Just starting, it will be a tribute to my Tugger Dog, (Jagdterrier) that died from Hog battering last year. He will be setting in a sort of throne atop a pile of hog skulls. Tugger is the small dog in lower right hand corner below.
Last week Henry Johnson, my good friend sent me a message that Ian his old Border Terrier had passed. I am in one of those melancholy moods today as I paint this painting which I have been thinking on and putting off for some time. While painting I kept remembering all the dogs I have had and buried during my life and I went back and read Henry's words of the back and forth we had that day. I thought I would share it with you as some I know are Dog Men and would relate. "It's when you grow older that you remember things long absent from your mind over the years. On sad occasions those seem to flow more sad memories. It's a bitch but it's what it is".
Lost Ian yesterday
"Buried my 14 year old Border Terrier Ian today. Think his kidneys shut down on him. Over the last several days stopped eating and even drinking water and became very weak and could not take care of himself. Made a bed for him of old fleece jackets in a big igloo doghouse on the deck and he lay there quietly and died this afternoon. Never showed any sign of pain or suffering. He was a good worker for us. Mainly used him as a draw dog at the end of a dig to avoid injury to the smaller bitches who worked to ground. Anything Ian got his teeth into was a caught critter. The two younger Borders Bullet and Komegan were very quiet and subdued as Ian lay dying and were obviously looking for him when I came back from burying him. A sad day in the cove. End of an era."
Me to Henry
Don't know what to say buddy, I just know that Ian knew he was loved by you and wouldn't have changed places with any other dog in the world. Sandi sends her love, we both just read your note and well, are quite sad to say the least.. I was just down to the farm where I buried my two Jagds that died from combat last year. Back in the fall right after I buried the Sheik, 'The Shaker" I was sleeping one night and from the hill where they lie I could have sworn I heard them baying something. This happened several times since, day and night, no other dogs around there and none for sure that could sound like those two when they were wound up on a hog. I like to think they are still aorund and just want me to know so I don't forget them and of course I never will as you will never forget Ian.
All quiet here, going to bed with you on my mind, sleep well Henry, Ian would want you to
I sleep well, guarded by Border Terriers Bullet and Komegan by my bed. Think of Ian being now in "the long sleep', free of any pain or suffering. Look out the back window toward his grave site under the big walnut tree several times a day, there beside Border bitch Teeka who died last May. Eight others out there too- Airedales, Borders, Patterdale/Border, Lakeland. A string of good dogs in my life, Airedales, Collies, German Shepards, Bird Dogs, Borders, Lakelands. They will all break you heart, one way or another, even if they die peacefully of old age.
"When in old age your terrier is dying,
And the world around you seems sad,
A lick on the hand will console you,
For a truer friend man never had." Terrier Song"