This is a picture of Ralph, my eldest son's good & faithful little dog. He is getting old now, & he has gone quite deaf. He has always disliked cats, but now the neighbour's little kittens come & sleep in his kennel during the day, & he doesnt seem to notice.
I dont know what SM will do when Ralph passes on. He has been one of the best things to happen to SM & is a loyal & affectionate little dog.
The pain of losing a pet is as bad as losing a human family member. I think it is hard for people who dont have pets to realise this fact. They lack the understanding of how attached people get to pets.
Or how therapeutic it can be, for children & the elderly to own a pet, & be met with devotion unlimited, and totally unconditional. SM has his problems, & he has found a great compaionship & love in the quiet devotion of little Ralph. And I think Ralph has helped him through some dark times.
Dogs, in particular dont sit in judgement of you, nor do they care how you look. Dogs are very forgiving of all human frailties. I guess cats are just as forgiving, if they like you, so be it.
As a child I badly wanted a pet, but because we lived with our grandparents we couldnt have any. I did have a cat for a time, but, several times, he almost tripped my Grandmother, who was lame, & she was very distressed by his presence, so we gave him away.
We had cats when our children were quite young, & when we could we got 2 dogs, & loved them dearly. And of course, now, we have our two little ones, & they are just part of our family. When our son & daughter & grandchildren come to visit the dogs get so excited & treat them with boisterous welcome.
This is a picture of another beloved & old friend who has now gone on ahead. He lived with BFJ, & was her brother's dog. He was a lovely patient dog, & BFJ's Granddaughters were always safe in his company.
He is greatly missed, as he was a wonderful companion.
And a little story of children. Sisters. Miss 8 & Miss 5 years old.
Miss 8 is very precise & likes things to be ordered in her life. She is usually obedient, & concious of 'doing the right thing'.
Her mother worries that she is too much of a follower. She seems a little easily led by her peers, & her mother used the old story we have all heard, about "If your friend jumped off a cliff would you follow her?"
She hates that story, & if it looks likely she might hear it again, she quickly gets in first, & says to her mother, "And dont tell me the cliff story again!"
Little Miss 5 is an altogether different child. She has the face of an angel, the sort that compels people to comment about her angelic appearance. And she is the tomboy! And she knows her own mind, & is not frightened to let it be known. She is likely to reply, "No" when asked by a little girl friend's mother if she would like to come & play with little Sally. Miss 5 would much rather play with the boys.
Occasionally Miss 5 has a little girl friend to play. Imagine her mother's surprise when little friend's mother comes to collect her, & little friend runs up & says "Mummy, Miss 5 showed me her bottom!"
And Miss 5's mother is horrified, & looks down the lawn to see where Miss 5 is. And they see Miss 5, with her bottom exposed to them, wagging it in defiance!
Miss 5's mother is not sure where Miss 5 is heading in life.
There is never a dull moment with children. They never cease to amaze.
The weather is still the pits, & I still didnt get my walk upon the beach. And there will be no time tomorrow.