Wednesday, July 18, 2007

R.I.P. Chiswick

Yesterday was not a good day.

After many months of worry and soul-searching, I finally took Chiswick to the vet and held his tiny, emaciated body as she gave him a lethal injection. He died in my arms, and I buried him here at the farm in Fife where he spent much of his life. I had no idea quite how hard it would be to do that.

Chiswick wasn't my first dog, but he was my first dog as an adult. He came to the Horse Doctor and me fourteen years ago, the runt of a litter born in the wilds of Perthshire, a late birthday present from my little brother. He lived with us in Aberdeen, where I used to take him mountain biking with me - sitting in a specially adapted basket attached to the handlebars of my bike. I remember him running like a mad thing, yipping merrily as he tried to keep up with me through Countesswells woods; and sitting in the bay window of our third floor tenement, staring down Union Grove as he waited for us to come home. He was always at the door by the time we arrived, dancing an excited little dance.

He moved with us down to Roslin, where he was soon joined by Mortimer, the DevilDog. The two of them and I would go for long walks through the glen, searching for that elusive muse. Then, with the Sausage Dog a new member of the tribe, we all went down to Wales. It's been seven and half years since we made that move, so more than half his life has been spent there. Makes me feel old just to think about it.

Chiswick had more than his share of problems. He was sickly as a pup, then lost his eye in a disagreement with a labrador ten times his size. He had prostate problems and an ongoing, unresolved ailment that lead to his hair falling out. But he was a great character, always the boss and somehow managed to make sure he was never overlooked, despite his diminutive size.

Lately though he began to go downhill, becoming addled in his brain and slowly falling apart in the way old dogs do. I blogged about him some months back, and I hoped that doing so would help me accept his time was coming to an end. I was wrong. Yesterday was hell.

Goodbye Chibbly. You'll be missed.



Blogger Stuart MacBride said...

He was a lovely little dog, the first terrier I'd ever met that I actually liked.

We're very sorry for your and Barbara's loss, James. He'll be sorely missed.

July 18, 2007 11:01 am  
Anonymous norby said...

Sorry to hear about Chiswick James-it's never easy to lose a little one. I'll be thinking of you.

July 18, 2007 2:53 pm  
Blogger Chaser said...

I'm sorry to read this--poor Chibbly.

July 18, 2007 8:48 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Very sorry to hear this James. There aren't words.

July 19, 2007 3:20 am  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Aw, that's so sad. But I'm always glad when I see people have the courage to let their beloved pets go. Our neighbour didn't and I pitied the dog a lot more than the lady.

July 20, 2007 4:30 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Thanks for your kind words, everyone. I'll miss the little fellow, but it was the kindest thing to do.

Still made me cry, though.

July 22, 2007 2:11 pm  
Blogger Jennifer Jordan said...

Oh, I'm sorry, sweety.

Chiswick looks like he was quite a handful. It's the ones that go through so much that seem to have so much spirit.

July 23, 2007 10:37 pm  
Blogger highlandwriter said...

Hi James,

I'm from the other side o' the pond and frequent your blog from time to time. I am in tears over your loss and send you and yours hugs.


July 24, 2007 10:03 pm  
Blogger Trace said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear of this. There is no pain quite like losing a beloved pet. My heart and thoughts are with you, James. Big hugs to you.

July 27, 2007 12:44 am  

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