Thursday, 20 July 2017

Ashes to Ashes

The Best Boy
how could you NOT miss a face like this?
So, I lost my dog of almost 15 years a couple of weeks ago and, being the crazy dog lady that I am, it hit me exactly the way I thought it would: hard.  Aside from the whole ‘did I give him a big enough cuddle the last time I saw him?’ and ‘God, I hope I didn’t give him a row for doing anything naughty’ initial panic, I actually realised that he had it good.  In fact, he had it great.  He was pampered in a way that I’m fairly certain my children would never be and I generally made sure he was ok before I tended to the needs of any humans.  I think I can assuredly say he was a happy boy and had a very good home with me and, latterly, with my parents.

Since Jake was my favourite dog and the one I’d owned the longest, I decided I had to have him cremated and then take him home with me to Wales. I hadn’t given it too much thought, aside from the fact that I immediately knew I wanted to keep him. I received his ashes back from the vet last weekend and, apart from being upset at the fact that he’s now in a box, I began to wonder quite what I was going to do with him. I hadn’t actually considered it until I held his little biodegradable bamboo pouch and tried to work out my next move.  Not having been in the position of having ashes before (either human or canine), it’s a fairly new experience for me.

My husband suggested I sprinkle Jake in the Irish Sea, since we live on the West Coast of Wales and it’s a beautiful spot.  I quickly informed him that Jake wouldn’t even go for a walk if it was raining, so he would hate that.  I thought I might bury him under a tree in the orchard and then realised he might not like that, either.  What Jake really *would* like would be to lie on the couch, with his chops on the arm rest, the telly on in the background, and soak up the sun’s rays as they filter through the living room window.  And this very spot is currently where he is. I really don’t think he should be, though.  I can’t see me having to tell my visitors that they can’t move the dog from the chair because it’s his seat and he likes it, when all they can see is a box with ‘Jake Gorman’ written on it.  I rather fear I’d gain more of reputation for being a people hater than I already have and that would probably not be such a good thing…regardless of how true it is.

So, yeah, I’m pretty much going home at night and saying ‘Hi’ to the Box of Dog on my sofa before floating off to cook dinner. We then sit later on, me on my rocking chair, and Jakey on his cushion, and catch up with Supervet.  It’s our favourite programme, obviously.  We chat about the dogs (not so much about the cats) and cry with joy every time Noel fashions a Spaniel shoe out of an old croc.  Let’s face it, it’s the only thing in the world those God awful things are actually useful for.  I patted Jake's head last night (by which I meant the top of his box) when I arrived home and I’m not even kidding.  I don’t want to end up like Norman Bates, so I feel I should probably find a suitable spot for him sooner rather than later.  My friend found a company in Essex that makes jewellery from molten glass and ashes and turns them into rings and bracelets and stuff, so I thought I’d do this, regardless of the fact that anyone I’ve told about it has been completely horrified.  Because Jake was a white Staffie, he quite often had the effect of making anyone walking towards us do a double take and head off in the opposite direction (which was funny as he was the biggest scaredy dog in the WORLD), but the knowledge that, even now he’s gone, he can still repulse humans from coming near me simply makes me realise that this is the best thing I could do with him.   Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other 3kg…

Answers on a postcard, please…

Suz x