Hamish Seamus Samuel 1995 – 2012
In September 1995, we went to pick Hamish up for the first time. There was the largest most orange moon I’d ever seen, hanging low in the sky… I’ve always thought of it since as Hamish’s moon… We had been told there was an Alsatian pup found in a coal shed. Suzanne really wanted an Alsatian. Anyway, this little runt of a dog runs out, and onto the back of the couch and then proceeds to pee on her. She was not impressed but I couldn’t go and see a dog and then refuse it.. so I begged her to give it one night. We brought him home and he slept in a huge cardboard box filled with blankets at the foot of the bed. Jesse had already claimed the bed and Suzanne was of the opinion that two dogs on the bed was too much and we might not keep him anyway and hey, why not train him to sleep off the bed…
Well, poor Hamish whined and Suzanne ended up sleeping all night across the foot of the bed holding his paw. That was the last time he didn’t sleep wherever he wanted 🙂
Hamish lived a long happy life following me from room to room and from country to country for almost 18 years. He was with me from the time I was 28 through my 30s and halfway through my 40s. He was my constant companion and comrade and his true love was Jesse. He was a playful eejit with Jesse and they still rollicked like pups together at the ripe old age of 16. Jesse was the Queen of the house and poor Hamish was never allowed to be King, he was named the Royal Consort.
He kept going after Jesse died in Oct 2010 but he couldn’t bring himself to rollick as much with Clio as he had with his queen. He was content to keep an eye on us and constantly patrol the house (I never thought I’d miss the incessant sound of dog nails on laminate floors) and the grounds (even in the pouring rain). He enjoyed his morning run and bark at Zeus next door even at 17.5 years (like 180 or something in human years).
He stoically put up with being taken to Dublin 5 times over 2 months for injections to try and treat the oral melanoma that came out of nowhere and in the end beat even his enduring body. He then accompanied Clio and me when she went through 5 surgeries in a month in Dublin. He sat quietly through most things including when I forgot to put on the handbrake in the camper when I stopped at a service station for fuel and it rolled forward while I tried desperately to unlock the door. Hamish was still sitting on the bed facing the back, probably wondering why I was suddenly driving so slowly.
Hamish is one of the reasons I believe dogs are precious gifts to us. His physical presence at my side for 17 years and 2 months has been a gift of pure love and loyalty. When weakness in his legs made him unable to patrol as he had been doing until two days ago, I had to make the decision yesterday and the vet and nurse kindly came to the house last night to help him pass. For the first time, he showed yesterday that he was ready to go. And, as usual, he shared this with a calm and happy strength.
Hamish passed in my arms at 10.15pm last night at the time of the Samhain solar eclipse and the new moon. I don’t really know much about eclipses and dark moons but I believe Hamish’s moon was winking at us.