Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ceremony for Skippy

We're here to celebrate the life of our friend Skippy and to request from any powers, if there are any listening, that he be accorded a most favourable place in the hereafter, if there be one and hoping there is, to ask for pleasant weather and plentiful grassy land. And if there could be hedges and borders of lavender, well please consider letting him stay nearby. And water, but I don't have to tell you, I guess, and something to eat if eating is required. Please restore him to the peak of his health.

If this all sounds a little presumptuous, please know that Skippy is a most worthy candidate. If anyone says a dog has no soul, and that a dog is like a machine that is turned off at the end, begging everyone's pardon but I would want to have a fist fight with that person and knock in all their teeth. (I'm sorry, score that against me, not Skippy).

I can't tell you all about Skippy, if this is reaching anyone, but if it is you probably know anyway. He came from a pet shop, got his name for leaping into a basket in the cage there, and lived all his life in Willesden London. We always planned to take him to the seaside in summer but every summer came and went and we never did it. Gladstone Park was as far as he travelled and that stretched his patience in the car, so I don't think he would have liked longer journeys. Now that I think of it, he did come with us as far Holloway where he had a friend called Whitey. By the way if he could meet up again with that friend, who passed on a few years ago, that would be great. It's Whitey from Q- Road, quite stocky, one testicle.

In his younger days he could run around in the local parks and would go a bit deaf when an attractive possible mate was around. I don't call it a sin but he did follow a pair, I think, of Lhasa Apso sisters all the way out of the park and across a dangerous road. That was the only time that happened. His walking wasn't so good in later life and he always suggested going by car to the park, which we did. He was a good guard dog, barking at any shadow on the door glass, even if there was no one out there but he wasn't to know that it was us, he never could fathom that.

Like I said, I can't tell you all about him. Everyone loved him, that's the main thing. He was a dog and he behaved like a dog, a good dog, and he was a fond companion and liked to play fetch - really, really liked to play fetch. Fetch is not as simple a game as some might think, not the way Skippy played it. He played the doggie hold-em version, not the return the tennis ball and go again version. In Skippy's version the thrower had to work to get the ball back and had the devil of a job to succeed in that, but sporting fellow that he was, Skippy would make it a little easier should the thrower show any sign of giving up.

Everyone, please raise your glasses to Skippy. Goodnight Skippy my dear, sláinte mhaith, sweet dreams.

Skippy in October this year