Saturday, 30 October 2010
I sit with the little one and I learn his smell, breath in those glorious whiffs that are exclusively Flutes. To feel his wiggly, sleek body barely able to sit still for a moment. His coat is both soft and hard, the hair along his back is rougher and longer than his hair on his flanks which is as soft as his ear hair. Ears! What can I say about those ears?! The are stiff and now stand proud and idiotic, belonging to a much larger dog that he is yet to become. Both have a slight kink in them that will flatten out hopefully not to be forgotten.
When he is calm I look into his eyes, green with amber edging and wonder what he can see with those pretty eyes, to think we will never really see what they see or even have an idea of what they see. His pink nose that has a hint of burnt sienna and tonight a vague whiff of cow pat.
Will he ever grow into those huge joints? Big neat paws that seem impossibly oversized, pads just starting to harden up with use no longer the palest pink. He is yet to have those legs under control, he merely tries and see what he gets. Why not, it is just so much fun running, turning and finding out what he can do with those limbs.
His tail is as long as he is and it wags like no other. Funny that Buck wags but its an understated gesture, an after thought. Flute's tail is a barometer of his mood, which is nearly always sunny. His days are filled with delight interspersed with frustration. His frustration spills over as he is yet to learn control so he huffs and puffs, he digs and screams and then he sleeps.
Even sleep is like a cliche, just like a baby or cats he sleeps deeply without a care, not disturbed by anything.
So why is this a bitter pill, what could possibly spoil this lovely period of sharing your life with a puppy?
It shows you just how different life is for Shy. His smell changed a long time ago though he doesn't smell like a really old dog like Buck. Shy's beautifully silky coat on his head and ears are still in wonderful condition yet his rough hair on his body is tired. His skin is so thin and wrinkly, delicate and dry. His ears are a delight as soft as they have always been.
Oh those eyes, pale blue with deep blue highlights and a splash of chocolate near the top. The mark on his iris where a bramble pierced it is still there but doesn't mar in anyway. There has always been a sad, drawn look in those eyes, eyes that have lived through cruelty and survived. They are now tinged with anxiety, still ever aware of what might be. His nose is always dry not because there is something wrong just not wet or drippy.
I just love his colour yet if he could have chosen he would have been a dull, invisible colour so he could blend in, move round the edges of life, so he could feel safe and make choices without being watched. Shy's legs and joints are coming to an end, how can I lose someone so dear because his legs, feet and joints no longer function, impinging on the nerves. Shy's safety net has now gone, he can no longer jump up and move away from fear. It takes time, takes effort and it makes him more aware. Something he had lost over time after coming to live with me. His feeling of safety is slipping away just as his mobility is.
I still relish his delight at seeing us, at the the look on his face when I feed him or tell him to roll over for a cuddle and a snuggle. To see him wiggle and dance just before a gentle tootle along the lane, his nose still longs for those daily updates. I feel bad that there are days I don't get him out, he just mooches around the house and garden, swinging between trying to keep him mobile, stopping him from getting too sore and keeping him happy.
What will I do when I don't have a daft lurcher parading with his 'foot', 'hedgehog' or anything else he can find. How will it feel to not have Shy's broken bashed tail whipping me without mercy just because he is so pleased that I am home? I chose my new pup to be an Ibizan as I loved the playful side to Shy that Swift and Buck simply don't/ didn't have. They hunt and anything playful is just a practise run for hunting. Shy plays, he goons and plays silly buggers just because it feels good.
To see Flute starting life makes me feel for Shy who is coming towards the end of his too fast for me to comprehend.
Monday is a change for me. A massive step like many I have taken before. To take time away from the guys in order to catch up on my artwork commitments. It is scary and something I will find a relief but dread, how many people would swap walking with the guys for sitting in the house and drawing? Yet I also am grateful it gives me one more day in ever decreasing days left with Shy, maybe it will make all the difference. After years of having them by my side 24/7 working with them, sharing my bed much has changed and there have been many positives but I am looking forward to some Shy time even if that just means a sleeping dog on the settee next to me whilst I draw.
I can only post this cos it's late, I am less inclined to feel embarrassed at my outpourings, to not think of those people who feel I shouldn't wallow or get so tied up over a dog....but he is my dog and I love him.