The eucalyptus tree was not all we lost in June - two days before that we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog, "the oldest weimeraner known to man" as a vet friend of my daughter's said. I haven't been able to bring myself to post this up till now, but I want to commemorate a beautiful, brave, naughty and irrepressible part of our home for the past 16 and a half years.
Our son, now 23 was 7 when he came into our lives - a silky blue-eyed pup who immediately recognised me as 'mom' and curled up on my lap to sleep after exhausting himself playing with the kids. Anyone on the floor was fair game to be chewed, rolled-over onto (head over heels, not sideways) and determinedly edged away from the heater, while he was a willing pillow for weary or TV watching heads once he had worn himself out.
He was wild - crazy - we could have done with the Dog Whisperer's help throughout his uncontrollable life. I have scars from where he yanked me down steps to launch himself at the meter-man, or the postman or the sandwich men ringing at the gate. So much for 'Foods you Must Never give your Dog' - he helped himself to avocados that dropped off the tree next door, unripe plums within his reach, entire chocolate Easter egg stashes, fillet roasts, anything whatsoever edible (except peppers and chilli) that he could reach when standing on his bandy back legs. Doors were no obstacle unless they were locked - he opened them in- or outwards and preferred them all open, come rain, shine or freezing wind.
When our daughter brought a kitten home, we were quite sure that she would be swallowed whole in an exuberant gulp and kept watch to make sure she didn't wander into 'Orc' territory - till one day our vigilance slipped and we rushed, panicking, to find the kitten contentedly tucked under a bemused Gucci's chin - where she more or less stayed, in innumerable yin-and-yang poses for the rest of his days (she shows remarkable, cat-like unconcern about his sudden absence, though perhaps slightly more affectionate towards her humans lately). While rats, strange cats and hadedas were in great danger if spotted, and he refused to ever give back a ball thrown for him - when my son's pet rat's many babies all escaped into the garden, he gently retrieved every single one without so much as a bruise and brought them to us to put back into the cage.