Sunday, September 4, 2011

Time to stare .

Irene , if she's coming , is taking a long time to make her way across the Atlantic . Despite the local papers increasingly apocalyptic weather forecasts the skies have remained clear , the wind calm and the sun obdurately warm .

As we move into September the last tourists have gone leaving the village and the little market town characteristically sleepy and quiet. This morning not a single car to be seen on the road between the house and the bakers . The same on our return. The swallows will be the next to go .

This last week Wilf has been getting tired more easily , his walks shorter and less frequent . This morning he makes it maybe forty yards down the lane before stopping and stretching out on the tarmac . He lies there snifing the air, an image of a content , unhurried, dog. The cows and their cautious calves peer at him over the fence .

Their unblinking interest brings to mind a happy little poem by William Davies; in its Gloucestershire lilt and cadences the sound of the poets own sheepdog traipsing along behind him. A gentle rebuke to times finality.

What is this life if , full of care ,
We have no time to stand and stare,
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet , how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


  1. Beautiful words Angus. Best of luck to Wilf.

  2. Applause from our quarter. It's lovely that you just allow Wilf to find his own pace.

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

  3. Beautiful poem and so true ! we can learn so much from animals -we all need sometimes to stop and just enjoy the moment-just as Wilf has just done x

  4. Wonderful - I love the "Stops" when I have to wait - then I discover so much... because I look around.
    Greetings from Southern Italy to our favourite polar bear and family - Susanne, Daisy, Foxiie and Dandylion (the cat - one of three)

  5. Our lives can move at such a fast pace, that it can become all too easy to forget to look around and enjoy the journey. Thank-you Angus and Wilf for that reminder.

  6. Take it easy Wilfie, little walks are fine.


  7. Beautiful poem.......
    Hugs to Wilfie....

  8. As I force-feed Allie Mae, I rejoice in Wilf's contentment. You share his circumstances and changes; he adapts and goes with the flow. Lovely poem. Thank you.

  9. angus,
    my little pon zeke... wilf's twin i swear... dearly loved walks. it was his favorite thing over everything. he had the same cancer wilfee has minus the diabetes. our walks became fewer, then shorter, then just a few feet. finally he gave up and just wanted to go out onto the grass and sit in the sun. on his face was the laugh, always.. and the look that you see in wilf's face... just love and contentment.
    my good bye to zeke came suddenly with an internal hemorrhage, so it was time.
    that is why i guess i'm cherishing each moment you have with wilf. it's a chance for me to see zekey's face again each day. that sounds weird and i know he's gone, so i'm not really being weird.. i have come to love wilf for his own sake, just as we all have.
    so sorry... i'm writing a bad book here!!! too long. thank you for your beautiful thoughts and pictures and for sharing wilf with us.
    tammy j

  10. That poem is beautiful! I have seen our old girl slowing down this week, too, and it's hard to watch. And then other times I see that spark she has and I know that she's not finished teaching us what she needs to before she turns the job over to the others.

  11. We are treasuring the remaining time we have with our beloved older dog. Your blog has helped us immensely. Thank you for sharing Wilf with us. Houndstooth-exactly how we feel!
    Thank you for the beautiful poem. The other day old dog and I spent a few minutes just looking at a resting dragonfly.

  12. Beautiful poem, beautiful Wilf. :)

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  13. We are officially in our last weekend of summer. Oh, I can hardly wait for the peace that you're describing.

    I love the poem. It's beautiful and poignant.

  14. True words in the verse.. Must stop. & stare.

  15. Lovely poem, I have this posted on my board now so that I stop to take it all in myself. I too feel the same way many of the other comentors feel, Wils adventures and small triumphs over his illness give us hope both for him and our own pets. I love that you have chosen to share Wilf and his late brother Digby. I had never heard of a Pon before coming here from the late Hamishs blog. Wilf I pray for you that you never suffer and you continue to enjoy life.