A sad day...

 We will miss you dear dog.
Rusty - His Last Photograph

Today is a sad day. Rusty our old red Border Collie dog has been lovingly laid to rest in the Ram Paddock. He was nearly thirteen years old. He has been a huge part of our country life. Gardening days, bicycle rides, walks, trips in the car to forests, the river, the dog park... Later, when the earth settles, I will get him a memorial tree. Maybe a dogwood - that rather makes me smile!

I spent the afternoon bagging oak leaves in the Pond Paddock, while Non-Gardening Partner cleaned leaves out of the gutters. Young Winnie raced between the two of us, trying to keep the pack together, announcing her re-arrival with loud barking. Throw the stick! Throw the stick! Splosh - she'd leap into the pond, no troubles with the cold water. Her demeanour, and physical agility and mobility - so different to Rusty's, particularly over these last weeks. Take a deep breath, then smile, and give thanks.

Now tonight I have to go out and sing in a madrigals concert. Oh boy. Do I feel like this? No, no, no. I want to stay home with NGP. But I will do my best. And my weeding friend is coming to support me. That's so nice of her.

Sunday 7th May

This morning on the early dog walk Winnie and I passed a puffed up little fantail on the mulch pile. Dear little birdie - what's wrong? Without thinking I went into cat-mode and tickled it underneath the chin. It blinked, stared at me, then tucked its tiny head back into its chest. Oh dear. Run out of food? Trouble is, fantails eat insects on the wing, so I can't really rescue it. Another sad smile...

 So beautiful.
Rhapsody in Blue Roses

Then we passed by the Allotment Garden roses Friesia and Rhapsody in Blue, late in their second blooming flush. This garden has no shelter from the frosts which are imminent. Another smile, for the temporary nature of all things bright and beautiful.

 Back in 2004.
Rusty as a Puppy

Today I'm going to continue clearing the Pond Paddock. Rusty is just next-door, up there in the Ram Paddock, and it sort of feels like we are keeping each other company.

Much Later...

I've done lots of raking, and I've burnt the bonfire. The little birdie didn't make it, so the Grand-Daughter helped me bury it beneath Rhapsody in Blue. We said a wee prayer. Like we did for dear Rusty.