Hamish with his teddy bear
Garden Guardian Hamish
Today (Monday) marks 52 weeks to the day since I lost my darling Hamish (the anniversary date
is tomorrow). I find it hard to believe that it has been a year since that terrible day when I
had to make the heart-wrenching but necessary decision. He was an extremely sick boy by the
time I phoned the vet and asked him to come out to the house. Hamish was diagnosed with
sinonasal carcinoma in November 05, and in three short months the tumour had grown down the
back of his throat, making breathing very difficult, and also into his brain.
I try not to dwell on those last months because there was so much more to him - a very cheeky,
spoilt boy who I adored, and still do. He lived for his toys, even after he lost his sight to
SARDS in 2002. Every morning he would bring a toy into my bedroom and demand that I throw it
for him. It didn't matter to him that it was as early as 4.30am. He would gently put the toy on
the bed and start off with little 'yuffs' to get my attention. As I tried to ignore him and
pretend I was still asleep, the yuffs turned into yaps and then louder and louder barks. If
this failed to get my attention, he would then jump up on the bed and shove his head under my
neck, forcing my head off the pillow and the pillow flung to the floor. He would sit and eat
his toys, but each morning he would bring the same toy in for me to throw, each morning it
would get smaller and smaller. One time the squeaky toy was reduced to the size of a 5 cent
piece but he still wanted me to throw it for him.
After he lost his sight, he learned to catch the ball by my bouncing it directly in front of
him. He was amazing. There are just so many memories. There was the time I came home from work
and he was nowhere to be found. I walked up the street looking for him and calling his name.
There he was, a few doors up, looking out at me standing in the street, from the comfort of the
settee in a neighbour's house! I had never met these neighbours but he had well and truly made
himself right at home.
And there was the way he used to make me mad by attacking the lawnmower
and whipper snipper. He would push me to my limits and I'd chase after him, pretending I was
going to smack him. As he ran away from me he would pull his bottom in in an attempt to avoid a
smack. If I managed to catch him, he would grab my arm as if to say "how dare you try to smack
me". I just ended up bursting out laughing, the whole thing was so funny.
He was the most amazing boy and understood so much of what I said. We knew each other so well.
He had an amazing vocabulary, he knew words like porcupine and hippopotamus. We had to spell
words in front of him because he knew so many.
He loved everyone and everyone loved him. He had to endure 13 years of people saying "what sort
of dog is that" and sometimes not in the nicest way. Just because his ears were out of
proportion to the rest of his body, he attracted lots of attention. I would just tell them he
was an Icelandic Elephant Tracker - many people just accepted this as a very rare breed. There
was the time a car pulled up in front of our house, a person jumped out and started taking
photos. I thought they were admiring the house but it turned out they were taking photos of
Hamish - said he was the most unusual dog they had every seen. Hamish took it all in his
I miss my little boy so much. I miss so many things about him. He was the love of my life and I
adored him, still do of course.
Another little boy has come into my life now. He has turned out to be such a special soul that
I think Hamish must have had a hand in it. Little Lachlan has brought me out of a depression
that I thought I would never pull myself out of. He has made life bearable again until I the
time comes that I can be with Hamish once more.
With Hamish's loss of sight through SARDS and then the cancer, I have had the privilege of
'meeting' some truly wonderful, caring people. Some have become firm friends. I thank you for
all the love and support you have shown me, both during Hamish's health issues and later during
the extremely difficult time of his loss. I just wanted to share this day with you.
Gail and angel Hamish 22/02/93 - 20/02/06
(SARDS 23/10/02 - 20/02/06)
and little Lachlan