Farewell, my little songbird

Phoebe, beloved Basset hound, your baying song is now resonating through the heavens, where I know you reside – at last reunited with Mr Murphy, rascally Irish terrier, and dignified Tombi, the very Greatest of Danes.

My daily walks with you, up hill and down dale, which turned more into ambles and meanders as you grew older and slower, shall remain among my happiest memories.

You taught me to slow down and smell the roses, to employ the capacity of my senses to a greater degree, and savour the possibilities inherent to each day.

Your congenial nature led me into so many joyful, spontaneous encounters, with humans and animals alike, and you always made a beeline for children, they were your absolute favourite.

Sometimes I’d walk backwards, waiting for you to catch up, and mused that your signature tune could well be “If it takes forever, I will wait for you…”

You were a tough cookie, and survived cancer in your youth, illnesses and injuries, and always pulled through, indefatigable to the end.

Radloff Park was probably your happiest place on earth (other than on the couch in front of the fire), and our walks along the riverside and the numerous pathways were a source of perpetual delight – as were the conversations you had with all and sundry along the way.

I adored your stubborn personality, how impervious you were to instructions or my call… like a boomerang you generally reappeared when you were good and ready. I often told people that Bassets are not for the faint-hearted (and once you’ve had one, your life shall be altered forever)!

Friends sent messages, upon hearing of your departure to the great meadow in the beyond… Anita aptly said your were a dame of note, to the very last, so dramatic, an absolute character.

Doris recalled how many lives and hearts you touched, and Ingrid said you couldn’t have been more loved, with walks galore.

Annetjie often passed us on morning and evening perambulations; she said you were such a special girl; she’ll miss the unmistakable “Phoebe call” over the distance… which Di echoed, “We’ll miss her voice, which we so loved.” Thank you, Charl and Lucia, and Vic, for the hugs and help on the day Fate knocked.

When I look at the photo I took above, of all my hounds so long ago, when we lived in our lovely little cottage on the Blaauwklippen Road, I am overwhelmed by all my blessings and recollections.

That was also the year I took on the role as Bolander’s editor, embarking on a new and wonderful journey, and the three of you (and feline friends Linki and Max) were such good company.

You all taught me life lessons… of patience, courage, responsibility, endurance, and love expressed as an action, and deed.

Thank you Teva Vet team – for your valiant efforts to save Phoebe on Saturday, and relieve her of suffering.

Grief is the price we pay for love. So the ache in my heart, and the resounding silence in my home, are countered by the absolute knowledge that I emerged the richer for having known you, dearest houndy girl.

Carolyn Frost – Editor