Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Memory Lane (8)

I mentioned in my last 'Memory Lane' post the most recent holiday that Prince and I enjoyed together. We had a great time, as ever. I always referred to these trips as our 'boys own adventures', as that's really what they felt like. We always used to be getting up to no good, doing things totally unplanned, and getting into scrapes. The funny thing was, that I always knew that the two of us could face anything together, and overcome any prospective problem. Thankfully, problems were rare.

Our last holiday was no exception. Back in May, very shortly before he was diagnosed, we rented a cottage on the Shropshire / Wales border for a few days. This was a new experience, as we'd always relied on hotels previously, and I thought it would be good to have a little more freedom. The cottage was lovely, small but clean and comfortable. It had a log-burner and resident rabbits, so immediately met with Princes approval.

I can only assume that Prince was already developing the lymphoma whilst we were on holiday, but he showed no sign of it until perhaps the final night. We did lots of walking, and invariably Prince led the way. We went to Attingham Park, Carding Mill Valley, Ludlow, a local nature reserve and many other places. Prince was like a mountain goat at Carding Mill, and a piglet in the centre of gatronomy that is Ludlow! He was absolutely full of beans and thoroughly enjoyed himself - I didn't think for a minute that he wasn't well, and I don't think he did either. The only indication, which is only in hindsight, was the final night. Rather than relaxing in the sitting room with a bone, Prince decided to go to bed early. I wasn't at all concerned by this as he'd done a heck of a lot of walking and exploring for an older dog, but perhaps it was a sign of things to come.

I'm so pleased that we had this holiday - he was like a puppy again, and I was in my element with him at my side. Annoyingly, I left my camera at home so don't have any pictures from this trip, so I've included another favourite above. This was taken at Eaton Hall, near Chester. We went to their gardens open day with his Grandparents. Of course, Prince and I were more interested in the tea and cakes than the hellebores so we took up position outside the tea stall. Prince was in his rightful place, on my knee, awaiting a piece of Victoria sponge......


Lesley Rigby said...

Prince was worshipped by my husband and I (his grandparents). Nothing was too much trouble for him when it came to cooking special meals and making the best, cosiest, plumpest beds possible. Neither of us would mind admitting that this was the greatest love possible even though we have always been very happily married and love our sons dearly. There was no love like it! From the time he joined the family and came to stay with us it was important that every trip had to be "A Nice Time". My husband who has always been a workaholic would take the afternoon off and we would make sure that we achieved this for him. Two years of his life might have been wasted but every minute of his new life had to be happy. He became the most gentle (except when it came to rabbits!)and most loveable dog imaginable. Everyone loved him. I think the look in his face on this latest photograph speaks volumes for his nature. He was a "Doggy Gentleman" and there will never be a better dog. Perhaps one day Tilly will equal him but she could never be better.

Kerrio said...

You eschewed the hellebore for a sponge cake?

You pin striped barbarian! (there speak the gardener in me) LOL.

Flowerpot said...

he has a very noble expression indeed, whereas I don't know that I'd apply the word noble to Tilly! I'm sure she has many other sterling traits and will be much loved, for those, I am sure.

shelby said...

Hi Graham & Tilly
Glad my comment about shipping Tilly to the 'Grandparents' made you chuckle.
The photo on this post is beautiful of Prince, I'm glad you managed to have one last holiday with him and i'm sure there be more holidays to come with Tilly. We too had a last holiday in May in Wales with Benji, and he had a wonderful time and I have some great photos that i will treasure with all the rest. I'm off to Cornwall soon with Bailey in tow, so that is going to be interesting. Thanks for the link to Ezydog, I have just ordered a harness for Bailey.

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

Kerri - hellebore or cream & butter? No contest!!!

Flowerpot - Tilly is sulking at the moment, having taken exception to being described as anything but noble... I'm sure she'll get over it!!

Shelby - I've just left a comment for you on your new post. Bailey looks great! The harness isn't infallible, as I found out earlier - but will post about it later....

Linda Seid Frembes said...

Prince has such a beautiful, gentle way about him. This really is a lovely photo. What a handsome boy.

Oscar's mummy and daddy said...

Hello Graham,

You may remember you left a post on Oscar's blog recently. We lost Oscar the same day your beloved Prince died. I have just read through your blog and wept buckets. Although our darling Oscar was only with us for 10 months, I know exactly how you feel and reading your words is like reading about my own feeling and emotions.

It is nice to read that you have been able to open your heart to give Tilly a great home. Several people have told us we should go out and get a new dog or puppy, but I feel guilty that Oscar would feel we were able to replace him (though as you understand this is never the case). How did you resolve that in your head?

I will continue to read your blog and look forward to hearing more about both Prince and Tilly.

Katy x