So, as I hinted in my last post, my mum's other dog died. This post will therefore contain potentially offensive subject matter about dead dogs. Again. You have been warned.
Now the poor thing was about 110 years old and had already survived cancer and a stroke which left it lying under a garden shrub for days on end and walking sideways evermore cannoning of furniture like a staggering drunk (but yet always daftly happy) so it wasn't ENTIRELY unexpected, but all the same for someone as bereaved as my mum to basically lose the last thing she lives with, it was pretty sad all round.
The dog of course chose to die on my birthday.
Well done dog.
I shall toast you every time I get another bloody year older and remember the time you ate one of my best 'going out shoes' when you were a puppy and I nearly killed my brother for leaving my bedroom door open.
Luckily I didn't know about the dog dying because I was on a windy cliff top with my ex-husband and two children out of mobile phone range for the entire week.
I can't say I'm entirely unhappy about this coincidence as it did mean my brother was the one who got the 7am phone call informing him of the dog's demise which is probably fair as I had to get the previous dog actually killed which is like SO much worse surely (stamp foot, toss hair and sulk in true sibling fashion). All he had to do was turn up once it this one was already dead and sort it out.....
I asked him to guest spot on here and tell it how it was but he declined so I'll have to do it for him and try to do his Services to Deceased Dogs proud.
So anyway he dragged his wife - his poor long suffering wife (god love her, her family are so erm normal compared to ours, just nice lovely people. Since being with my brother there are things she has been exposed to by our family that NO woman should have to suffer including my dad's testicles, a horse trying to die under a fence, various people's arses, way too many funerals and now THIS) and baby out of bed and went to bury the dog.
On arrival the dog was lying in the doorway between the kitchen and lounge.
'Right mum, you best call Jonny to come and dig the hole'.
'Oh I have, he's gone away, he's not back today'.
'Can't you just leave her there? You know for a few days? JUST LEAVE HER' (mother starts up a somewhat theatrical wail a bit like they do in the Middle East).
My brother nervously exchanges glances with his wife.
'Err mum, you can't actually LEAVE the dog there for like DAYS. What are we meant to do? Step over it every time we want to move rooms? Let the children use it as a climbing frame? 'Come on kids! Who needs a teddy when you've got a real life dog - and it's guaranteed safe to play with! And yes that is real life poo coming out of it's butt'. NO NO NO NO NO. I'll dig the bloody hole - like NOW'.
And thus my brother found himself in a small corner of Somerset trying to dig a big hole for a big dead dog. On rock hard summer baked soil.
A few hours (yes hours) in he was in despair and needing further guidance. Where can one turn to on the matter of dog burial? It's not like you can call up one of your many friends who specialise in grave digging during their leisure times. Or get a book out the library. Or call a charitable helpline (and even if you could, like most charitable helplines it would probably say 'thank you for your call, you really must be desperate, however due to lack of funding our offices are currently closed, we are open between the hours of 10.30 and 11 every other Tuesday if the month starts with an M when we would be happy to take your call. You can not leave a message. If it's that bad there's always The Samaritans. Goodbye').
Nope - in a situation like this there can be no answer but Google. And thus he found himself locked in the toilet, Googling 'how to bury a dead dog' on his phone.....
Interesting facts which I can pass on to you all, should you be in a similar situation soon and not able to Google, is that the dog should be placed 4 foot down and about 5 inches below the surface you should place a layer of chicken wire to deter scavengers. Lets be frank here - the last thing my mother needed was the dead dog's head turning up on her garden bench 'Godfather stylee' several weeks later.
And so back he went, with the help of an axe and some wire (god knows where he got the wire from) and dug and dug and dug...
Three hours (yes three hours) later he was looking at this:
(Note: the white fluffy at the base of the picture is NOT the dead dog. That would be sick. It's my brother's live dog, Mildred, who came to inspect proceedings and probably left with more questions than answers).
So he now had a hole big enough for the dog. Actually looking again at that picture even I will admit that's pretty impressive work. It looks the work of a frantic and desperate man. A man driven by the desire to stop his mother turning a decaying dog into a piece of interior design.
He went to retrieve the dog.
By this time his poor wife had given up trying to restrain their 18 month old son and had had to put him down on the floor and for 3 solid hours dissuade him from climbing aboard the dead dog for a ride (remember the dog is lying in the doorway between the two rooms which make up the downstairs of my mum's house - it's not like you could shut the door.....).
Time had ticked on and rigamortis had set in.
This was not just a big dead dog. It was a big stiff dead dog.
And thus my poor sister-in-law found herself having to assist in making a shroud and wrestling the great big stiff dog into a wheelbarrow. I'm sure she's had better days. They then had to get the dog in the hole which posed several more logistical problems due to it's inflexibility.
But bravo - the dog is now buried beneath the apple trees and my mum is happy about that (well clearly she's not overly happy - she'd rather the dog wasn't dead but you get the idea).
I was informed of this when I returned from my holiday whilst standing on a damp recently washed patch of carpet.....
So that's it then - no more dogs. No more dog related fun and games. I for one will be glad of the rest.
Except tomorrow my mum is getting a puppy.....