A republication of a post from earlier times.
(I came across this when researching my posts for my second book.)
It was published on the 18th June, 2016.
A Eulogy For Hazel
This dear, precious dog!
Back in March, 2014 when I was writing a series of posts about our dogs, I published a Meet the dogs – Hazel post. This eulogy consist mainly of what I wrote then, with a few minor changes to bring it up to date, and a closing thought.
I first met Jean in Mexico; namely, in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico to be precise. Just a few days before Christmas, 2007. At that time, Jean had 16 dogs, all of them rescues off the streets in and around San Carlos. Jean was well-known for rescuing Mexican feral dogs.
In September, 2008 I travelled out to Mexico, via London-Los Angeles, with my Pharaoh. Jean and I have been together ever since. In February, 2010, because we wanted to be married and to be married in the USA, we moved from San Carlos to Payson, in Arizona; some 80 miles North-East of Phoenix.
One morning, just a few days before we were due permanently to leave San Carlos and move our animals and belongings the 513 miles (827 km) to Payson, AZ, Jean went outside the front of the San Carlos house to find a very lost and disorientated black dog alone on the dusty street. The dog was a female who in the last few weeks had given birth to puppies that had been weaned. Obvious to Jean because the dog’s teats were still somewhat extended.
The dog had been abandoned outside in the street. A not uncommon happening because many of the local Mexicans knew of Jean’s rescues over many years and when they wanted to abandon a dog it was done outside Jean’s house. The poor people of San Carlos sometimes resorted to selling the puppies for a few Pesos and casting the mother dog adrift.
Of course the dog was taken in and we named her Hazel. Right from Day One Hazel was the most delightful, loving dog and quickly attached herself to me.
Of all the dogs that we have here at home, and, trust me, many are extremely loving, my relationship with Hazel was precious beyond description. She was in Pharaoh’s ‘group’ (Pharaoh, Cleo, Sweeny, Pedy and Brandy) so slept in our bedroom at night. Most nights Hazel was tucked up against me.
Plus frequently during the day Hazel would take an interest in what I was doing, as the next photograph illustrates.
If ever one wanted an example of the unconditional love that a dog can offer a human, then Hazel was that example. Precious creature.
Just stay with me for a little longer.
Recently there was a documentary on the BBC about Koko the gorilla and how many hand signs Koko had learnt. As Wikipedia explains (in part):
Hanabiko “Koko” (born July 4, 1971) is a female western lowland gorilla who is known for having learned a large number of hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language (ASL).
Her caregiver, Francine “Penny” Patterson, reports that Koko is able to understand more than 1,000 signs of what Patterson calls “Gorilla Sign Language” (GSL). In contrast to other experiments attempting to teach sign language to non-human primates, Patterson simultaneously exposed Koko to spoken English from an early age. Reports state that Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English, in addition to the signs.
The reason why I mention this is at the end of the programme it is stated that Koko’s ability to communicate shows very clearly that she is capable of feelings and emotions. Indeed, the way that Koko hugs Penny is very moving.
The presenter of the BBC programme concludes how things have changed over all the years from the birth of Koko some 45 years ago to today. As in back in the ’70s’ the idea that animals had emotions was just not accepted whereas nowadays there is mounting evidence that many warm-blooded animals have emotions; are capable of emotional feelings.
Why do I mention this?
For there isn’t one shred of doubt in the minds of Jean and me that Hazel was full of feelings of love and affection towards her human friends.
That is the epitaph with which Hazel will be remembered! This is her legacy.