The Mirrors Covered
"Sir Fred" in repose on his day bed
Fred has been one of the absolute, absolute, treasures in my life, and my constant companion.
He has been a well travelled dog. Accompanying me on journeys from one side of the continent of Australia to the other and back again, literally.
The friendliest in nature, greeting callers with a quick sniff to the crotch or derriere then continuing on his way.
As a youngster he developed a fetish for shoes, not mine but those of my surrounding neighbours.
Word soon travelled regarding his penchant. Often Princess would greet a neighbour at the Palais Door.
The neighbour Would be clutching one shoe in their hand and humbly beseaching..
"Dear Princess, might "Sir Fred" have purloined the other for his collection?""Tis such an honour Princess"
Many times this was the case!
Princess would seek out the matching (though somewhat well chewed) pair, gracefully handing it back apologising for the inconvenience, and suggesting they be more responsible with their foot attire in future!
"Sir Fred", being a great hunter, also developed an appetite for chicken.
Any sort of chicken. Roasted, fried, frozen, raw and particularly Fresh on the wing.
On returning to the Palais after a day of retail therapy with "Dorothy" my faithful ass,
I noticed that the Palais lawns had been festooned with feathers and dead chicken carcasses, and there, smugly sitting amidst the carnage and gore,with a satisfied smile upon his face was,
You guessed it, "Sir Fred"!
Princess did have a very difficult time placating the local farmer to whom the now happily consumed and very dead chickens belonged!
"Sir Fred" would often accompany Princess on her many visits to the sea side.
He would run for miles along the beach chasing seagulls and would delight in jumping through the waves along the shoreline.
Often he could only be seen as a speck in the distance, then suddenly would realise just how far ahead of me he had gone. He would then come bounding back along the sand at full pelt and on reaching me would shake himself, covering me in sand and salt water.
I could swear that this ploy was always pre-planned and given his enormous smile and profuse tail wagging, and jumping about in delight, on these occasions, I think gave him great pleasure. Funnily enough he never did this when I was accompanied by other guests.
I recall another time when on returning to the "Palais" I found him relaxing on the lounge furniture entertaining three of his fellow canine friends. He, in my arm chair, and his friends all sprawled out on the accompanying sofa's
I politely stated to "Sir Fred" that, should he in future, intend to entertain guests in my absence, It would be courteous of him to inform me of his intentions.
I then turned to his guests and politely asked them to return to their respective abodes. To my astonishment , in unison they, arose, alighted from the sofa's and strolled off down the driveway!
He was always bringing home new chums....
(Australian Eastern Bandicoot)
I arise one morning to find "Sir Fred" Curled upon his mat cradling a Bandicoot!
"Sir Fred' remained deep in slumber.
Following a small bush fire, he presented me with an absolutely dehydrated dazed, traumatised and slightly singed Possum. I arranged for some water to be made available for the poor creature, it took a long thirst quenching drink then, promptly settled into a nook in the corner of the room and slept there throughout the night.
The next morning it got up, stretched its legs, wandered out the door and climbed up the nearest tree. Never to be seen again, but, I think, thankful for a night of refuge.
I arose, and on further investigation, discovered "Sir Fred" gently holding a fledgling "Green Speckled Lorikeet" between his teeth, standing patiently at the front door.
I became apparent that the fledgling had embarked on it's maiden flight and on colliding with another tree had been collected by "Sir Fred" and brought to Princess for approval.
I ended up rearing "Ralph" by hand, he spent his days suspended in a cage from one of the balconies. "Ralph" was visited by other members of his family on a daily basis until one afternoon as I opened his cage to feed him, he flew off to rejoin them.
I was so delighted to witness their reunion, and thanked "Sir Fred" for his thoughtfulness in rescuing "Ralph" initially.
As you have probably gathered, I have so many fond memories and stories about our escapades that we were able to gather together over the past 14 years.
I have been very blessed to have had him in my life.
I might add that, although his deterioration was quite rapid (48 hrs), I could no longer stand by and idly see him suffering.
He was no longer able to recline on his daybed as he could not get up on it.
He was having great difficulty in moving about without bumping into furniture.
He had been gradually losing his sight and hearing, and after a very difficult night, woke this morning very disoriented, confused and having great dificulty in maintaining his balance when walking.
Today I have made one of the most difficult decisions I think that I have ever had to make in my entire life.
As I gatherd his collar and walk leash he managed a perfect sit.
Ordinarily he would head up the driveway and out onto the footpath for our usual walk.
Today however, he walked with difficulty to the car and stopped beside it, looking up at me waiting for me to open the door for him.
With great effort he attempted, with out success, to climb into the backseat of the car and despite his continued detemined effort to do this independently, relented to my assistance.
As I tearfully drove.
He was able to sit regally in the back seat of the car. Front paws crossed (as usual) head held high. (Did I mention that he possesed great style and finess?)
On our last journey together on the way to our final consultation with the Palais Veterinarian.
As I held him in my arms, he looked into my eyes for the last time as if to say thank-you, I have had a good life.
Tears are streaming down my face as I write this and I am having trouble finding the right letters on my keyboard
He went quickly. He was Comfortable. He was Peaceful, He was finally pain free.
As he Lived in Life
With Style and Great Dignity.
You can now chase sea gulls on the beach forever my friend....
Princess will not be posting or making calls for a day or two... as she mourns the passing of her much loved mate and long time partner.
Condolences will be graciously accepted and responded to.
With much love to you all