but such a step is already being spoken of. It is too hot even to maintain the garden beyond watering it at night - although I have to say that our small estate is looking particularly fine. Our roses have never looked better and - for the first time since it was planted when my partner and I moved here in early 2009 - our honeysuckle is in full bloom. It is exquisite, both in sight and scent, and it is alive with grateful bees and butterflies. Such a pity that I was never able to enjoy it thus in life. Gisèle, however, (and Betty, for she has rejoined the household for a few months after a lengthy absence) is appreciating it to the full and her pleasure in it is therefore my own.
One of the longer barks I have had of late with little Giz has concerned Fizzy, the black Labrador belonging to one of my partner's colleagues. Fizzy's grief for her beloved basket-mate (and one of my best friends during my life) Ewan has remained all-pervading. Giz has been doing her best to cheer Fizzy, and the poor canine widow was even taken on a short canoeing holiday recently, which raised her spirits a little, but the sudden and unexpected death of Ewan has struck poor Fizzy with great and cruel force.
"Doesn't she even want to play with any of her toys with you?" I asked the other evening, whilst my partner watered our garden.
"No," replied Giz sadly, with a sigh. "I try - but she only ever wanders down to bridleway with me for a bit, goes to the toilet and then wanders back. All she ever wants to do is to sit close to where they put Ewan's body in the ground and talk to him like he was there."
I sighed and shook my head.
"That's weird though, isn't it Jazz?" continued Gisèle. "Don't you think that's weird? Sitting and talking to a dog who is dead. Isn't that weird?"
"I think you might be asking the wrong person here, Giz..." I replied, with a sad little smile.
"What? Oh. Oh yeah... hehe." Her 'giggle' was mirthless and half-hearted. "But Fizzy's a bit annoyed about you, anyway."
"Me?!" I spluttered, "What did I do?!"
"She doesn't understand why you comes back to visit me and Betty and Mistress and why Ewan doesn't come back to see her. I don't understands either. But she sometimes and all the times asks me why Ewan doesn't come to see her."
I sighed heavily again.
"Well - I'm not sure I can explain it either." I muttered. "But I can try. Ewan lived for a good many years. He lived out a full life expectancy and was very, very happy each and every day of his allotted time. He was nuttier than the menu in a restaurant for squirrels - but he was truly the happiest of dogs. When I lost my life it was too soon. I wasn't ready to go - and, vitally, I had made a promise to the most important person in my life; one which I have yet to keep. I cannot leave until that vow is fulfilled. That is all I can suggest. But I hope that dearest Fizz-Bang knows that Ewan is at peace where his soul now resides. I have seen him. He is happy. He would, if he had the choice, return to his beloved Fizzy and his human family in an instant. But he is in a good place. His purity and goodness of spirit during his lifetime has brought him the rewards of eternal repose in a place where only love, tolerance and peace abound. And Fizzy WILL have her reunion with him. But only when the time allotted to her on this mortal Earth comes to an end."
After this speech (which was lengthier and, probably, far more sanctimonious than I'd intended), there was a silence. Gisèle wiped away the beginnings of a tear.
"I understand." she whispered. "I shall tell her - and she will understand too. As long as she knows that Ewan still loves her..."
"Oh, he does." I nodded, "Just because a loved one has passed away - and we can't see them just now - it doesn't mean that they EVER stop loving us."
"Now then!" I barked, brightly, ushering in a change of topic before everything became too overwhelmingly maudlin. "I understand that the New Teal Megane, with its accursed and bedevilled windows, has been replaced...?"
To be continued...