Monday, October 20, 2008

Bêtes de Chagrin

Rosie and Bert in the Mournes

Team Dirty Rotten Scunging Devil-Dog is no more. Rosie was killed this morning in the road just outside our house. One of Pearlie's helpers left the door wide open and the pair of them, so well guarded by Hannah all weekend, saw an opportunity and made their escape. We think Rosie was struck by a car moments after leaving the house. Due to her injuries we're sure she died instantly.

We'd had her for twelve years. She was at least thirteen years old. Until she met Paddy she was a home-loving girl but there was something about the effect those two had on each other. Every chance they got they were off after rabbits and foxes. We really did our best to be vigilant but they always had their eye on the main chance and the left-open door.

We always gave our dogs extra 'pet' names. We had Danny for teens of years and I think he had about twenty other names by the time he left us. Bert called Rosie the Bitcher, or The Wee Special Bitcher or, a recent favourite, Scritchy.

Rosie was a great favourite with the old girls. Pearlie, Matty and Bert's Aunts Lizzie and Sally all liked her best. Bert loved her best too. Today was the first time I ever saw him with damp eyes.

Loving dogs is bloody hard sometimes. Which is why the French call them bêtes de chagrin - beasts of sorrow. For they break our hearts - they die too soon.

One consolation is that she died before old age truly took hold of her. At least we're all spared that. She'd have hated not to be active.


d@\/ e said...

That is sad, but as you said
One consolation is that she died before old age truly took hold of her

SubtleKnife said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. But whilst they may cause you sadness when they die, I don't believe that weighs up to all the good times.

sageweb said...

One of the hardest things I have lived through in life was when my last dog died..he was truly my soul dog or person can ever match the love I had for him.

I am so sorry about Rosie. One big HUG for you and Bert.

Musings of Mel said...

Ugh Mary,

I let out a sigh of sadness when I heard this but its tru what you say - Rosie would have been no good at being old and decrepit.

I'll miss her next weekend when I'm home. Thinking of you all.

Love Mels.x x

Angela-la-la said...

Ack, my heart breaks for you.

ganching said...


Anonymous said...

sorry for youz all Mary, Rosie was dee best bitcher bar none!! jtf

evilganome said...

I think Kipling said it best...

The Power of the Dog

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--'ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Rudyard Kipling

Michael said...

Oh Nelly, I'm sorry to hear about that : -(

Nelly said...

Thank you for all those great comments. It means a lot.

Great poem - I'd never come across it before and have printed it out for Bert to read. So true - but it will hardly stop us masochistic dog lovers.

Mudflapgypsy said...

Sorry to hear your bad news.

Ronni said...

I'd be ripping chunks off a care-giver!

Very Texan of me, I know...

I am so sorry, Nelly!

Anna said...

So sorry, Nellybert. We also have a long list of dogs dating back to childhood tucked away in our hearts. They never entirely leave you. One of our favorites was also named Rosie.

Frank B said...

I checked in an saw the smiley elephant before coming across this post. It was a bit of a shock, and I didn't even know your Rosie.

I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

That is so sad to hear Nelly, i must admit that Rosie was always my favourite too. I loved her postman hating rants, but also the fact that she always had a soft spot for any new men in the house.

She'll be sorely missed but, like all of your dogs, she couldn't have asked for a better life.

Mikey x

Brad said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I'll be taking my pup for an extra long romp tonight in honor of your dear friend.