Tag: Jeannie

The loss of Sweeny; now we are five.

It was a shock!

Two days ago we noticed that Sweeny had a growth on his right-hand foreleg. Sweeny was 11.

Yesterday, we decided to take him to be seen at Lincoln Road Veterinary Clinic (LRVC).

LRVC is so busy these days that a scheduled appointment would be impossible. So Jean and I waited at the front desk; the staff were fantastic. We were told to bring Sweeny early this morning (Wednesday) and leave him there. Dr Russel Codd is well-known to us and he would try and find time during the day to diagnose Sweeny.

We were back home, minus Sweeny, by 8am. At 9:15am there was a call. It was Dr. Russ! Both Jeannie and I took the call.

Sweeny had advanced diabetes. His liver and kidneys were going and he was in pain. He had lost the will to live.

Very reluctantly Jeannie said that Sweeny should be allowed to die at the clinic. I agreed. Dr. Russ then said that that was the best decision and one that he would have taken if he had Sweeny as his own.

Sweeny kissing Jeannie. The year 2018!

But it was a shock to hear of Sweeny’s issues. We had no idea and, as was said, just two days ago Sweeny appeared happy and content.

Now we are five!

A tribute

To my dear Pharaoh.

I was sorting through some papers over the weekend and I came across something that I wrote on the 14th September, 2007.

Let me explain.

2007 was a very important year for me. I had barely got over the fact that my ex-wife had walked out on me the previous December 20th but had been given the revelation that my fear of rejection had been brought into my conscious state after having been unconscious for 50 years. This was a fantastic outcome from just one visit to a local psychotherapist.

I had been out to California in the summer to see Dan. His sister, Suzanne, had called by and invited me to come to Mexico for Christmas. I was unaware that this trip to Mexico was to change my life for the better in every imaginable way!

Anyway, back to my writings.


I am your dog and have something I would love to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead very busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise, some have to do this alone. It always seems like you are running here and there, often too fast, never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now. While you sit at your computer. See the way my dark, brown eyes look at yours.

You smile at me. I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a single moment of moment of your time. That is al I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.

So many times you are saddened by others of my kind passing on.

Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, so suddenly that it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract-clouded eyes. Still the love is always there even we must take that last, long sleep dreaming of running free in a distant, open land.

I may not be here tomorrow. I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when the grief fills their souls, and you will mourn the loss of just ‘one more day’ with me. Because I love you so, this future sorrow even now touches my spirit and grieves me. I read you in so many ways that you cannot even start to contemplate.

We have now together. So come and sit next to me here on the floor and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? Do you see how if you look deeply at me we can talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come not to me as my owner but as a fellow living soul. Stroke my fur and let us look deep into the other’s eyes and talk with our hearts.

I may tell you something about the fun of working the scents in the woods where you and I go. Or I may tell you something profound about myself or how we dogs see life in general. I know you decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share things with. I know how much you have cared for me and always stood up for me even when others have been against me. That gift from you has been very precious to me. I know too that you have been through troubled times and I have been there to guard you, to protect you and to be there always for you. I am very different to you but here I am. I am your dog but just as alive as you.

I feel emotion. I feel physical senses. I can revel in the differences of our spirits and our souls. I do not think of you as a dog on two feet; I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

So, come and sit with me. Enter my world and let time slow down if only for a few minutes. Look deep into my eyes and whisper in my ears. Speak with your heart and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow but we do have now.


The anniversary of Pharaoh’s death in 2017 in this Friday, June 19th. He is still missed badly.

Surfacing to a new world!

Slowly returning to normal!

As many of you read, last Friday I was discharged from the PeaceHealth Sacred Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon and returned home around 4pm.

It was quite a week as these photos demonstrate. (The background to the event is here and here.)

How I looked still in ICU on Boxing Day. Photo taken by neighbour Dordie who came up with Jeannie to visit me!

General view of a very happy chap!

Photo taken on last Wednesday after I had been transferred to the Department of Neurology.


It is important that I take it very gently and that means, inevitably, that my blogging is going to be very ad-hoc. Possibly for a few weeks!

The next important step is returning to the hospital this coming Wednesday to have the staples removed and a further cognitive check.

But I shall be OK and thank you all for your interest and concern in my escapade!

All of the dogs, especially Brandy and Cleo, are watching over me! (Over and beyond being loved beyond measure by Jeannie!)

Brandy – as pure as it gets!

Cleo living, and sleeping, in the present moment.

A Very Happy New Year to you all!

Be in peace, dear Lupe.

Forgive the shortness of today’s post.

I’m writing this at 3pm on the Tuesday, i.e. yesterday afternoon.

In under an hour’s time we have to leave to travel to Grants Pass to see the vet and have poor Lupe euthenised.  She has been suffering from dementia since before Christmas and has got to the point where she has little or no quality of life left.  Jeannie has been a saint in patiently administering to Lupe’s needs; feeding her, cleaning her up, and more.  All for many weeks now.  It was about 2 hours ago that Jean knew the time had come.

A few pictures from better times.


From Mexico days back in 2008.  Lupe is second from the left.


Lupe leading Lilly, taken in February of 2012 at our home in Payson, AZ.


Picture of Lupe taken just 8 weeks ago, showing clearly the effects of the dementia in terms of her posture.

Lupe was always a challenge having been terribly treated as a feral dog in Mexico.  In fact, it was 6 months before Jean could fondle her after she had been rescued by Jean.  But slowly she learnt to trust Jean and then to offer Jean lots of doggie love.  I, too, have fond memories of being cheek-to-cheek with Lupe; her love and trust overcoming all fears.

Yet again, so much to learn from dogs.

Sweet, dear Lupe.


Sometimes the meaning escapes us.

Much more than a house move.

Today, the 4th January, we have been at our new home in Oregon for exactly 72 days.  We knew there would be many differences between Payson, Arizona and Merlin, Oregon all of which could be described as objective, factual differences.   However, what was unexpected were the deep, complex emotions associated with moving to this rural part of Josephine County, Oregon.  We were utterly unprepared for that.

In fact, I have been staring at this screen for some time unable to put any structure or meaning to this post.  So I’m not going to try anymore, just offer some photographs and my reflections in the hope that you can sense where I am coming from.


The Winter storm that came in on the 20th December was, according to locals, unprecedented.  We lost our power from the 20th until just before Christmas Eve.  It caught us unawares in terms of being ready for this type of winter event.  But then the sun came out one afternoon and I took this picture.


It shows the flank of Mt. Sexton, the picture being taken from our deck in front of the house.  I found it impossible to describe the effect that this natural beauty had on me; being in awe just scratches the surface of my feelings.

Moving on.

We have been working hard preparing stables in readiness for two miniature horses that we have purchased from our neighbours, Margo and Clarence.  Last Tuesday, we were busy at this when I saw another breathtakingly beautiful sight.

Just some growth on the top of an old fence post.  But the words utterly fail the image.  Here it is.


Then about an hour ago (yesterday), while struggling to write this post, I heard the dogs barking in the bedroom next door.  Went into the room and they were ‘speaking’ to some wild deer grazing our pasture land.


Wish I could wrap this all up with some profound view, some wise observations about life and the meaning of the universe!

But I can’t!  Can’t make any sense of it at all. How did we get here?  How did I meet Jeannie, this most precious woman, back in Christmas 2007? How did I sell up and walk away from Devon, England, with just Pharaoh by my side, to start this unbelievable new life with Jean and all the dogs?

Anyone know the answers?

“The silly old sod does mutter on at times!”