Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Company of an Old Friend

Yesterday I received one of those calls I dread. Sitting with a client in the Peak District our discussions were interrupted by a message from my good lady to tell me our old dog Fen had fallen ill during the day. After driving through the twilight traffic and seeing the beginnings of a storm forming ahead of me I made it back home.

With the storm gathering outside we sat with our old dog and tried to give her some comfort. Time seems to pass slowly when your mind is full of concerns and it was a little while before I realised the skies above our home had become clearer with only an occasional cloud drifting by to cover the stars for a moment. I decided to take a stroll with Fen to see if some gentle exercise would help her discomfort and also give my good lady a much needed break after a day attending to her needs.

A short while later we found ourselves in the woodland with the ground around us illuminated by the white light from my lantern. Above us the night sky remained clear but with the surrounding trees still shedding the water from the earlier downpour, glistening shots sped down to the undergrowth rattling the foliage and carrying the sounds of heavy rainfall in an echo of the storm. We wandered slowly along the wider well trodden paths and woodland road, stopping every now and again to ensure journey was a pleasure and not an endurance for Fen. In the distance the storm clouds still lay heavy on the horizon and flashes of lightening lit the sky and landscape in spectacular and blinding flourishes.

Further along the track we reached a familiar clearing and again we stopped, this time it was to watch an etherial mist rising against the distant backdrop of the lightening and the clouds gathering the light from the town a few miles away. With our eyes feasted we moved on into the quietening trees before taking a track that would lead us back to the car and the warmth of home.

I have no idea how long my old companion will be with us, at sixteen and with her health failing she is certainly well into her last years. I remember with great fondness the exploits of her youth and the energy of a young dog happy to be taken into a pack after being rescued by a shelter because her original owner had left her tied up on a bus.

She still has her love of life I will do the best I can for her.
(my thanks to two twitter friends, Di (@di-lew) for her best wishes and also to Jocelyn (@Miss Phosphorus) for her work & inspiration in finding homes for shelter dogs)


  1. greetings to you dear owl ~ thankyou for the share... a moving tale woven with such sincere heart touches ~ the time for comfort ~ & a need for caring ~ a gift for tired bones ~ special moments together ~ imprint upon the soul ~ & what a fine example of spirit are you in deed! ~ may the world be filled with more of a similar essence such as yours ~ now that would be a mighty fine sight for sore eyes ~ i bequeath a sonnet to thee ~ blessed be...

  2. Beautiful words, thank you so much. I will soon be turning out the lights for the night & I hope to be greeted by her in the light of dawn. It is a pleasure to find a fellow wanderer and a joy to find a blog such as yours. Sometimes half a world away is no distance at all.

    Best wishes


  3. A fabulous read and so heartfelt...xXx

  4. Thank you Binnie, she does seems to be recovering now (fingers crossed). I do enjoy reading about your experiences with your dogs, chickens, horse & now an adopted pigeon too. Tales of cruelty are easy to find on twitter, but to read of the good work people such as yourself and H do with the land and our fellow creatures is a splendid thing and is sadly often overshadowed by the lunacy going on in places.