Song For Wag

July 2011


It is the middle of the night and the dogs have woken me with their howlybags. This is not unusual but tonight the song is wrong. Bonnie cries while Clyde warbles. Spy doesn’t know when to join in and Bo doesn’t know when to finish. The choir is off key for their conductor is missing. Wag is dead.

For two months Wag had not been right. Coughing and weight lose were treated with antibiotics to no avail and so the vet suggested an X-Ray.

Brian suspected the worst. He took Wag, late one afternoon, chasing cows off the hill on his own, and said his goodbyes.

The X-Ray showed a massive growth in his lungs – cancer, so with heavy hearts and teary eyes we made that final decision. Wag died with his head on my leg. I said my thanks and kissed him farewell. Brian has buried him at Rocky.


9 responses to “Song For Wag

  1. I cried. I shouldn’t have read this on deadline…

  2. Mandy and Brian, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Wag. Our animal companions may be friends for a short time, but are remembered for a lifetime. Been there and had to make that decision from time to time over the years myself. Never gets any easier. My own eyes are tearing up as I write this. On our own farm, whenever the loved one of someone we know dies, 2-legged or 4-legged, I plant something perennial here in their memory. I’ll plant something for Wag out near our old Klaatu cat’s resting place. This old farm is full of memories. Echoes of the past, voices we will never hear again, still speak through flames of memories sparked by something seen or heard. They travel on starlight, the wind, and the moon’s soft, ghostly glow.

    • Love those last few lines Lavinia – have you put them in a song? It has been three years since Wag died but I still have a tear for him, and have been glad to remember him here on the blog. He was one of our all-time favourites.

      • Haven’t put them in a song in any form, not yet. I was thinking of my mother and how I miss her when I wrote those lines. She was 47 when I was born – a very strong, determined woman – 4 miscarraiges before I came along. Married at 38, first child at 39. I was the last one, she really wanted a girl that was her own child. She loved the moon, and called quartz that had been tumbled by the sea “moonstones”. I think of her every time I see the moon against a blue or fading sky, when the orb is still a ghostly white. I can hear her voice, see her smile, and I tell her I still love her.

  3. A sad story very well told.

  4. Sorry to hear of your loss. Dog’s lives are shorter than ours, and we will usually outlive any that come into our lives. Nonetheless, as pack leader, we have the opportunity to give a dog a more full life than most people ever have, as I’m certain was the case with Wag. You and Brian obviously loved him well, and no dog could ask for more than love and an active life.

    • If all our actions are spurred by love – the love of an animal, of our land, of those around us – then surely the world will be a better place.

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