Friday, 1 March 2013

Snowflakes On My Face And All Those Little Things

Isn't it ironic, that when someone dies, you only remember the best parts of them?  Suddenly their annoying traits become quirky, all their habits, -those teeth-grinding, hair-pulling inducing behaviours are now the fondest of memories.  Death, you are surprising. 

This past week I've been overseas, in Goa, India, -a stunning destination, previously a Portuguese colony, where the people, towns, sights and fabulous food, all provided a sumptuous feast for the soul.   During our visit to the oldest basilica where the body of St Francis Xavier of Assisi is interred, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach which I couldn't quite explain, it could have been the heat, lack of sleep and the previous nights cocktails, but I suddenly felt sad.  I sat down at one of the pews and cried.  Later, I turned to one of my friends and asked, "What, precisely, St Francis was Saint of?"  My friend nonchalantly replied, "Animals" and strolled off into the crowds.

Last night, we swapped our sunny beach villa in Goa for a snowy runway in London but I was relieved to be back.  This morning, my alarm went off with a reminder that my hound would be home tomorrow.  Less than an hour later though, I received a call from the kennels where my trusty four-legged rascal was staying during my holiday.  "I'm afraid, I've some really bad news about Fred..."  I can't recall what I said, because it was at that exact moment, all those 'quirky' habits came flooding back, the annoying things he did, like roll around in horse manure, after I'd specifically told him not to, or bark when the doorbell rang.  All day, I've heard his claws running along the floorboards.  Ironic, isn't it?

So on my Sunday afternoon run?  I took my usual route along backstreets, secret paths, and slowly, slowly, up grassy hills in the local park but it wasn't until I turned into 'our' street that tears slipped down my cheek.  Here was the place I walked him every morning.  I pushed my face into the wind and I torn down the path.  Here was the place where he had gotten stuck in a pile of leaves whilst sniffing out some piece of trash.  Here was the place where I'd cried over nothing and he'd been my only witness.  I looked skyward, apologised to Le Hound for not being here, and then it started to snow, just lightly.  Snowflakes on my face.  Sloppy kisses from the sky.  I know that it was Freddy saying goodbye.  

Farewell my four-legged rogue, if you are hanging out with St Francis, do behave, no slouching!  I might not miss washing the horse manure from your fur but I'll definitely miss all the other parts of you.  

RIP Freddy
Nov'04 - Feb'13







22 comments:

  1. Awww, this is so sad! And so beautiful at the same time! I love how you were somewhat prepared by the St. Francis thing. xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much, Jessie. I'm always reading the signs, I blame my mother for that. xox

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  2. SENDING A HUGE BEAR HUG for YOU!

    Oh, Sweets. I am so sorry. I know how you feel, our canine friends are more like our children. Your post was so beautifully written, it brought tears to my eyes thinking about my former kids.

    Take care... remember we are all here for you.

    Hugs, again.

    Michael

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    1. Taking that HUGE BEAR HUG and wrapping it around me! Thanks darling, he was pretty special and I'll miss having his company around the place. xo

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  3. I'm so very sorry about Fred. Isn't it strange how we can have those little moments of foreboding? It makes me wonder about all the mysteries of the universe that we have yet to unlock.

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    1. Hi Johanna, it's strange but lately, my friends and I have been discussing the universe and wishes... and how both come together. I think we definitely have a sense of forthcoming events. xo

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  4. Beautiful memorial. So sorry to hear about your loss!

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    1. Thanks Julie. I'm picturing him running like a mad thing in the green fields... ;-) xo

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  5. What a beautiful tribute. How spooky yet appropriate that you had a "feeling" in the church of St. Francis of Assissi. Bet Freddie's happily rolling around in horse manure in doggie heaven.

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    1. Thanks JC. Its one of those things, you know when you sense something... I'm sure he's gleefully rolling in horse manure. :-) xo

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  6. The connection between pets and their owners is amazing, and when they leave us, the gap that remains is amazingly large for such small beasties

    RIP dear Freddy, and hope dog heaven has lots of bones for you.

    ((hugs)) Talei, and a special purr from my new feline owner, Shadow

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    1. Thanks Judy. Small creatures with big hearts and enormous personalities. Yes, absolutely. Glad you hear you have a cat. I think every writer needs good company! xo

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  7. Oh, what a cute dog. I'm so sorry, Talei.

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    1. Thanks Theresa, this week has been a little sad but I'll be fine. Eventually. :-) xo

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  8. What a sad ending to a beautiful vacation. I'm glad you have some good memories of his quirks.

    .....dhole

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    1. This is true, D. Good memories, lots of quirks! X

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  9. Sorry to hear of your loss! What a cute little guy! It is always sad to lose our little friends...

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    1. Thanks D! Always sad to lose friends, four legged, two legged or otherwise. Hope you are well, dear lady. xo

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  10. Hi Talei,

    Glad you liked India. I'm blogging from there right now. BTW that's the wrong St. Francis you've got there, he's not the Patron Saint of animals. That's St Francis of Assisi and you visited the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, an extraordinarily talented missionary. I'm not sure if he ever did any actual good and whether he was just promoting the agenda of his Church or whether he really spread the message of peace, love and salvation. I really must read up on him.

    Hope you truly enjoyed your vacation and have returned refreshed.

    Maria

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    1. Well, that's interesting because my friends and I had a huge debate over whether St Francis Xavier was St Francis of Assisi or not. I know St Francis Xavier who is in interred at the basilica in Old Goa was converted by St Ignatius who founded the Jesuits. He was indeed a missionary. When I asked my friend at the church, he replied animals, just as I posted.

      In any case, I'm sure my hound would be happy to hang out with both of the Saints.

      Thanks for stopping by and yes, I really did enjoy Goa.

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  11. What a comfort that experience prepared for you.

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