You can sum up Jill in just one word: love.
She craved it and she gave it, always and unconditionally. Her one
aim in life seemed to be to make yours better and many a sad time
was made much more bearable by her generous spirit and constant
affection. Intensely glad when you were happy and always there for
you when you were not.
Jill's capacity for love and generosity can perhaps be instanced by an occasion about 6 months before she passed away.
Our local post office is run from the village hall and Andrew had taken Jill with him to post some mail. The main hall was in use by the Toddler Group.
As soon as one of the toddlers saw Jill he abandoned his mates and his ball and rushed over to her. "Goggy Goggy" he piped.
His mate then joined in followed, in swift succession, by virtually all the rest of the group.
"Goggy Goggy" went up the cry and Jill received a royal massaging from her devoted little fans.
The equanimity she displayed was remarked upon but we were not in the least surprised by it!
A considerate little girl she even obviated that awful decision so many who love their animals have to make.
After a normal and
happy day she went to sleep and never awoke.
She folded herself away, as kind and unobtrusive in death as she had been in life.
Jaff was a strange collie.
Largely I suspect because his adrenal function was always awry.
The adrenal gland is involved in the "flight or fight" reflex and
the fact that Jaff's were not working well might account for his
complete imperviousness to the metaphorical "carrot and stick".
Not interested in praise or censure he went his own way.
Thoroughly nice natured and totally trustworthy, he nevertheless made it plain that he did what he did for himself and for himself alone.
Jaff was a tall spare framed dog and very athletic.
A local cross country course for horses provided him with many opportunities for leaping and his agility and boldness were impressive. Our vet once said he was the fittest dog at the practice which was nice to hear.
What you saw was what you got.
There wasn't a devious bone in his body and his fortitude was incredible.
Once he was diagnosed with hypoadrenocorticism. He was frequently
ill but never got defeated by it; up for walks and games to the
When we were awaiting the dreaded visit by the vet to end his
life, we took him for one last walk up the hill.
He set off with a will although bouts of vomiting made for rather slow progress.
A brave soul if ever I knew one. Terminal pituitary tumours or
not he was going to enjoy this walk.
Both during his life and since we have faced some tough times, but his inspirational attitude gave us the strength to face these and come through the other side of darkness.
We acquired Max as a young puppy, too young really at 6 weeks but we knew no better then.
From the first it was obvious we had an intelligent bundle of mischief. An old, rather tatty plastic duck became a firm favourite but when we attached a string to the duck's neck Max would watch the angle of the string. If it was slanted away from him it was obvious to him that the duck was imminently going to move further away and he would grab it to prevent this. When we slanted the string towards him he just sat there with a rather quizzical look on his face that said plainly "No point in attempting an escape if the duck is going to move towards me".
When Max was about a year old we moved from Bridlington to York.
Some friends we made there had a very soft spot for him and shares in digestive biscuits must have soared! They lived just over the road from us. One of them got home from work at Rowntrees at about 4.30pm.
Unless we kept a very close eye on him at that time, Max would slope off over the road (luckily a very quiet one!) and sit with his head over their low gate awaiting his daily ration. How he knew the time to do this I know not but his timing was always spot on!
Max found fun in playing with water.
A water hydrant malfunctioned at the end of our road and the resultant fountain sent him delirious. The man who had come to repair it was fairly amused too!
His other penchant was for sticks, the larger and more unwieldy
Upon approaching a stile gap on a walk, he would begin by just trying to ram the stick through the gap but soon, realising that was not a viable option, he would drop the stick as near to the gap as he could, go through himself and then, ever so delicately, take one end of the stick and slowly draw it through.
Often he would then look at us and, upon receiving our congratulations for his crafty manipulation, look extremely triumphant, not to say smug, at his accomplishment.