As you have probably noticed we have a new puppy (for Spot) whom we have called ‘Honey’. We had a very unhappy ‘Spot’ following Tiny’s death in early February. We decided to do something about it quickly (this was also the vet’s recommendation) so a quick trip to Digger’s Rest and we became the new owners of a beautiful little female Jack Russell. I will be 86 if she lives as long as Tiny, so I wonder whether she will be my last dog.
Like many things you only get a finite number of dogs, though I have been most fortunate and have owned and loved a great many. My first puppy when I was perhaps 3-4 years old was white too, very similar to Honey. Sadly that puppy died from distemper when she was only a bit older than this little tyke. (This one won’t). I still remember where I buried her, though that entire forest (a thousand miles away) is a field now, and our large isolated farm a series of hobby farms today. Some things live on only in memory or the mind’s eye. Eventually the mind too falters and cools. Nothing remains.
Unless a Homer comes along and writes a lovely immortal paean such as this, to Odysseus’ faithful old hound, ‘Argos’ (clearly the template for Rip van Winkle’s):
‘As they were speaking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaios seeing it, and said:
- ‘Eumaios, what a noble hound is that over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?’
- ‘This dog,’ answered Eumaios, ‘belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master’s hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.’
- So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years.’
- Surely that story shakes a tear from even the hardest heart, even after nearly 3000 years!
- If you do nothing else before you pass read Homer’s immortal Odyssey. There are many fine translations of it available free.
You already saw her first trip:
What a tiny soldier she is:
Some further ‘puppy porn’ follows:
My daughter and grandson get acquainted with her:
And help with her first bath:
All tuckered out:
One of Spot’s favourite old haunts:
Spot is taking his puppy raising quite seriously:
Though Honey is not:
She and Spot are beginning to play:
She is becoming familiar with other local deniizens,
Our ‘porcupine’ as my dad called ‘echidnas’:
This wallaby which greets us at the end of our daily walk:
Or this grey kangaroo who attempts to ignore us as we pass:
Or Della’s wondrous flock of ‘doves’ off for their evening flight:
Aren’t they glorious:
More ‘hair of the dog’ here:
PS: 11 weeks and ears UP! What a champion she is going to be: