Having finally waved the car goodbye, I thought I'd give the Merc a bit of a spin and maybe give Jock a walk somewhere that we hadn't been to recently. Maybe up the hikers' cottage, or down the stream valley, or out to the isolated chapel by a little forest, way over the back valley.
Drove to Felletin sort of on auto-pilot, not really knowing where to head for. Stopped off at the supermarché and bought a few bits'n'bobs. Then thought about popping next door to pick up Sprock's ashes from the vet's. Been meaning to do it all through winter, but kept putting it off. The thought of spreading his ashes on his favourite hill on a cold, grey day in winter just didn't seem right. But now it was sunny and warm, maybe the time had come.
Every time I go to the supermarché I'm reminded of Sprock's sad demise. Right by the car park, behind the vet's, is a small patch of grass in the shadow of a tree which is where I gave Sprock his final little walk. Actually it wasn't really a walk because all he did was stand still before lying down on his front. I didn't realise that he'd be dead within the hour, I just thought he was a bit ill and that the vet would give him some stuff to make him better. Didn't happen.
Despite the time being right, I chickened out. Couldn't do it. Couldn't face going back into the vet's. Drove up to the forest by the little chapel for a walk instead. Last time we'd walked there Sprock was with us. Strange, I suddenly felt he was with us again. It was almost as if he was willing me to finally get him out of the vet's and back into the countryside that he loved.
Drove back to Felletin and parked up. Entered the vet's with my head full of memories of that fateful day. Sat down in the waiting room where Sprock had flopped down on the floor before being carried into the operating room. Then the receptionist beckoned me in. When I explained why I was there she said they'd been expecting me to turn up for months. Walked out carrying Sprock's ashes in what looked like a sort of Easter egg box. Felt a bit strange being reunited with me ol' mate. Felt good though that I'd rescued him from that nightmare scenario.
With the sun heading for the horizon, we headed for what would become Sprock's final resting place high in the hills up past our village. Parked in the field and opened the box containing Sprock's ashes. Took out the tin, about the size of a jam jar, and noticed they'd mis-spelt his name. Felt a bit miffed but then saw the funny side. Stuffed Sprocket in my pocket and then Jock and I legged it up Sprock's favourite hill. Arrived at the top just as the sun was beginning to set. It all felt right. Took the lid off the tin and looked inside. For some reason I imagined that ashes would be grey or black, but these were creamy white. Didn't know whether to chuck them in the air or just plonk them on the grass in a pile. Eventually decided to just sprinkle them slowly around. There you go mate, I name this Sprocket Hill, rest in peace.
Drove back home after sunset. Felt a wee bit emotional. Been six months since Sprock's passing and I'm still not really over it. However, I'm glad he's finally been put to rest.
Wee Sprockie on Sprocket Hill