Two months and two days after my mother’s funeral, we buried my dear canine companion, Jack. We wrapped him up in my muslin skirt and his old towel, and placed him carefully in the hole we dug for him in a raised garden bed. We covered him with sweet, soft soil, and wept, before giving him a makeshift headstone, a remnant of the many earthquakes we had been through together. That was 6 months ago, on March 6th. Today Jack is coming up daffodils ( soon to be followed by tulips, plus unavoidable weeds! ), thanks to a friend’s gift of miniature bulbs. We planted them in Jack’s grave a few weeks after his death.
I miss my small friend. We loved each other for 13 years. I love him still.
My parents loved Jack, too. I like to imagine he is keeping them company wherever they are. And that they are giving Jack treats, as they once did, subversively, at the table; behaviour utterly discouraged by me; completely encouraged by my mother and father. Jack’s particular favourite was toasted crumpet crusts from my father’s hand, but vegemite toast crusts were almost as good. It was the hand that mattered more than the food, sometimes.
Vegemite crusts, treats
Jack anticipates the drop
Gran, Pop, dog collude
When the bulbs start to die away, I will scatter wildflower seeds on Jack’s grave. They will bring joy in their flowering.
ps Jack died at home, on his bean bag, after being particularly unwell for about a week. His heart failed, and he was gone. I was with him.
pps The ornamental duck was a Christmas gift from my children many years ago. It has led a hard life in the garden!