Bridges of Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 267

Dear Dad,

Today has been one of those days when I’ve missed you terribly and thought about you a lot.

It all started when I heard Sophie barking at 4am.  When I went down to her I just knew she wasn’t herself and when a King Charles is  thirteen,  it’s time to be on one’s guard, isn’t it? You were always my first port of call on doggy matters, given that you grew up as a vet’s son and had such instinct about dogs and their ailments.

I know it won’t come as any surprise to you that there has been a lot in the paper over the last week or so about a woman in Dublin with Alzheimer’s Disease who went missing and when she was eventually found, unfortunately dead, her beloved King Charles was sitting with her and died within a few hours of being discovered.

Anyway, I took Sophie to the vet this evening and all seems reasonably okay. I know you’d have said ‘give her a few hours and if she’s not right get her checked out for the pair of you before you face into what could be a very long night.’

I realised today, more than ever, how much the dogs in our lives connected us.

I was looking through some of your photographs earlier and happened upon this one of the pair of us on the wooden bridge over the River Nanny. Imagine it was just a year or so before we shared lifetimes of dogs!

On the subject of lifetimes, I have been fascinated recently by different ‘takes’ on grief on social media. I’d love to be able to hear your views after such a long life ~ all 91 years ~  in which you saw so many loved ones die.  How do you feel about the idea that while we have no control over the losses we can control our responses to them?

I can’t really buy into that and in many ways this letter is living proof of it as I didn’t expect that Sophie being under-the-weather would have you so, so much with me today.

Lots of Love,

jean xx

PS. You’ll be glad to hear that the pampas grasses that we planted in October 1991 are in full sway. They make the garden look like an extension of the sea at high tide.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

12 thoughts on “Bridges of Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 267”

    1. Hi Mary, you have me stumped with the ‘who.’ I would have said shoes, knowing how many shoes, sandals and slippers have been devoured by our various dogs. Correct answer please?!

      1. My pug was named after a character, actually a leprechaun in a series of books by Patricia Lynch. I still have a copy of Brogeen and the Princess of Sheen.
        Our mother read them to us when we were children.
        Patricia Lynch also wrote, A Storytellers Childhood and The Turf-Cutters Donkey, with illustration by Jack Yeats.
        All read in 2 Bank Place, Thurles,

  1. Made me think of my Dad, whom I lost this past May… We had a dog that was old and falling apart and everytime he was supposed to bring her to the vet to have her put down, he’d end up spending losts of dollars to extend her life instead…the old softie… How I miss him.

  2. Beautiful letter and post, Jean…my Mom died over a year ago at the age of 90 and my Dad is still living (and driving) and he’ll be 94 on the 14th. It’s been hard without her, especially for him, because they were together for almost 70 years…his gal…anyway, I have fond memories of Duffy and Jasper, our two loving dogs we had when I was young and living at home…lovely post..

  3. Thanks for writing and please accept my sympathy on your mother’s death. I just love the way you’ve added in ‘his gal.’ It speaks volumes about the long connection between your parents.

  4. This is lovely. Maybe he’s with you more because he knows he’s needed. Very sad about the woman and her dog. Some connections are so strong and that’s always a good thing.

    1. Thanks Sheila! I think he always knew he was both needed and wanted and he just loved to be able to help out with all sorts of things.
      It was a really tragic story about the poor woman going missing and dying but I’m sure it was great consolation to her family to know that she wasn’t alone and had her beloved Casper with her to the end.

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