Tag Archives: friendship

Photograph

I was deeply moved when, on entering my local pub yesterday (Saturday 17th October), I found that the pub had, on prominent display a photograph of my former guide dog Trigger.

Distance shot of Trigger’s photo

Distance shot of Trigger’s photo

I have long since lost count of the number of occasions on which Trigger and I would visit the pub. Whilst I enjoyed chatting to friends over a pint (or more)! of beer Trigger would enjoy being stroked, or vacuuming up the crisps or nuts which he so adeptly managed to find on the carpet! He was a typical lab/retriever (but possessed of his own unique lovable personality), and is still sadly missed by me, and so many other people who knew him.

The below poem, “Early Morning Walk”, was written shortly after having walked Trigger in woods close to my home. Dogs live in the moment. They do not become obsessed with useless thought as do we humans, and we have so much to learn from them.

My dog snuffles
and scuffles
amongst the leaves.
He is just there
With no care
For what I think
As I drink
In the fresh morning air.

Should you happen to be in the Crystal Palace/Gipsy Hill area, and fancy a pint in convivial surroundings, you can find the Railway Bell (and Trigger’s photograph) here, https://www.rampubcompany.co.uk/visit-pubs/railway-bell.

The Railway Pub

My thanks to my friend Jeff for taking the photograph, and my friend Henry for printing it.

Close-up of Trigger’s photo

Close-up of Trigger’s photo

My thanks also to Danielle of The Railway Bell for her kindness in having the photograph framed and arranging for it to be displayed in the pub.

Dog Bed (revised poem)

On 3 September, I posted my poem “Dog Bed”, https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/09/03/dog-bed/.

The poem as originally posted consists of 3 stanzas. However, I now feel that the second verse is unnecessary. Consequently I have revised the poem, which now consists of 2 stanzas. The revised poem can be found below:

The mark
Of your teeth is still there,
On your old dog bed.
I walk in the park,
Where
The dead
Leaves lie.

Shadows on the grass
Mistook for an old friend.
All things pass,
However much we pretend
Otherwise. You closed your eyes,
And left your mark
Upon my heart.

Trigger

A close up of Trigger!

I have lost my dear old friend Trigger. My guide dog who brought so much joy into my life (and that of others), and who served me faithfully as my guide from 4 July 2011.

Trigger relaxing on the ground

Trigger became very unwell on the evening of Saturday 29 July. My mum, sister and I rushed him to the vets. Although Trigger received excellent treatment his condition deteriated. There was no chance of recovery and to avoid unnecessary suffering I took the heart breaking decision to have my dear old friend euthanised yesterday (Tuesday 1 September).

My mum and I spent some 20 minutes or so with Trigger prior to him being sent into that sleep from which none of us return. He circled us with a pilow case in his mouth, his tail wagging and died, peacefully with that same case in his mouth.

I have so often seen Trigger greet me and family and friends with his blanket or some other object in his mouth, his tail waving wildly.

He has left a huge hole in my life. But he died as he lived, happy with a pillow case clamped in his jaws, surrounded by people he loved, and people who loved him.

Trigger in his bed

The below poem, “The Power of The Dog”, by Rudyard Kipling sums up how I feel and, doubtless how countless other dog owners feel (and have felt) on losing a faithful friend:

“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—
But… you’ve given your heart to 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 to a 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?”.

(The above poem is in the public domain).

Below are some photographs of Trigger taken several weeks ago, by my friend Jeff, in a park close to my home.

Trigger relaxing on the ground

 

My friend Trigger and me at the Park

Me petting Trigger

 

Me talking about Trigger

Me remembering Trigger

51

Its my birthday today.
I shall walk in the wood
And maybe see
A nymph.
But, if so,
I shall be good!

I shall go to the pub
Tonight
And delight
In the company of companions dear,
As we sit near
To the open fire.

I am 51.
Over half a century has passed.
Tonight I shall raise a glass
And wonder where the time
Has gone,
And be glad
That I have
Friends, and rhyme.

In this old, familiar wood

In this old, familiar wood
I take my hood
Down, just
In time for the rain.
I shall not put it up again.

Thoughts of lust,
Of lost love,
And friendship I shall retain,
For a while. But this wood
And the rain,
Shall remain.

If I Could Look Into Your Mind

If I could look into your mind
And you into mine,
What would we find?

Will you pretend
That no friendships would end
And that our inner feelings
Would not leave one another reeling?

A smile
May just that be,
A smile
But all agree
That guile
May hide inside a smile.

Some maintain
That man will
Never fully understand the brain,
While still
Others maintain
That you will never find the mind
Within the brain.

I know not whether the mind
Is separate from the brain,
But I can not pretend
That many a friendship would not end
Where you and me
To be able to see
Into the mind
Or brain
Of our dearest friend

I Have Not Thrown Away

I have not thrown away
That which you gave me the other day.
A worthless thing perhaps,
Yet hope takes time to collapse.
Maybe tomorrow
With a twinge of sorrow
It will be thrown away.
Or, like a coward
I shall put it in a drawer
Where it shall be seen no more
Save only by me,
Though ’tis better to be free
Of both it and thee.

Sometimes You Have To

Sometimes you have to
Say what is true
Although you know
That it may be the end
Of a friend
Or a love affair.

You should take great care
What you do
But sometimes you have to
Say what is true
Though it hurts
Both them and you.

Too Much Thinking

You left me alone
At the top of the street,
And I went home
While your feet,
Encased in shoes
You did not choose
To lose
Took you back
Down your own track.
Or perhaps I lack
The ability to understand
Your hug and hand.

Now I wait
And ponder on sense
And the present,
Or the past tense.
Is it too late?
A pointless question to state
Perhaps.
To collapse
Into meloncholy
Is folly.

I have a choice
To be morose
Or falsely jolly.
‘Tis better to use my voice
And ask than to drown
My frown
In a glass
Over a lass
Who may
Not think of me that way.
Lover or friend?
‘Tis better to know, than to pretend.