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July-August catch up

I’ve just checked the date of my last post, I can’t believe almost a month has passed.

Not a pleasant month I will add. The initial feeling of peace and calm at Jasp’s passing, soon moved though the normal stages of grief, which anyone who has lost a beloved pet will understand.

Even though everyone around me was telling me I’d done the right thing for him, it still didn’t stop the arguments one side of my brain was having with the other 😦

Trying to get some sort of normality back in my life was difficult, he’d left an enormous hole.

On July 19th I answered the phone from the vet receptionist. I’d had Jasp cremated, so I knew before any words were spoken what was going to be said, but it still didn’t make it easy to hear.

“Oh hello Mrs H, I’m just phoning to let you know Jasper is ready to collect”

T was away for the weekend, and I couldn’t face collecting him alone. “Don’t worry, whenever you feel ready” she replied.

So on Monday 22nd, fully composed, I walked into the vets.

“I’ve come to collec……” was as far as I got. I took a deep breath and tried again. “I’ve come to collect Jas…..” It was a good job the receptionist understood my blubbering………. “Jasper? I’ll go and get him for you” she said.

I held it together long enough to pay my bill, then walked over to the car, sat down and placed the small oblong box wrapped in brown paper on my knee…………Was this all that was left of my beautiful 31kg dog?

It was the next day before I could bring myself to remove the paper, and the first time I can remember having a parcel that I wasn’t eager to open.

IMG_4372Not long after I adopted Jasper, I’d bought a model of a Pyrenean dog and painted it to look like him, rather fittingly it now stands on Jaspers box.

I’d been putting off the journey to Yorkshire to visit my mum, who was now settled as a temporary resident in a nursing home, but as one or two things needed sorting out, on 31st July we bit the bullet and set off in torrential rain.

IMG_0003Waking to a warm dry day on August 1st (Yorkshire Day), we decided a walk around Swinsty reservoir would be nice.

3.3 miles around, Jasper never did get to walk the whole way, but it brought back memories of Harry, who in September 1999 helped pull my dad up the slope onto the road that divides Swinsty and Fewston reservoir.

IMG_0011T checking to see if my dad’s seat, which looks out over Swinsty reservoir, needs repairing.

We popped into Knaresborough on the bus for the evening.

IMG_0021A popular view of the rail bridge over the River Nidd taken from the castle grounds.

IMG_0035….and from the other side, the view from the Harrogate/Knaresborough road bridge.

IMG_1467After a visit to a couple of real ale pubs and a meal at the Dropping Well Inn.

IMG_1462Sitting in the pub garden, at last I felt I was beginning to unwind a little.

Whether it was because on my previous visits to Yorkshire, I’d often left Jasp at home with T, or whether it was the relaxing alcoholic beverages, who knows, but that empty longing had gone until……

…..we returned home on Saturday 3rd.

I walked into the house and the emptiness hit me, my big hairy dog wasn’t there to greet me with a nuzzle of his wet nose 😦

Sunday and Monday are best forgotten.

Tuesday I knew there was just one place I could go that would lift my spirits, and that is Cleeve Hill.

Happy memories? beautiful views?  I don’t know what or why this place has such a pull on me, it doesn’t matter whether there’s rain, snow, gales or blue skies….whatever it is, it works 🙂

IMG_0090A few of the local residents.

IMG_0084T and Cindy looking out to the horizon.

IMG_0076The tree, I think I’d mentioned before, I’ve never seen this tree in leaf before.

Surrounded by a recently built dry stone wall, a big improvement on the ugly railings that were there before. There are smooth sections where plaques can be added commemorating loved ones (at a cost of course), the monies going towards the conservation and upkeep of the area.

It’s apparent I’m not the only one that finds this place special.

One of the things I found a great comfort and helped me come to terms with losing Harry was to make a video of photographs.

Cleeve  managed to lift my spirits once more, so I’ve done the same with Jasp.

The song is Let the Four Winds Blow by Robert Plant.

Perhaps one day, I may feel able to scatter Jasp’s ashes on Cleeve, and let the four winds blow.

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21 thoughts on “July-August catch up

  1. So sorry about your loss. It helps having a place such as your Cleeve Hill. Your photos of the countryside are beautiful.

  2. I cried. There’s a surprise. I cried at the text before I even got to the photos. So then I cried at model Jasper on top of his box :(. I cried at the picture of the Nidd just like my painting. I cried about the Dropping Well. Then I cried all the way through the vid, I’m surprised I could see it. (or can see to type now).

    On the positive side, you are exceptionally talented with your photo/vid compilations, and the music was perfect. Not just for the vid, but in its own right. Not heard it before and it was beautiful, loved it.

    But what a big happy smily dog. Like H. I think I’ll go off and cry all over again. Or give P breakfast, or something. I really feel your loss V. Do we ever get over it? I don’t think I’ll answer that one. The only thing we can tell ourselves is that maybe we gave them a better life than they had before, so at least we have tried to do something good for a dog that someone else didn’t want.

    • I thought when you read the text you probably would as it is something that you can relate to only too well.

      Thank you for your video comment, I did try to keep it a bit more upbeat to the others I’ve done, but I guess it was just seeing pics of J 😦

      He was a very happy smily dog, a far cry from the description labelled on him by his previous owner. We try our best with rescues don’t we? x

  3. Always very sad when a pet dies…they are as much a part of your life as a human companion is…and often give more of themselves to you than a human does. I’ll keep an eye on your Dad’s seat for you – I know which one it is.

    • I couldn’t agree more with your comment about pets 🙂

      When we arrived at my dad’s seat, there was an old man and his dog sat there. I was quite touched to see them sat together, my dad would have liked that too. I know Swinsty is one of your haunts, so thank you for the offer 🙂

  4. Vic, all the people in the world can tell you that you did the right thing, and in your heart of hearts you know it was. But with every dog I have owned and lost there is always that nagging doubt and to be honest I think a lot of wishful thinking comes into the equation. If I’d done this or I’d done that.. maybe that would have been different. IF is such a big word. You stayed with him to the end he was with his family in his home, now out of pain he can run freely. You know the decision you made was the only one that could have been made. At the risk of setting you off again .

    My best friend closed his eyes last night,
    as his head was in my hand.
    The vet thought he was in pain
    and it was hard for him to stand.
    The thoughts that scurried through my head,
    as I cradled him in my arms,
    were of his younger, doggy years,
    and oh his many charms.
    Today there was no gentle nudge
    with an intense “I love you” gaze.
    Only a heart that’s filled with tears
    remembering our joy-filled days.
    But an angel just appeared to me
    and he said you should cry no more
    God also loves our canine friends,
    He’s installed a doggy door!

    Vic remember all the good times you had, go visit his favourite places and yours. He is in your heart and there he will stay but try to dwell on all the fun you had with him (and the others) time may be a great healer but even though you come to terms with their loss and you learn to cope, kid, it still hurts sometimes. Try to be positive they all would love you for it.
    p.s Just gone to get a tissue or two to wipe away the tears!

    • Oh Ina, what a beautiful poem, it could have been written for Jasp.
      Your words are so true, I’ve gone through so many if only’s in the last few weeks, I just don’t understand why it felt so right at the time and now I have doubts 😦
      I know I shouldn’t beat myself up.
      I think there will be a few visits to Cleeve in the near future, if you and your boys fancy.

  5. It felt so right at the time because it was right, it’s afterwards we all get the doubts.. I’m afraid it’s a human failing. We think we can understand everything but we can’t we are only human in the end.. This was a dog you wanted to love and take care of, it worked. He had a happy life, you fed him, walked him cared for all his needs. For all you know he could still have been at the dog’s trust, cared for but unwanted. No you shouldn’t beat yourself up you couldn’t have done more, allow yourself to grieve for him in your own way. We all have our own way of coping, but like I said don’t dwell on his parting celebrate the life he had with you and how much better he was for it!
    On a lighter note the boys said yes please, they haven’t been to Cleeve Hill and would be honoured to share your happy memories and make a few of their own. All you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yes I will, you’ve got a friend. (sorry but I won’t sing the lyrics though).

  6. Whoooo. A very touching post. I have been thinking of you, and hoped you were taking some space. I’ve dealt with several loved furry one death scenarios, each one different, and for each I wonder could I have done something better. It’s natural to wonder, but I think not, not in the circumstances, without the benefit of hindsight. Time will make it better but it won’t erase the grief or the wondering/regrets. I truly believe our loved ones who have passed are with us in spirit, and so Jasper is still with you in spirit, which I know is not a lot of consolation, when we’d prefer them in actual form as well. I like to think of Jasper & Harry together, with your Dad going for long walks in the spiritual plane 🙂

    • Thank you ED.
      It is the wondering and what ifs, but I realise these are all part of the grieving process that we all go through.

      Lovely thought of my dad surrounded by dogs, in fact, it made me smile, especially as in his lifetime he must have had at least 8 dogs of his own 🙂

  7. Vicky the boys would be honoured to share you memories on the Cleeve hill and maybe make a few of their own. “All you have to do is call, and I’ll be there. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall” lovely lyrics and so true. Having said that can’t do Tuesdays and Thursdays (walking Penny, takes about 30mins at about 1 o’clock) other than that I’m not booked as yet!! lol
    If you feel like crying when there no probs I’ll probably join you! The wind can blow in our tears and we’ll just blame the wind up there. Call me when you’re ready.

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