Monday, October 17, 2011

In Memory of Flynn

Hello there, it’s Deccy’s Mum here. Under normal circumstances, my beloved son wouldn’t let me anywhere near his precious blog, but he’s a big hearted lad and he knows that today is a little poignant for his other Mum and me.

Today would have been Flynn's 13th birthday. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 25th May this year. One minute he was eating his dinner in the sunshine, the next he bolted across the lawn like a bullet from a gun and then collapsed. Within 10 minutes he’d gone. Just like that. We couldn’t believe it; still can’t sometimes. We walked around like zombies for days. If I functioned at all, it was on autopilot. 12 ½ isn’t exactly young but I had such high hopes of him making a grand old man. He’d never had a major illness, he was fit and well as far as we knew. I guess it just wasn’t to be.

He always slept at the side of the bed and even now, half asleep in the middle of the night, I reach out to stroke his soft silky ears before I remember that he’s not there and never will be again. He took to sleeping very soundly in his latter years and sometimes my nocturnal ear tickling would startle him, causing him to leap in the air with a mighty growl, fangs flashing, until he realised it was just his old Mum. He would then spend the rest of the night gently licking my hand by way of an apology for nearly causing me to have a heart attack!

I remember the first time I met him on 26th December 2001 at his racing kennels. There he was, this huge yellow smelly misshapen greyhound with a broken tail. I took him for a walk, or more accurately, he dragged me along frozen country lanes for half an hour, nearly pulling my arms from their sockets. I said I’d think about adopting him and went home to discuss him for hours on end.

 I have faults..many many faults but I like to think that I’m not shallow. Well, I might be about shoes and cars and trashy TV, but not about important stuff. I knew if I didn’t take him on just because he was going to be a bit of hard work and maybe he wasn’t at the front of the queue when the good looks were handed out, I would never be able to live with myself. I didn’t realise at the time, but he stole a piece my heart at the very first meeting.

I took him home in January 2002, collecting him from his kennels the day after he’d been neutered. He was still walking a bit like a recently dismounted cowboy! I was working freelance at the time and had decided to take some time off to settle him in. In my mind I was thinking about 4 weeks. In the end it was 10 weeks before I went back to work. People kept asking me when I was going back and I would insist that Flynn needed a bit more time. In truth it was me that didn’t want to leave him. Even then I needed him every bit as much as he needed me.

The first time he met his Granny (my mother) she looked a little startled and said something like “what an odd looking dog; only his mother would love him!” He was tall and very long. A bit like a stretch limo, he looked like he’d been cut in half and had an extra mid section inserted! It was therefore testament to his gentle disposition that she became his biggest fan. He always came with me when I went to stay with her, and often when I awoke I would find that he wasn’t in his usual place next to my bed. I would find him lying next to my mother, being fed digestive biscuits and  gently berated for dropping crumbs. She sent him money for his birthday and he always got a Christmas card. (My family are all slightly barmy when it comes to animals – I love them all the more for it!) He adored his Granny and losing him broke her heart too.

Most of us have big upheavals in our life from time to time and I’ve certainly had my fair share. There have been times when I really couldn’t have cared less about myself, and cliché it may be, but Flynn gave me a reason to get up in the mornings. He never judged, he just loved me. Our relationships with other humans can be complex; good and bad, genuine and fickle but there is a beautiful simplicity  about our relationship with our pets. We love them and take care of them and in return they trust us completely. It may take a while to get there but it’s all the more satisfying for it. The trust of an animal is the most precious gift we can be given and even on dark days I can’t help but feel just a little bit good about myself.

I was able to spend the last 12 months of Flynn’s life at home with him and I will always be grateful for having that time with him. I’m glad that he had a happy and safe home in the last years of his life. That is mainly thanks to his other Mum. I don’t think either Flynn or I would have done too well without her unending love, kindness and generosity. Flynn loved her. Scrap that; he idolised her. So do I.

This is an ink drawing of Flynn - broken tail and all - done by other Mum last Christmas.
I treasure it. 
Flynn was a dog in a million. I loved him to the ends of the earth and back. As Greyhound Gardens said yesterday about the loss of their beloved Roxy, we miss him more than words can ever express. But Declan helps. He really helps. To say that he has a few more issues than Flynn is a bit of an understatement but I really hope we’ll get there. Just like I told Flynn all those years  ago, he’s found his forever home now and whilst I have any choice in the matter, I’ll take care of him for the rest of his days.   

It’s been nice to meet some of Declan’s blogging pals. Maybe he might let me guest blog again sometime... but I’m not holding my breath!

17th October 1998 - 25th May 2011