Goodbye old friend

My 18-year old husky (pictured snoozing on holiday a couple of years back) died yesterday morning after suffering a very debilitating stroke that robbed him of his ability to walk. He was my friend and companion for nearly two decades in good times and bad and seeing him fall so very ill and die broke my heart. I miss him.
I wanted to tell a story about huskies from Chukchi lore (the tribe that have been breeding snow dogs for 3000 years) and have looked into a few obscure myths, but the detail is scanty and my ability to create is at an all-time low (and it was never that high to start with). I include below a poem for him, which unfortunately uses rather forced rhyme due to my inability to come up with anything better. It is followed by another poem written to commemorate Gwynn by Terry Stannard-Smith.



For my Boy Gwynn

Blue the eyes that held my heart,
Closed now – darkness veils with sleep,
How long shall we be apart,
Till once more our meeting keep?

Your empty bed now grows chill,
The lead unused needless swings,
Yet you walk at my side still,
Passing to the Hall of Kings.

Your fur is everywhere,
Memories in corners heaped.
Licks and hugs no more to share,
Your ghost shall remain unsweeped.

My wolf runs in the Wildwood,
Velvet ears keen, eyes hunt-honed.
His fierce heart drums, all is good.
To us such proud beasts are loaned.

Return he must when pack calls,
Paw prints from me do not fade.
Without his heat, winter falls
And now everything palls

Till bright eyes and a cold nose
Bounce back the spring; wagging tail
And hot breath melts sorrow’s snow –
The Healer’s hand cannot fail.



For Gwyn (by Terry Stannard-Smith)


Candles are lit and words are said,
Mead is drunk as deeds are read.
With love we remember,
With love we recall,
The soul that has passed,
To the ancestral hall.
And so through our tears’
In the dark night of grief
From a life far too brief,
We lay you to rest.
Journey well dearest friend,
May your way always good,
Be filled with adventures,
Fine food, doggy treats.
You will always be with me,
In my heart and my home.
You will always be with me,
Till my own life be done.
Then together again,
Fine walks we will share,
We will have grand adventures,
Good food, finest fare.
Until that day happens,
my heart is your home,
by my side you’ll be with me,
in all that life shares.

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