Sunday, 7 August 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I apologise for rudely abandoning the blog without a word of warning, especially after all the incredibly kind comments you left on Friday. It turned out that what with an engagement party, attending the Highland Games, cooking Aberdeen Angus for the guests, and general domestic activity, there was no time for blogging.

It was a very, very sweet visit, and the cousins could not have been more adorable.

Here are the three small ones, with a very-pleased-to-see- them Pigeon:

7 Aug 2.ORF

Mixed in with the joy of seeing them, there is also sorrow. It was thirteen years ago today that two small black bundles arrived at my sister’s house, just down the road. I remember that high, sunny day as if it were yesterday. I remember the look of amazed delight on the Younger Niece’s face, her mouth open in a cartoon O, as she held out her hands, and took the tiny puppy that would become the Duchess into them.

Three years later, they came to live with me, and they have been here ever since, until the morning, four months ago, when the Duchess’s splendid, beating heart stopped. It feels a bit stupid still to grieve a dog, but I do. I feel it aching in my throat, a pulling yearning that is not yet done with me.

I can do a pretty good job of normality now. Time does help. I can go out in public and smile and make conversation. There is space for laughter and joy. But the sorrow is strong, for my old dad, and my dear canine, and I can’t just magic it away. Someone once said: you can’t make it go away, but you do get better at dealing with it, and I think that is probably true.

Even the weather mirrored my emotional state. There was wild sunshine on Friday, and grey rain today. It is, as I keep saying, light and shadow. The good, gleaming thing is that one does not cancel the other.

Here she is, the beautiful old lady, just as vivid to me as if she were still here:

Purdey 7 Aug 2011


  1. You don't have to explain... pets are family. They manage to express just as much as humans do - without ever saying a word. They are with us through thick and thin, and give more comfort and joy than is possible to describe. Each of them is unique, with their own personality and they leave their own imprint on our hearts. Mourn your doggie as long and as deeply as your heart needs to. She deserves to be remembered.

  2. Tania, I still miss Tara, she died 14 years ago, and our lovely BonBon died 2 years ago, in the car, coming back from France, she was 12. I think about them both every day.we still have a great, lovely boy , but he's getting on.
    Whatever you may think of Brian Sewell, I cheered when I heard him say," you will know you are in heaven, when every dog you have ever known licks you in the face."
    Keep remembering her, she is an essential part of you. Jude x

  3. I still miss each and every one of my pets, cats and dogs.......they enhanced my life and changed it for the better....I think that grieving is a positive emotion and keeps the links tight and bright with our beloved animals....

  4. I must confess that I just found out who you are! I happened upon your blog about a year ago, and was immediately drawn in by your beautiful words,spunky attitude, and your love for your dogs. The pictures are the icing on the cake! I almost feel guilty sometimes, like I'm peeking into someone else's privacy. You talk about real things - emotions that hurt, actions that are wrong, and you bare your soul. You leave us with everything put simply back into perspective though, and sometimes I even score a wonderful recipe! So "who you are" never really mattered, and it still doesn't. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.


  5. Thank you for showing us once more your dear old Duchess with her Greta Garbo glare on. She is so familiar to us too!

    I have incorporated the name of my dear late Mamma as well as those of our three adored late cats in pretty much all of my passwords, just to have the chance to use their names still now almost daily.

    I found that it is of some little but valuable help.

    Cristina x

  6. There is nothing remotely stupid about mourning your darling Duchess. She was part of your family and that's that.
    What a beautiful picture of her xx

  7. Incredibly touching and reassuring comments. Thank you all so much.

  8. Tania, I know how you feel. I had to put down my beautiful big Labrador in February and I still get stopped in my tracks by waves of grief for him. We have a new pup now and he is hilarious and such a different character but it does not fill the gap left by my big lad. Such fun having a new dog though and my other dog loves the company as she was very low after the other one died...worth thinking about??!!

  9. I LOVE that Brian Sewell comment - I love it!


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