Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday morning .

Out of the front gate and left along the lane. The clouds low - snow is forecast for tonight . A young calf has escaped from the safety of the barn and is standing , eyes wide, on the grass verge by the gate . It watches the two of us as we zig zag past . The lure of the rich grass overcoming fear .

We stop by the stream. On the other bank, barely ten feet away, a woodpecker works at a lichened stump. His black and white body crowned by a crimson plume. Only nature, or a two year old boy, capable of dreaming up a colour scheme this improbable.

Everywhere around scores of finches; green, blue,yellow, gold. Grubbing on the ground,climbing tree trunks, jostling noisily in the branches. A parliament of colour and movement .The males chests puffed out in bravado, the females glorying in a new day. The old fellows Sunday morning walk suddenly a journey of joy.

Wilf can't see but he listens. Head raised to sniff the air. Sensing the deer behind the elder copse. To the murmur of water and birdsong he falls asleep. Head resting contentedly on paws. Grateful owners of old dogs know that some walks are meant to be remembered long after they're done .


  1. The walks always sound so peaceful. We're usually dodging cars, trucks, bikes and scooters.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & roxy

  2. Angus, someone sent the below verse to me a few days ago. They thought of me, and it is because of posts like this, that I thought of you and Wilf.

    'Walk with an Old Dog'

    Because you will not be forever,
    Hope against time I may,
    I paint your picture in my memory,
    Eyes blue with age, muzzle gone grey.

    Because you walked with me in springtime,
    Puppy-clumsy, running free.
    As you grew older we grew together.
    You became part of me.

    Because you shared with me my sorrows,
    Not understanding, simply there.
    Often spurring me to laughter,
    My friend, you know how much I care.

    Because the years have slowed your fleetness,
    Though your spirit is still strong.
    I promise I will take more time now,
    So that you can go along.

    Because you do not fear the future,
    Living on in the now,
    I draw strength from your example,
    Yet time keeps slipping by somehow.

    Because the day will soon be coming
    When I will no longer see,
    You rise to greet me, but in my memory,
    You will always walk with me.

    (by Gayl Jokiel)

  3. Came back from a very upsetting journey reconnecting with Wilfie - who looks so beautifully goomed and happy.
    So glad he is doing fine - have been thinking about him - love Susanne, Daisy Foxxie and Kiri

  4. my zeke and i walked sometimes four times a day. this may sound silly to some, because after all, he's been gone a year now, but i cannot bring myself to walk where we walked.
    i cherish your walks with wilfee! the finches you describe sound more tropical than birds in the winter!
    wilfee is a very zen dog. he's all about enjoying the moment!
    tammy j

  5. Kim @ Golden Pines..... thank you... Goes perfectly with this post.

  6. Only those who have walked in complete harmony, kinship, devotion and bond with their beloved dog companion, can possibly understand the deep meaning of this seemingly simple act. Even though we know a physical parting will come some day, there is a sense of a timeless and eternal walk together. Happy gentle Sunday to you both. DBH

  7. Lovely poem, Kim - keenly felt by all of us with oldsters. Wilf, so glad you were able to enjoy the birdsong and all the wonderful smells of a place so beautiful.

  8. Angus, your last sentence was so perfect and Kim's poem had me really in tears. We are going through a similar journey. The other day older dog kept looking out the window and barking at things seen only by her. I couldn't discipline her. How much longer I'll be able to hear old dog bark, witness her zest and happiness for life or go on walks with her is unknown, but precious.

  9. That post has got to be the most beautiful thing I have read in a long while. May all things beautiful you share with Wilf be remember for a very long time. Keep on going Wilf, lovely boy!

    With love from your Canadian pals,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  10. @Kim - thank you for sharing this amazing poem - so pertinent. Angus, your photos are lovely but your writing really showed my mind the birds, song and countryside through which you and the wee polar bear walked. Love how Wilf is still using that one nostril!

  11. Here's to many more walks together!

  12. 'a parliament of colour' wonderful words indeed....

  13. So very true! There are so many things you savor with an old dog!

  14. That was a beautiful description of your walk. I felt like I was there with you. And, your last sentence applies to many of us readers and our dogs too. I get feelings like that almost every day now.

    Pats for sweet Wilf.

  15. Pure poetry of simple joys.
    I am glad you have so many walks to remember.