“Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the Lord.Isaiah 57: 19
I guess you need to know that dogs have always been a part of my life. Each one has held a little of my life in their paws. Memories without them are almost impossible and important times are linked to them.
Now for Fatzo, he was a black and white pup with an enormous tummy. “So fat”, I said and named him Fatzo. I had just started school and I had my picture taken by mom, holding her well loved box camera. I was dressed in full school uniform with precious Fatzo in my arms.
He grew fast with a strong will to own and protect. His bark was loud and annoying to the neighbours. He was just what he thought he should be a protector. Well he probably needed more space and more to protect.
My grandparents, my father’s parents, lived on a farm with my aunt and uncle, about 100miles from where we lived. Fatzo became my grandfather’s little dog. Then when I was in my teens our family would spend one weekend a month on the farm.
Fatzo fitted into farm life well. Grandad would sit at table and cut little portions of meat for Fatzo’s treats. At 9pm sharp, Fatzo would dutifully follow the little prossesion of grandma walking holding on grandad’s arm to the bathroom then along the long broad passage to their bedroom where she was helped by grandad to get into bed. Grandad adored his wife. His tone of voice changed to the softest form a strong hard man could utter when he spoke to her. His care for her was tender and constant. I think Fatzo’s bed was right there in the room with them and his care for them was unquestionable. Then at 6am in the morning Fatzo would be there with Grandad as he placed a cup of tea next to each person’s bed. Whoever they were, they would get his early morning cuppa.
Fatzo loved to protect! It was Fatzo who would wake up Lucy and Buster the dobbermans if the geese started making a noise at night. Then once a week on the Sabbath, Fatzo would be waiting next to the car to go to church. Yes church! He would sit on the back window ledge of the car and enjoy the ride. Then when my Granma had grown too big and wide so she couldn’t walk easily into church, Fatzo was there to protect her as she sat listening to the hymn singing with the door to the car open. I think she slept for the sermon but it didn’t matter Fatzo was there.
These few examples of which there were a great many more, show how a little dog’s life fitted in with the routines of those he lived with and loved. Life for him with these routines continued for many years. Fatzo was there on the farm from my first day at school until going away to university and then…
Fatzo died at a good age around the same time as grandma.
Well, the timing was about right but speaking to my sister yesterday she had another ending for Fatzo. This is a little tragic. Let us say it this way.
Fatzo did become very deaf and here is a warning to all of us; it is very important for drivers to check that animals aren’t curled up asleep under, in front or behind a car. The visitor to the farm wasn’t to know unless he checked and it was very sad for them too.
When I was about 8 years old our family moved to another country, and our dog Bonzo went to live with my mother’s sister and her family. They lived in a wild area a good way from any town.
I don’t remember saying goodbye to Bonzo but I do remember visiting him four years later.
Bonzo was still the same loveable dog with soft short brown hair and black flecked paws that I had remembered. Except that he was now older, chubbier and not quite so active as when he stole my ribbon and lead me to my hidden present, under my parents’ bed. He was having a good life, on the whole. There was one thing that immediately worried me about Bonzo. He had a raw sore on his fat tummy. I didn’t hesitate to tell my aunt. She was a nurse and I was sure she would do something for him as soon as we left and I hope she did.
It was shortly after this visit that my aunt contacted us to say that Bonzo was missing. People had lost other animals and a search was made.
All they found was leopard spoor.
Our Bonzo was never seen again!
Peace is the stillness in your heart when trouble swirls around you, a quiet mind in a raging world.Anonymous