10 October 2007


I went to the defence of a dog tonight.

Nothing fancy, except that 18 months' labouring in the vineyard leads to brawny forearms and a waist that tapers, but that's not the point.

I saw myself with my good old boy Harry - Lurcher, irish wolf/greyhound/lab - and remembered the appalling selfish way I treated him in his lasting years.

He'd been meant to live for 9 and he lived for 15 and I was truly selfish and mean.

Looking back, that was so unlike me. Was it the divorce? Being without my darlings? Straining to survive once deprived of the bezonian iron rice bowl?

I behaved unforgiveably and when I get up (or down) there and find that dogs rule, I deserve all i get.

Mein host was a blustering swaggart, drunk before we arrived and rude to wife and bairns.

None of us felt comfortable but when he started booting his aged hound around and biffing her with any rod at hand I had to step in.

There's a movie where De Niro plays a priest and some kid parishioner is being maltreated by his stepdad so Rob takes a walk with the bully and observes, "You're what? 200lbs and the kid, 110? Next time you lay a finger on him, you better try laying it on me."

I came up with that sort of thing and there was a bit of drunken lurching and then the wife stepped in and I defused it with some guitar but it wasn't nice and it was particularly not nice because that was me back there, abusing the animal.

The evening ended early and i made my exit with much mumbling and faux hugging of the husband but it tapped something.

I put Harry down after his arthritis got too bad and the vet asked why I'd left it so long. I'd thought I was being kind and, any road, who was I to play god?

I went into the office and Marjean saw my budding tears and knew why and was the perfect blotting paper.

Sometimes i think that all the calculated blogging in the world isn't worth a tuppenny damn against setting this sort of snapshot down and getting it out there.


rwells said...

Just look in Sam's eyes and tell him what a good dog he is. All is forgiven.

Busker said...

Sam gets coddled every day, the sap (both of us). It's the late Harry (pic) that my conscience grinds over.

Anonymous said...

The day I decided it was Ollie's time at age 16, I had a hundred good reasons. It took me well over an hour to drive home because I'd break down and sob with guilt. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.


richard Wells said...

Be kind to yourself.

Busker said...

aye. thanks for this. it helps to know one isnt/wasnt alone.

Busker said...

Wells-sahib is such a good pal.
I recall a post i made about having said goodbye to my darlings but still having to drive to Port Townsend to sell my books before catching the plane to Londinium.
En route back, I'd pulled into the burger joint the Spitfire and I had always noshed at after scraping the tread off my credit card with gewgaws and finery for that babe.
I'd sat there looking in and i couldnt get out, just sat there crying and remembering.
Hate over-salty boigers anyway.

Richard, once again - thanks, mate. More than you know but i think you do.