I wrote this last year before Grouse passed on from us.
A much loved and much missed part of our lives.
I got to wondering
about the memories inside your lovely old head.
I imagined at first that they were simple ones.
The smells sniffed a thousand times.
The birds chased and the briars catching you
as you charged through, in pursuit of something or nothing.
The leaving and returning of those you love.
Because that I know. You do love us.
The treats and the pats and the rubs
and the puddles and the river. The rain
and the cracks of thunder that you hate.
The fears and the excitement.
The sorrow and the smiles
The confusion and your endless curiosity.
After all, not so simple.
Not much different to our own memories.
But maybe the difference is
that you do not know you are near the end.
I hope that is so.
You have no doctor to tell you, kindly and solemnly,
that this is, in fact, terminal.
It will end, this life of yours.
You cannot hear it in our voices.
You have not read that the life expectancy of a Springer is
somewhere between ten to twelve years,
and you are fourteen, beating the odds.
We know that but are grateful you don’t.
All those memories, good and bad,
stored away behind your kind tired eyes, as you still walk
down the familiar laneway.
As you still, sort of, jump with joy when you see us,
and wander off through the same old bushes
in the same old fields.
Slower yes, but no less for it.