posted 1 Aug 2013, 05:00 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 1 Aug 2013, 05:01 ]

And oh for the touch of a vanished nose,
And the sound of a bark that is still. (Tennyson)

When Hamish’s ashes were returned to us, the invoice for his cremation bore the inscription “Let us never forget them, but learn from their silent wisdom.”

Of course, Johanna and I will never forget Hamish, but I’m not so sure about the “silent wisdom” bit. There were times when, like all of us – dog and human ‐ he could be far from silent, and far from wise. But one certainty he always offered was unconditional love. Now his beds lie empty and our home is the more still and quiet for his passing. No long nose pushes open a door to investigate what lies beyond. There is no purposeful trotting through house and garden in search of food and nonsense – just silence and happy memories.

Readers of this column will know that I moved from being “dog sceptic” to “dog besotted” during Hamish’s fourteen happy years. In fact, fourteen years ago, if anyone had told me I would weep for the passing of a dog, I would have told them to get a grip on reality. A friend remarked that to lose a dog is a bit like losing a quietly eccentric family member. One mark of the eccentric is that you are never quite sure what they will do next. That was certainly true of Hamish and the richness of his character is one reason why it was easy to write regular drivel in the Tattler about life from his point of view. His memorable character and gentle nature lie at the heart of why we feel his loss so keenly now.

As I look out on his final resting place beside a beautiful rosa glauca in a sheltered corner of our garden, I am grateful for a faithful friend, who brought love and companionship to our family through times of joy and sorrow.

Hamish Sinclair (Pepperoni Point Blank) 23 February 1999 – 20 June 2013

Eric Sinclair

© Eric Sinclair 2013