GOODBYE MY GENTLE GIANT (b.May 2004: d.29.4.2014)
It is almost 10 years to the day that I have been privileged to spend with you my dear Bruno. 10 years for a Great Dane is an amazing record, and I never thought when I fetched you from the SPCA that I would be so blessed. This photo was taken 3 hours before you left this earth and I can see you are tired.
I will miss....
Your deep throated bark - an ever present warning for me of someone outside the fence
Your youthful spirit. Even last week when you eventually managed to get up onto those long legs, you still behaved as if you were 1 year old, waiting for me with a stick in your mouth.
Having to tidy up the garden after you have chewn all the sticks you could find.
You lying and sucking on a piece of cloth, held between your front paws.
You rolling over onto your back for a tummy tickle - with me trying to avoid those long dangly legs waving about in the air.
Your inquisitive nature of wanting to know what is going on in the neighbour's yard or in my lounge. You had such a habit of standing on your back legs, with front legs crossed on the windowsill.
You trying to get as close to me as possible, either by leaning against me when I am standing, or trying to sit on my lap.
My heart is broken right now and tears are pouring out of my eyes while I write these words, but I know that my daddy (who also loved you) has met you on the other side, and you can run like mad again without your back legs failing you.
I will never forget you.
DAD (b.27.08.1931; d.9.12.2012)
As a father he was very strict, required perfection, yet was a very caring and loving father. The week before he died, during one of the last visits when he could still talk, he still told me to 'be careful driving home'. Dad expected his 2 daughters to work on the farm before and after school time, and we learnt how to be self sufficient when it came to any household repairs - skills that have stood us both well in our adult lives! Thank you dad.
2010-2012 were very hard years for you. Four armed robbery attacks, losing the use of your legs, having to be cared for by other people, selling the farm, moving away from family, and finally your second wife's death in August 2012 (mom died in 1933). I so glad Kathy and I moved you closer to my own home in Pretoria, as I could visit you every day. Unfortunately it was very hard on me to see you slipping away so quickly, and even more frustrating not knowing what you were trying to say to me, but knowing you could hear and understand me. One of my last memories is when I read out loud a funny article to you from the Country Life magazine, and you tried to laugh, but all that came out was a body shake and two coughs. On your last day on this earth while I was reading to you from Psalms while holding your hand, you squeezed it and would not let go.
I know you are with Mommy now, and I hope it is a wonderful reunion. Mom has waited 19 earth years. Please give mom a big hug from me, and remember...
"We'll meet again,
Don't know when, don't know where.
But I know we'll meet again
Some sunny day"
Your loving daughter, Margaret
CALEB (b.+29.09.2011; d.20-04-2012)
You came into my life so unexpectedly on the 10th December 2011. I walked into the pet shop to buy some dog food, and I saw you, but had absolutely no intention of taking you home. However, the pet shop owner saw me talking to you and insisted I take you, and that he would not charge me. So, rather reluctantly, I packed you into a box and took you home with some cat litter and some food! Driving home with you I was thinking whether I had made a mistake with this committment.
But oh, was I soooo wrong! During your very short life, you brought me so much joy and pleasure. Within 3 days of living with me, you were lying behind the keyboard as I typed, with your head on the keys and one paw stretched over it. This is the photo I took of you, and the image I drew up from this photo.
My little Caleb, my heart broke this morning when I saw your mangled body on the road in front of the house. I do not know why you had to cross the road, and your death was so unnecessary. I have cried and cried the whole day, and the house is now so empty now. I will miss you, my little friend.