Summer and Millie

Now to the second of this week’s guest posts.

Bob Derham and his wife, Julie, are long-term friends back in the UK.

They recently lost their two dogs.

Bob sent me this:

Millie and Summer both had a fun life.

They were cross breed dogs, partly Springer Spaniel and part Collie. They were born in Wales, but as there are quite a lot of similar dogs there, the owner advertised in a local paper, and brought them up to Dorset one weekend 13 years ago.

Initially we had been looking for only one dog, but it seemed such a shame to separate the two puppies so we decided to take both. Most people were of the opinion that two girls from the same litter was not a good idea, but nevertheless we trained them, and the two animals were always together.
Family holidays, walking the children to the school bus, visiting friends, etc., always included Millie and Summer.

Just over two years ago, Summer became diabetic.  Had this been only ten years ago, nothing could have been done for her, but we were able to inject her twice a day, and keep her healthy, apart from failing sight as a result of the insulin. It was not long after that Millie developed the same problem, so both dogs had the same routine.
Summer went to the vets on the right day for her, and was put to sleep peacefully, and two weeks later Millie needed the same choice to be made.

They enjoyed an almost identical lifespan, and we enjoyed them to the full.

Bob and Julie’s daughter Stephanie then made the following video in memory of their two beloved dogs.

Back to me.

Going to close today’s post with this poem by Rudyard Kipling.


The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But…you’ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long–
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Rudyard Kipling
Dogs bring out so much beauty and love in us.

15 thoughts on “Summer and Millie

  1. A beautiful and loving tribute to two very special dogs, Summer and Millie. I can see from the video that they were very much part of the family. I hope at some point the family can find two more dogs of Springer Spaniel and Border collie ancestry and continue the legacy of these beautiful girls. I wish that I knew how to make a video, this one is marvelous.

    On my blog, I have a small collection of pet loss poems. One of those poems is the one posted here, by Rudyard Kipling. It is perhaps my favorite poem to read when I grieve for a pet that has gone to “pet heaven.


    1. Thank you for your comments.

      Millie and Summer were indeed very special. They always wanted to be a part of everything. It was interesting for me to see that I had written about them previously, when our youngest changed schools, and Millie had gone to his old school to meet him, and so we then had to show her where he was next going to school.
      Stephanie at 15 is rather good at making short films, but this video amounted to a film of a picture where you move the camera, to give a feeling of movement.

      Thank you for sharing part of our English family life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a pleasure for me to see your beautiful dogs. I hope you’ll be fortunate once again to be the proud owner of two very special; dogs. There are puppies waiting to be rescued. 🙂


  2. This is a lovely post that brought a few tears to my eyes this morning. I had never heard the poem either and it’s a very touching one. Thank you to your guest poster too, sad times for him and his family.


    1. Thank you Barbara,
      Until Stephanie made the short little video I had forgotten many of the events that I can now recall.
      A previous post which again I had forgotten was when Millie had walked to school to meet our youngest, but he had actually moved to his next school, and of course we had neglected to share that with her and her sister Summer.
      They knew the routine well enough, and just wanted always to be a part of the family, and as our Paul remarked, he had never known life without them !


  3. Oh Paul my heart went out to your Bob and Julie, What a wonderful pair of dogs they had in Summer and Millie.. I watch the video in full and yes.. tears flowing… Our animal friends are such a part of our families… And as I saw the unfolding of these wonderful collection of photos.. The Joy Summer and Millie brought to Bob and Julies own family.. Just Wonderful..
    Thank you for sharing Paul…
    As I attempt my back log of catch ups here.. 🙂
    Sue 🙂


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