Friday, September 28, 2012


It's tough handling this grief over Sprock's passing. Have to admit I'm devastated that he's gone. Keep going back over his last few months and blaming myself for his decline. The first clue that something was wrong was when he first started poo-ing yellow liquid about three(?) months ago. Checked the internet for further info and discovered it could have been something he'd eaten, like a bit of cow poo that he was quite partial to. No mention of a liver or spleen problem though - that's the last time I consult the internet for veterinary advice. Problem didn't clear up so I took him to the vets'. Can't remember exactly what they did - I think they gave him an injection and issued me with some medication of some sort. It's easy now to blame them for not spotting that he had a serious problem, but I'm trying very hard not to. Spoke to Georgie on the phone this morning and apparently even if they had spotted the cancer or tumour, or both, there was very little they could have done. But what caused it? Maybe it was when I smacked him a bit hard a few months back (yes, I know you shouldn't smack a dog, but Sprock, bless him, was prone to getting a bit carried away occasionally). So I'm thinking that maybe I caused his death, which is a terrible burden that I guess I'll just have to live with. However, tough as it is for me, it's even tougher for Georgie back in London. She, like me, is constantly in tears at his passing. Poor thing has only been able to see the mutts occasionally over the past seven years. And now the joy of being with them both has been taken from her. Easier for me though because I was with wee Sprocky right up to the end.

Anyways..., I've put his dog bowl away, hung his collar on the kitchen fireplace and rolled up his rope on a branch of the apple tree. Haven't yet removed his dog bed because Jock sometimes uses it and I thought he'd like some kind of continuity. Have also spent hours going through my laptop photos. Put most of the doggy ones in a new 'dogs' file and have decided to upload a few more faves of Sprock. Don't really have any from his younger, pre-France days (I think they're all in my old laptop which can't get onto the internet - maybe I can download them onto a disk??? - I'll try later), but I did find an old snap of the mutts when Sprock was just a nipper. I've cried a river going though these old photos, but hopefully they'll remind us of happier times. I like to think we gave him a good life. He certainly added joy to ours.

 (Sprocket on the recently named 'Sprocket Hill' where I intend to spread his ashes.)

P.S. - Georgie's just emailed a few of her Sprock photos...


  1. Tommo, you did your best for Sprock, and he had a good life with you. Don't blame yourself for what you did or did not do, that you shouldn't have done this, or you should have did your best to care for him, and it was as it was. But I do connect with the pain of the heart that you have. It is a fearsome thing, that ache deep inside the chest, and worst of all, there is nothing one can do about it, apart from keep busy and let time pass. Thinking of you. x

  2. Oh Tommo, you are very brave to be able to go through photos of Sprock at this stage of grief, I could never have done that.
    Please don't blame yourself for his passing. Like us, they are prone to many ailments that don't show up until it's too late. And like I mentioned before, even if he was ill, he would not have let on, so there was no way you could have known that it was serious. You may want to blame the vets at this stage, and that is okay too.
    He had a GOOD life, and he was one happy little fellow, that brought much happiness into your and Georgie's lives.
    May happy memories comfort you at this time.

    1. Thanks Virginia. Yes, I think he had a good life and that he was very happy.

  3. I agree, you should not blame yourself, or anybody else.
    When my previous dog was "put to sleep" I spent months wondering if I had made the right decision. The moment she was gone I just desperately wanted her back. Anyone who loves their dog will always torture themselves wondering if they could have done more but in reality - probably not.

    1. Thanks Jean. At least we gave him a far better life out here in the backwoods of France than he would have had back in the UK.

  4. Tommo, I know it will be difficult... there will be days which are dark... but then again, days when a funny memory of Sprocket will slide into view and make you laugh or smile... just read Veras posting about cow and sheep dung... it gave me happy memories of Jake, my Border Collie, who would charge at sheep droppings and flip onto his back at the last minute.... thus giving himself a green streak of his favourite per"fume" all the way down his back... it was then shampoo the back and hose the dog down time... which he hated. But he was a great dog... there will never be another Jake... but there will be another Border Collie!
    And a Standard Puddle [like Jean's Lulu] if my wife has anything to do with it!!
    And that gives me a future smile... the image of Lulu and the proto Lulu and a young Border Collie hammering around our huge meadow.
    Your smack wouldn't have harmed Sprocket, don't fret yourself!
    And your answer to Jean says it all... now find another "Sprocket" type dog to keep Jock company... but remember... it will never be another Sprocket... but it will fit in!

    [Often visited and read your Blog... I think this may be the first time of commenting, though, but felt I could contribute... keep well, Tim (in the same village as Jean and Nick's house)]

  5. Thanks for commenting Tim. Yes, it's weird how these mutts like rolling in dung. Sprock's fave was deer poo which has a particularly strong aroma - eugh! Am thinking of replacing the wee scallywag but hope to make a decision during next week when Georgie pops over. Trouble is, Sprock was one of the many reasons I/we moved out here - because of his aggression towards other dogs, he couldn't really be let off his lead in the UK. And now he's gone, that's one less reason to stay here. Really don't know what's going to happen next. His passing raises a whole heap of issues that Georgie and I have to address. Should be interesting.