Thursday, October 14, 2010

The only one they didn't tell was Wilf.

The sun shone down from a cloudless sky. A perfect day for playing endless swing biffing, touch rugby and hunt the meerkat in the warmth of the garden. ' The font' is a bit worried that all this running around might cause the tumour on his spleen to rupture again but hey, there's life and then there's quality of life. Spaghetti for lunch. Chicken and potatoes for dinner. Bowl licked clean.

He's supercharged with energy. They'd warned us that he would sleep more and more as the cancer takes hold. Seems the only one they didn't tell was Wilf. Seven walks yesterday. He would come and sit in front of me, eyes bright, signalling it was time to go out. Not just any walks. He knew exactly where he wanted to go. A different route each time. It was as if he was determined to capture and recapture all the scents and memories of his time here. Much standing rock still, nose high in the air, drinking in invisible scents and perfumes. It's as if his senses are heightened and he's listening to a symphony where I only hear the wind in the trees.

This morning down to the local market town for a coffee and a bowl of water with the beer and absinthe crowd. A cheerful ' Bonjour Wilfee' and a tousle of his fringe as the waitress set down the water bowl. More of the croissant as a treat than he usually gets. To the outer world no difference ; to me the knowledge that this thing is working away inside. That wonderful PON like silkiness of his coat already coarsened.

Back home to find two white vans. The man to repair the gutters and the man to put the 'chapeau' on the chimney. Tyres, wheel arches, and tow bars carefully examined and christened. The workmen told in no uncertain terms who's the boss.

Madame Bay arrives. Ignoring us, she sits on the floor next to Wilf, cupping his head in her hands and stroking his ears. In a glorious display of Gallic unselfconciousness she starts to sing a lullaby. For the first time in the 35 years I've known 'the font' I go upstairs and pour a pre 'sun over the yard arm' shot of Gods equanimity restoring amber nectar. Not a small shot but a good John Wayne sized slug. Celtic men do not do emotion well.

Wilfs twilight gathers gently round.

PS. Thank you so, so much for all your messages. They provide a double cure of comfort and kindness.


  1. Thank you for sharing your life with Wilf with us. It has been a great pleasure reading about it each day. It is as if i knew Wilf as my own.

    We don't do emotions here very well too. But be comforted that we are all with you at your hour of sadness. The power of the paws are with you. Our love to Wilf.

  2. Oh, Angus. Wilf is creating a photo album for you to remember each bit of each day. Enjoy him!

  3. thank god wilf meet you and all the colourful people the things that have built his life, all the things that surrounds his world, he will go with only the best memories enclosed in an everlasting blanket of warmth and love...

  4. Thank you for posting about Wilf and sharing him with us. My first task this morning after letting The Thuglets out was to bring my coffe and check in on Wilf.

    Enjoy today with him. Pawsative thoughts from us here.

    We're glad nobody told Wilf!!!

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  5. How wonderful that Wilf has rallied and wants to enjoy all his favourite things!

    We may have to hit the amber liquid, as well.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  6. Wilfy what a perfect day! Spaghetti, and potatoes two of my favourites, Have many more happy moments with your loving family and friends in France,(a sunny day here in Cardiff also!)Thank you Angus for keeping us updated. Luv Rupiec, (Roo to my friends) XX

  7. Thinking of you and the Font tonight... and of course, sweet and noble Wilf.

  8. I am a welshman that cries easily...
    I have cried at your words today

    well written angus

  9. emotion is not a weakness where ever you come from or whatever your beliefs....thinking of you all...xx

  10. Every moment left with Wilf is one to cherish, not just for you and 'the Font' (and Madame Bay) but for all his devotees worldwide.
    Thinking about you here in dreich Aberdeen.
    Gail and Bertie.

  11. I got through this to 'the double cure of comfort and kindness' without losing it. What a wonderful phrase - a double cure. My, what I'd give to find a double cure for his tumour.

  12. I'm another who has been moved to tears over a dog I've never met yet got to 'know' through your wonderful words Angus. Much love and strength to you all over the next few days.


  13. Tears are rolling down my face after reading this post...i am so sorry you are all going through this hard time,
    Dearest Wilf you are in my prayers,bless your little heart,
    Much love Kristina x

  14. Tears here too The world is crying for Wilf!

  15. Bittersweet - treasuring the last days while facing the inevitable - amber liquid sounds ideal.
    So glad that Wilf doesn't know. The uncomplicated get-on-with-it attitude of pets who will only worry when they detect your sadness. His pain relief must be working.
    I feel so sad - and worry about you and the font being left alone....

  16. I'm so very glad that for today has been a good one for Wilf. None of us know how many we have. I am so sorry, however, for how painful it all is for you all. You and Wilf remain uppermost in our thoughts through all this.

  17. For me, I have loved the days when I know that despite a grim diagnosis my precious pup is loving and living life to its fullest; those days are real gifts! Wilf like his brother has the heart of a lion and soul of a warrior, and so many of us in his corner, routing for all of you to continue ahead with courage!

  18. They can be so resilient, can't they? Wilf wants to be sure you and he can enjoy your time together. Hugs to all.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  19. what a beautiful story of how to live...Wilf will have good and bad days, as the tumor bleeds he will be down, when it stops he will auto-transfuse his own blood and feel better...i know all three of you will savor the good times...
    i have come to love Wilf too, his crazy antics and his zest for life...a lesson for us all....

  20. I'm speechless. Sad beyond words - too teary-eyed to see the keyboard. It's unbelievable that this can be happening to the wonderful Wilf, so sweet and handsome, and so soon following the loss of Digby. If my mind is reeling, what is happening to yours?

    I'm so very sorry. You've certainly given Wilf a fantastic journey, and I suppose Wilf (and Digby) have contributed right back to yours, haven't they?

    Make the most of the time you have left. I suppose you don't need me to tell you that. The Amber Stuff will help, but not too much! You want to remember that sweet face with some degree of clarity!

    Stay strong. You are all in our hearts.

  21. Angus, what a wonderful, bittersweet day. Before my Dad left us, he came to my house (where he had lived most of his life) and just walked around and looked at everything - it was like he was memorizing his time here. It sounds as if Wilf is doing the same. I hold your family close in my heart.

  22. Savor each second. Having been through this so recently, I with my cat Mica and you with Digby, memorize his floppy ears, the scent of his coat after a long walk, those sighs of pure contentment. It is time well -spent.

    Love to you all,

    Jane and Petey

  23. Enjoy this time, it is a gift. Love and blessings to all of you.

    Maggie Mae and mom

    PeeS Mom held it together until she read the last paragraph....

  24. What a beautifully written and very moving post. Let's hope that Wilf can slide away happily and peacefully having had this much fun right to the end.

  25. I "met" Wilf yesterday, sent over to your blog by Toby. I fell in love with him at once, he is so sweet looking, and his eyes, so full of love. And now I'm crying over my keyboard reading that post. Silly?! Not really. In that crazy word, it is good to know that love is still in the air...
    I wish Wilf can go on savouring every bit of those last days with you.
    And here I go again, French girls don't take emotion well either...

  26. This community of pet blggers is like nothing else I have encountered in my life, we share the fun times and the heartbreaking times. My goes out to you at such a difficult time in your lifes and I pray for a miracle.
    Wilf reminds me of Molly determined to make every second they are around count and to leave you with a heart that is packed full of amazing memories,
    May the rest of the memories you make together be wonderful and joyous.
    With much love
    Mollys Momma Tea
    x x x x

  27. Thank you very much, angus, for sharing with us your deepest thoughts at this hour.
    We here are thinking about you and your family.
    It is alright...Wilf need not be told...he knows, like all dogs know. But because he knows better than any man how to lead life to the fullest, he remains un-perturbed.
    We love you, Wilf...with all our heart...
    Buddy n Ginger

  28. I guess that's one of the things that attaches us so to our furry companions -- their vulnerability -- living life in the moment -- not knowing what the next moment has in store. Underneath the tears, we're so pleased that Wilf continues to enjoy the life he loves so -- creating those bittersweet memories for you all and for all of us!

    The one question doctors can never really answer is "How long?" That seems to be the province of a higher power.

    Love to you all,

    Joan and the Barkalots

  29. I'm not a regular visitor (via Pamela at House of Edward) but am unutterably sad to find you saying goodbye to Wilf so soon after Digby. You write of Wilf's days so beautifully. I'll join you in a John Wayne-sized slug! To a peaceful journey.

  30. So many of us over here have made your lovely blog a part of our morning routine as we wake up to the day. We care a great deal for you, Wilf and the Font. Still reeling from losing Digby and then my own wee Sally, and now there are to be bittersweet days ahead for dear Wilf. Holding you all in our hearts.

    Yankee Gal

  31. We are friends of Asta's. We just wanted to stop by and tell you that we are sending purrs and prayers. Wilf is a beautiful woofie and we are so sorry that he is so sick. We are thinking of you.

    Love, uSSSSS

  32. Angus: You are again showing us grace personified. Such grace is hard to find but you have it.

    You wrote a paragraph the other day that keeps running through my head because it so perfectly describes how I feel about dogs. It was: "Good Calvinists say there are no dogs in heaven. They're missing the point. The truth is heaven has already come bounding up to us,muddy pawed, wet nosed, tail wagging, in the selfless, trusting, uncomplicated love of this family fellow."

    Then, today, your descriptions of the simple events of a day, with your obvious love of Wilf glowing through, almost brought me to tears. The vision of Madame Bay sitting on the floor singing to Wilf was too much for my heart to handle.

    May you, the Font, and Wilf have another day of love together today. I am thinking of you.

  33. good job Wilf...sounds like Maxdog has come to you to offer you some days of Grace to help make the transition to the rainbow bridge easier for your humans.

    Mom says she'll be thinking about you guys every day, sending love and strength and lots of virtual filet mignons for Wilf.

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

  34. What a wonderful day the two of you had together. If only the rest of us humans would take a page from your book of experience and do what you are doing with Wilf each and every day with everyone that we love - make the most of our time and live each moment as though it was our last.

    Both Digby and Wilf were/are wonderful teachers, aren't they? If only those of us who come here to visit would remember to take what we learn and practice it each and every day. That is their legacy, you know - teaching human beings how to live in the moment for the moment's sake and to let the future take care of itself.

    Over here in Michigan you are and Wilf are carried in my heart each and every moment and - don't think that your words have fallen on deaf ears. Plenty of extra love and treats are being shared with my furry crowd in honor of Digby and Wilf - and you, for sharing your most personal emotional struggle and pain.

    PeeEss: In 1997 my German Shepherd Dog, Tony, died of hemangiosarcoma. He was playing with his ball one moment and experiencing horrific pain the next. He died in my arms. I know your heartache all too well.

  35. I am so sad reading your last posts. Wilf has stolen my heart. Today, was just too much. I am thinking of you all.

  36. I know you don't know me but I found you through MaxMom and I read your blog once in a while. I'm so sorry to hear about your lovely Wilf. I think they know when the end is Bootsie that I lost in December wasn't doing well in the end but the night before he went to the bridge he got up and wanted one last walk then he was gone the next morning. I'm sending you my thoughts and prayeres from Chicagoland.

    Denise & Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

  37. Through streaming tears we send you love and hugs and days of love and wonderfullness together Love A+A and PL2

  38. Please give Wilf a nice, long pat for Us will you Angus?

    We don't know how much longer We can keep reading your posts. We're reminded of Our own loss five years ago. Five years ago and the pain is still as sharp as it was on that hot summer day...

    But the memories are the best! Just like the ones you've given Us of Wilf and his love of life! Here's to Wilf! And his Peeps! And to Digby!

    We'll raise a glass to you all,
    Stuart's peep

  39. Beautiful post, bittersweet... sending hugs... The Offret Clan: Ina & Ron and Pack Members: Halle, Ginger, Toby & Jeter

  40. so sad to hear all this...I will send loving vibes across the waters to poochie.

  41. How sad~ I'm sending you lots of hugs and warmth today~

  42. wilf has, just as his brother digby had, the proper perspective on life. i'm so glad wilf enjoyed a day full of energy and all of his favorite foods and pastimes. may the remainder of his journey continue to be peaceful and comfortable and full of enjoyment.
    my thoughts and prayers flood out to you.

    the booker man and asa's mama

  43. So sorry to hear about Wilf. We will send him all our purrs and tail-wags.

  44. What a lovely post about one of Wilf's last glad he's enjoying himself to the hilt!

  45. Glad Wilf had a happy day yesterday.Was so sad yesterday when I read what has happened.
    From Anne in a village in the west of Scotland

  46. I can't believe it!Why this happens to you so soon again?!I haven't red you blog for 7 days and now I'm shocked and crying all the time.Last week our PON Bono(from Croatia) had a haircut like Wilf.We brought Wilfs picture to show what look we like.Be strong,we send love to Wilf.I won't read Your blog any more-it's too much for me and our family-looking our PON so alike Wilf with same maners and funny things they do alike.I hope he won't suffer pain.Hope PON named Tetu will come to your home soon because what's life without PON LOVE!
    Love from Zagreb

  47. You do not know us but we have dropped by since we learnt of Wilf. We do not know how else to console you; just know our prayers are with you and Wilf

    hugs from Coco, Tiffy and lilian

  48. We are with u all, as silent friends surrounding u all with love...Wilf is such a sweet little guy, apparently Digby needs his best friend to come and b with him..H wants to remember everything the way he wants to him, b with him...always thinking of u all..

    b safe,
    the hudson furkids..and mama..

  49. These days are a gift.
    Celtic women cry easily, if I am any indication.
    I know that silky fur well.
    Much Love,
    Pamela, and Edward

  50. we're so glad that Wilf is taking in all of his moments. you write about it so beautifully. we are keeping you in our thoughts.

  51. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have received tremendous joy from your post of your beautiful little pups and your beautiful writings. There is nothing in the world like the love of a pet, it truly is heaven on earth.

  52. Oh Angus and family, I am so sorry to hear this, but I am so glad Wilf is blissfully unaware, and treasuring his walks. You write about him so well. Much love to you all.

  53. All of us here in the Tennessee holler are praying for your strength and no pain for Wilf. I know that you are treasuring each moment God gives you. Blessings to you all.

  54. Wonderful Dog and his adventures. Love your photo's

  55. I can just picture him memorizing everything. In all the time that I've read your posts, Wilf always reminds me of The Little Prince, so I will simply leave a quote from that for you. I wish you many happy little memories from your last days together.

    "People have stars, but they aren't the same. For travelers, the stars are guides. For other people, they're nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they're problems. For my businessman, they were gold. But all those stars are silent stars. You, though, you'll have stars like nobody else."
    "What do you mean?"

    "When you look up at the sky at night, since I'll be living on one of them, since I'll be laughing on one of them, for you, it'll be as if all the stars are laughing. You'll have stars that can laugh!"

    And he laughed again.

    "And when you're consoled (everyone is eventually consoled), you'll be glad you've known me. You'll always be my friend. You'll feel like laughing with me. And you'll open your windows sometimes just for the fun of it... And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you're looking up at the sky. Then you'll tell them, 'Yes, it's the stars. They always make me laugh!"

  56. Hi Angus,

    With teary eyes, I am glad that that Wilf had a very good day today. Embrace each moment.

    Wilf is constantly in our thoughts and we have our paws crossed for him, you and "the font". You share your moments with him here so beautifully and we really appreciate it.

    We are keeping the faith for more wonderful moments with Wilf.

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

  57. Each extra day is a treasure and should be filled with such pleasures! Being a vet tech, I have to assume your vets have him on some very nice pain meds? Cats (I work at an all cat vet) are a bit different in the pain meds they can take) respond well to Buprenorphine, and I know I had my lymphoma kitty with me some extra months with it and prednisolone (for it's antinflammatory and immune suppressing properties).

  58. Sending a big lick to Wilf today, and snuggling extra close to my ma tonight. None of us knows how long we have, but all of our time together should be a golden blessing. Thanks for the reminder...

  59. We are so happy to learn that Wilf is having some fun-filled days. Being able to say goodbye and tell him how much you love him is a gift that many of us weren't able to do when we lost our beloved fur kids.

    Animals know when their time has come. They are not afraid of death, as Wilf is showing when he celebrates life in the time he has left. I hope you can feel Digby's presence. He is there to comfort you and help Wilf along when he is ready.

    Thank you for keeping us updated during this unbelievably difficult time. Your blog has become part of my daily routine. Seeing Wilf's furry little face every night before I fall asleep and reading the wonderful stories of his daily antics are a great way to end a day. I miss Wilf already.

  60. You are such a gifted writer. I feel as if I have spent the day with Wilf. A precious, bittersweet, memorable day. Thank you. You all remain in my prayers.

  61. I've cried three time since reading your last post. I cried for Wilf, for you and the font but mostly for myself. It's so hard to lose someone you love. While I've never met Wilf, I really do love him!

    Today's post makes me feel a little better. I'm glad that he still has at least a little bit of quality of life left.

  62. Dear Angus and family - I love my dogs and I cried for your Wilf - what a sweetie - he is so beautiful - he is a privilidged dog - he has a glorious life with loads of love - a happy dog. Wishing you well. Sincerly Susannae

  63. The saying “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind. For Wilf the day you described sounds just that – a perfect day.

    If only it was so easy for those who know. I wish there was something Riley and I could do from afar to help you and the Font. There are so many people around the world who care. You are in my thoughts, and I will raise my glass tonight to Wilf, and wish that his remaining time continues to overflow with the things he enjoys so much, surrounded by those who love him and is pain free.

    We love you too Wilf,
    Francesca and Riley

  64. Yet another chance to confirm the theory of how we can learn so much from our canines!

  65. Oh we are so glad to hear that Wilf is having wonderful days with do not walk this journey alone...all of us from around the globe walk with's a difficult road, but few roads are without hills and valleys...

    We see Wilf on a coaster bicycle riding at top speed down the hill with the wind blowing his beard fact, I think we can hear him giggling from here as he pedals furiously toward...Digby.

    Oh, we so love you all...

    Mumsie and the kids....XXOOOOOO

  66. Every minute a memory to be loved and cherished. Our prayers are with you.

  67. I so glad it was a GOOD day - tears are the reality of our feelings - not to be hidden or held back - but to be lived and carried with us....

    Thank you for sharing Wilf & Digby with us....

    Hug him tight and tell him we all love him & treasure his view of his world.


  68. Enjoy each other!!! You are an awesome dog and absolutely beautiful!!

  69. We are friends of Asta and Rocky's. We want you to know that we are holding you close in our thoughts. Wilf is very lucky to have such a kind and loving family who treasure him so much. Treasure every moment you have with him. These are precious memories. Know that he and Digby will always be around you and watching over you, The love never dies. We lost one of our family in August, so we understand your pain. Please know that you are not alone. Your blog is beautiful and a wonderful expression of your love. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
    Skye, the Moondance Huskies, kitties and mom Joan

  70. Thank you for sharing these precious moments with all of us, who feel like we know Wilf and love him so. Your words make us feel we can sniff those smells and heaw the sounds, madame Bay's lullabye brought on the tears.
    He will remember it all..all the love and richness you have given him
    praying for more days like this
    smoochie kisses
    Asta and Mommi

  71. Wilf, we won't comment daily, but we're following your journey every day and surrounding you and your humans with love every minute. We know Angus & the Font will try to muster the same grace you are showing as your journey comes to an end. May the road rise up to meet you, little buddy.

    Jed & Abby

  72. My heart goes out to you and I pray for many more days for you with your wonderful Wilf.

    Erric and B x

  73. Angus,
    We have all grown so fond your life and unfortunate loss with these Pon's. We pray that the Doctor's diagnosis is wrong or a stronger force intervenes and Wilf lives on.

  74. Dear Angus, it overwhelms me the love you have for Wilfie . I live in a similar strong symbiosis - my terrier rests his head in the palm of my hand when he falls asleep -
    I wish you countless days of grace - I have fallen in love with Wilf too. Keep on being strong - enjoy the infinite love there is between you.