Was unpacking my old Fender Strat copy yesterday. Tuned it and checked my practice amp. My gig bag is looking the worse for wear, having spent the last two and a half years in storage. The guitar is fine, but the bag is mouldy in places. I’ll see if I can clean it up in the Spring. For the time being I’ve hung it up in the dryer of our sheds.
While I was rummaging in the pouches a long forgotten token emerged. My dogs old collar. I didn’t want to bury it in Canada, so I’ve been carrying it around since July 2014. For over eight years! Hells Bells!
So this afternoon I took the collar, dug a hole on the right hand side of a stone seat in the garden. A place where I often go to sit and read in the Summer months, and buried it where my dogs old spirit could laze in the shelter of the trees with a good view of the garden, house and meadows. It seemed like a good idea. If not for his sake, then for mine.
Grief is a funny thing. It lies dormant while you’re busy with life, then in an unguarded moment all the memories flood back in a Tsunami of love and regret. Had I been a good enough master to him? Well I’m not sure. I loved him like he was my own, and he in turn reflected parts of my own personality, curling up on my feet while I was writing, nicking apples, looking up at me with that sloppy happy canine grin full of mischief when it was time for a walk. Now I’ve laid the last of him in peace. It feels like I’ve done the right thing. He can be with us in our ‘forever home’. For as long as that lasts. Or I live.
I plan to get a new dog next year. A pup that I can train from scratch. There’s room to play. Places to skulk and shelter. A whole world of smells, and a family that he / she can be part of.
For the moment I am content to close the door on a chapter I should have done some years ago. But we can all be wise in hindsight, can’t we?