sometimes things happen and you can’t fathom out why? often, on an intellectual level, you can understand the cause and effect, or the sequence of events that led to the thing occurring. but, when its something that matters to you emotionally, sometimes then, despite all your best efforts to make sense of it, especially at the time it occurs, it fails to make any sense what-so-ever, and leaves you in a void of emptiness, and loss, sometimes even a loss of faith.

this is the situation we found ourselves in. earlier this year when we lost our dog fred. he died of kidney failure as a result of Leischmania, a viral infection carried by a sand fly ( when we arrived here, a few years ago we first heard of the disease, but at that point only a strain of it that affected the skin and eyes of dogs, which if left untreated resulted in death. subsequently we have found there are other strains of the disease that affect dogs, and also humans. 

none of it made any sense. i can’t begin to explain the sense of trauma and loss we felt at the time. for 2 weeks we ferried fred back and forth to the vets, in the vain hope that he might pull thru. we thought he deserved every chance. he was an incredibly fit dog, who never showed any fear or pain or suffering, possibly to his detriment, as he only showed symptoms of the disease right before he passed away from it.

a week before, he was leaping up sheer rock faces fox hunting, that’s the kind of dog he was. we never imagined he would go like that, what seemed more likely, was that he would be gored by the wild boar he was always hunting and chasing. 

if i had felt my bond strong with stanley, my first dog, who died of the kind of complications that set in in old age, only shortly after we got here, then it was hard to describe the bond i shared with fred. it was stronger, he was so very much my dog. he was the dog i dreamed of,  almost like i had dreamed him into existence, or that he and i had dreamed our relationship into being. we were devoted to each other.

he was so very alive. i have never seen another dog like him. i guess we knew he wouldn’t live long, nothing that shines that brightly can. he filled our lives in a way that nothing else did, and the subsequent vacuum his departure caused was nothing other than immense. like being stranded in deep space, unable to breathe, drfting. it has taken me since june to come to terms with it enough that i can bring myself to write something.

not that it was in any way like falling off a bicycle, but the desire to get another dog was very strong. it felt, at the time, like the only way, the only thing to do, that might in some way bring some resolution to our pain. some might say that’s a funny reason to get a dog, but it was only perhaps the motivating reason. we had been talking about it, as we always do about other dogs.

there were some criteria for another dog, we wanted another hunt point retrieve dog, one that might afford us the opportunity of working with him. and thats how we found woody. in spain, in a little village not far from the astonishing castle of penafiel (, and the wine caverns of aranda de duero (

woody is a deutsch drahthaar  ( and he’s very funny. he is also very (or wery) wuffly. 

i guess the point i’m trying to make is, you can’t have everything, everything has its time, and sometimes just to astonish you, something amazing can show up just when you really need it to.

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