Friday, June 30, 2023

Job done.

Things you learn over dinner in a small university town . The theme tune in the Czech composer Smetanas Ma Vlast symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcDzRjMIDvo&t=7s and the Israeli national anthem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGCfFv9YnY0  are both thought to be based on the same late16th century Italian madrigal.

The three seagull chicks are up early. I'd expect them to take their first flight any day now. Boy, they are growing quickly. Things will hopefully quieten down and our sleep patterns return to normal when they flee the nest. From the noise they're making I'd assume they are demanding their four thirty snack.


There's a brisk breeze from the west blowing out to sea. 'The Font' thinks this, coupled to a low tide, would be the perfect time to deal with Sophie's ashes. The tone of voice suggests that this isn't so much a suggestion as a decision. So it is that Angus finds himself up and about earlier than usual. In fact he's up and about much earlier than usual. We wander down through the back alleys to the car which is parked by the castle. The flower beds are now looking cheerfully spectacular in a riot of colour sort of  way.


At an hour that anyone in their right mind would think is ungodly a black Volvo and its two passengers can be seen driving along the road that runs parallel to the beach. This is a time of day that belongs to nefarious activity although being nefarious in a part of the world where it doesn't get dark must be difficult. 

At the vets, when we said au revoir to Sophie,  we had been given a variety of choices of which we chose  the 'biodegradable' and 'environmentally friendly' options. Three weeks later a 'tasteful' cardboard tube with a picture of a bluebell wood printed on it was delivered to us.


Sophie discovered water late in life. She was initially wary of it but by the end, when she was in her 'nothing troubles me' mindset, walking in the waves was a favoured pastime. The decision about where to scatter was therefore an easy one. So it is that we track our usual path through the dunes, across the sand and down to the empty waters edge.


Until now little thought had been given to the practicalities of ash scattering . Having a westerly wind blowing certainly helps matters. To ensure maximum dispersal Angus takes off his shoes and socks and rolls up his trousers. Running along the shoreline holding the biodegradable container aloft like the Olympic torch ensures a smooth, if theatrical, way of ensuring that the diva is gently borne on her way. Gulls, crows and oystercatchers wading along the waters edge sensibly take wing as this unusual ash spouting sight bears down on them. 

We both agree that this little private moment was a fitting, if slightly dippy, way of bidding a  fond farewell to an old family friend. We hurry back to the car as Angus wonders whether the North Sea chill has cut off the circulation to his toes and feet. There is much laughter - which is fitting. PON owners understand laughter .... and mischief .... and stubbornness.



33 comments:

jabblog said...

Beautiful music this morning.
It was a fitting farewell to Sophie. I now have Vangelis in my head to accompany the ashes-bearing Angus.

WFT Nobby said...

A fitting fond farewell to the family Diva. I hope the circulation has returned to Angus's feet. The North Sea's much reported 'marine heatwave' clearly hasn't reached St Andrews.
Bertie's cardboard tube (still not emptied) is sitting on the mantelpiece in my study. The arrival of one very naughty puppy soon after his cremation took my attention away from finding a permanent resting place and Bertie's remains have unintentionally become part of the furniture.
Cheers, Gail.

Ruth said...

A beautiful sunrise to send darling Sophie on her way.

Virginia said...

What a lovely way to farewell your Diva. But I"m still moist-eyed. John (https://disasterfilm.blogspot.com) quoted that wonderful Rudyard Kipling poem about "giving your heart to a dog to tear" - it is so true.

paphosmuseum said...

So, you made me cry again. I, too, had the Vengelis music in my head as I read that. Your Olympic allusion was not lost either.

Thank you, Angus (and the Font) for loving your dogs.

Coppa's girl said...

A sweet and fitting farewell for a very special Diva, how she would have enjoyed watching the proceedings!

Teena and Lala said...

A theatrical send off perfect for a family Diva.

Bon Voyage Sophie.

Here's to more laughter, mischief and stubbornness.

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

x

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Thank you for letting us all know Sophie has been set free to wander - I hope she finds Bob somewhere in her travels. All your boys and Sophie live on with love and affection in our memories- stubbornness mischief and all. Having a bit of trouble typing that - vision a bit misty!

Stephanie said...

Sophie will always be remembered with laughter and love. I miss her. Thank you for sharing your farewell to her. And once again for beautiful music.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Farewell Sophie dear. Your hyoomons are safe here with us, but do keep watch just the same. Hugs and wags YAM-aunty xxx

Travel said...

Sending loving thoughts your way,

Swan said...

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’•

Leslie Piper said...

Thank you for including us in this final act. Sophie's antics made me laugh, and I smiled thinking of the two of you laughing over her at such a moment. In my mind, she was yodeling at the departing seagulls, giving chase in her haphazard way. A PONette dipping her toes in the water was a wonder to me, and when she came to love it, I was enchanted. Her last trip, borne on the dancing wind, will be my happy thought for the day.

waterdog said...

What a fitting farewell. I miss reading about Spohie’s (as well as Bob’s) daily experiences and wanderings, but I have enjoyed following the activities of you and the Font.
Thank you!
JoAnn in Maryland

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing the special moment with us.

Jake of Florida said...

Am I wrong in thinking that Sophie's ashes now part of the moving seas will eventually grace all of us? Angus, you and the Font have shared a special moment with us. Sophie would have loved the Olympian touch...and understood she deserved no less.

June said...

I would love to have a video of that.

Diaday said...

A beautiful, water-themed post today - Smetana's Moldau and Sophie's return to the North Sea. You shared Sophie's adventures through your stories, now you share her spirit through the flowing water. Love and laughter always.

kippy said...

A beautiful way to scatter Sophie’s ashes. Yet another good memory of a most wonderful and special Pom.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both so much for sharing the last precious moments of Dear Sophie. We miss her adventures but really enjoy your blog every day as you are an amazing writer (& photographer).
Wendy (Wales)

fancyingfrance.com said...

I think I have something in my eye...again.

Lisa in France said...

What a word picture you have drawn for us today! This seems a very fitting end for Sophie's last adventures in Scotland, and I think the Font was wise to insist it be done quickly, lest you end up like Gail and me with our beloved dogs' remains somehow becoming part of home decor. Cherry's ashes are in a beautiful Buddhist silk wrapping, a mini version of what one receives when a human passes in Japan. I have never looked to see what is inside, as I am afraid it might be a tupperware, but I suppose we will find out in due course. Things were easier when we lost a much loved cockatiel while living in an apartment in Tokyo. At the time, we lived close by a large and historic cemetery, a beautiful place renowned for its cherry trees. So we did the logical thing and stole (nefariously?) into the cemetery in the dark of night with a trowel and a soup spoon and buried Pasadena beneath a cherry tree in the foreigners' section. (It seemed appropriate as he had come with us from California.) We also have a parakeet buried on the grounds of the Meiji Shrine (I can reveal these infractions only now that I am safely in France!)

rottrover said...

All of my dogs' ashes are in boxes in my house. I can't bare to let them go. So crazy. I love the image of you running down the beach with your Olympic torch with the Chariots of Fire theme playing in the background. Talk about laughter and mischief!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

"For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar."

xxx

Barbara Anne said...

Farewell and Godspeed, dear Sophie. Thanks for everything.

Hugs to you, Angus, and The Font

Charlotte said...

๐Ÿฅฒ❤️๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป I still miss her.

Jim Davis said...

A fitting farewell to your dear companion, well done.

Megan said...


Thank you for sharing the final goodbye to Sophie.I have happy memories of playing on that beach as a child and also overlooking it when a student in the sixties in Hamilton Hall student residence. I will be able to think of Sophie every time I visit from N.Wales.
Today was a perfect day for me to hear about how you let Sophie finally go. My dog Stan died in October and the vet cemetery delivered a little package of ashes to us with a small packet of Forget-me-Not seeds. I planted them in March and today of all days I noticed the first flower had appeared. They will remind me now of both lovely dogs,Sophie and Stan.
My daughter sneaked into Stan's favourite park here in Llandudno and scattered him under his favourite sniffing hedge. Legal?who cares, we now get to "visit" him. Thank you to you and "The Font" for sharing this with us all.

10NISNE1 said...

Perfection!

The Bougalou Bear said...

Thank you Angus for the pointers.

You have no idea-how could you- of how this post resonates... In a few days, I will be flying to France to meet with my brother. Together, we will release our parents' ashes into the Mediterranean Sea, to join forever the dance of our galaxy. As, perhaps unsurprisingly, we both lack experience in this type of endeavour-oh, how I can hear our mother laughing at this statement!- I shall remember to check on the prevailing wind and surf.

Dobre Tchass Zbogom Sophie. I, too, say thank you for everything.

Anonymous said...

I have used a biodegradable urn for ashes. The urn will begin to disintegrate after entering the water. ( I was petrified of a wind shift and blow back hence the urn.) The biodegradable urn didn’t look like an urn but looked lovely falling gracefully into the arms of the sea.

Anonymous said...

Well that image made me teary.

Perfection.

Louise in Az

Poppy Q said...

Thank you for sharing Miss Sophies wonderful life wuth us.