Friday 12 March 2010

Final resting place

Readers of this blog may remember this photo of Hamish. I took it last Spring in the front garden of my West Highland cottage.

The stone when Hamish stands is just outside the front door of the cottage, overlooking Loch Torridon. The sheltered garden faces south, and even in Winter, if the sun is out, I love sitting there, contemplating the quiet and unspoilt beauty of the surroundings.

Hamish's preferred position was to lie on the soft peaty soil of the flower bed immediately to the left of the stone. Every year, he cheerfully flattened what was, until he turned up, a delicate display of autumn crocuses.

Hamish so loved our trips to Torridon. I think of it as his spiritual home. He knew that, once there, he'd have my full attention, no disappearing off to work and boring stuff like that. He 'd have such fun exploring the garden and roaming around the numerous and boggy footpaths along the loch and up the nearby hills. I'd let him get all muddy, safe in the knowledge that I could wash him off in a cool clear stream just a few yards down the road from the house. He didn't even mind the midges in Summer....

So it didn't take long to decide where to bury his ashes.

I drove over there a week last Sunday. Then, first off, I went down to the rocky beach a short distance from the cottage and selected a suitable stone to mark the spot. It had, of course, to be Torridonian Sandstone (part of the oldest sedimentary sequence in the UK, from the Precambrian era, approximately a billion years old, and so much easier on the paws than the other rocks of that region, the sharp angular quartzites, and coarsely crystalline schists and gneisses).

I chose a square squat stone, perhaps fancifully thinking of my compact and sturdy little dog.

Then I returned to the cottage, dug a little hole (unearthing a few crocus bulbs in the process).

I scattered in the ashes, lifted the marker stone into place, and made the bed tidy again.

Now I can sit in my favourite spot, think happy thoughts about my beloved and unforgettable little pal, and pat his marker stone from time to time and feel that all will be well.

PS Still working on ideas for a new blog. Watch this space.


houndstooth said...

What a lovely way to commemorate his passing and remember him! I'll bet the crocuses will be lovely this year!

Martha said...

I always loved that pic of Hamish - he just kinda belonged there. There is just something so timeless about the scenery up north.
It is very reassuring.
So happy you have buried Hamish's ashes there.
It will always be his special place now and I expect the flowers will bloom in earnest with wee Hamish to help.
Rest in peace dear Hamish xxxxx

Martha said...

I have just read that and thought 'happy' might not have been the right word but I think you will know what I mean! xxxx

Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

What a wonderful last resting place for dear Hamish. I bet he'd love the thoughtfullness of the rock you found to mark his spot.
One final Rest in Peace Hamish. You have left a wonderful legacy.
Just for you, I tried to use better grammar today.
~lickies, Ludo

Maxmom said...

Dearest Gail
What a beautiful,apt resting spot for the spirit of a noble, much loved dog!
My thoughts were with you the ENTIRE weekend on that trip!
You chose well!
We too are looking forward to the new venture of your chosen blog...whatever it is!
Our uplifting thoughts continue to be steamed across the skies.
With much love
Caryl and Max in South Africa

TwoSpecialWires said...

Thank you, Gail, for sharing this with us. We were just thinking about Hamish, and you, this morning. And then we saw your post. There is a certain peaceful sense of closure that we feel now ... that of Hamish's wonderful time on this earth, ending at such a beautiful and personally special spot. Now he can rest, you can return to a place where you know he will always lie (and think of it clearly when you are not there), surrounded by beauty. This is not news to you. You know. But for us, we can think about and imagine this sweet little soul now forever gracing a very special place. The memories will be warmed by the sun, protected by the stone and kept alive by the cycle of life of the earth. This means a lot to us. He will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

Jake and Fergi and Family

Stella said...

It couldn't be a more perfect final resting spot for our beloved Hamish. It will be wonderful to think of him, in this beautiful place he loved so much.


Stella and Jo

Eric said...

Gail. What a peaceful and beautiful resting place you chose for dear Hamish and the square stone stone is a wonderful marker. Perfect in it's simplicity and symbolism. Rest in my little pal.

Eric and B

We look forward to your new blog when and wherever! In the meantime take care.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The perfect spot for him to rest - always at his favourite place, always on holiday. He was such a handsome little chap. Blessings to you.

Scooter said...

Yah, I love that picture of Hamish too!! That sounds like the perfect spot for him, I bet the crocuses will bloom like crazy with his help and you can see his smile in every flower!!


MurphyDog said...

Dat's one of Mom's absolute favorite photos of Hamish. What a handsome boy he was. And what a lovely spot you chose for him.

wags, wiggles & slobbers

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

This is just a lovely way to commemorate a dear wee chap. He was so special to us and we always felt like we knew him and looked daily for blog updates. And every time we look at our dear Hamish, we hope that he can carry on the traditions of this faithful companion.

The Rocky Creek Gang and Mom

Scout and Freyja said...

It's important, isn't it? It's important where we lay to rest our best friends that we have loved so much and miss so dearly.

You chose the perfect place for your best boy to rest. Now he'll be able to watch over you when you sit outside to enjoy the sun.

ScrapsofMe said...

Fresh fields and woods! the Earth's fair face,
God's foot-stool, and man's dwelling-place.

It's an absolutely perfect spot for our wee Hamish.


Bonnie and the support staff

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

We should all be so lukhky as to see that view during our lifetimes -

Not to mention have it fur the rest of our days -

Thanks fur sharing!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

The Black and Tans. said...

Such a lovely place for Hamish to rest. Thank you for sharing this special moment with us.

Molly, Taffy and Monty

Dughallmor Beagles said...

What a fantastic photo of Hamish, I haven't seen it before, lovely! And I can't think of a more beautiful or appropriate resting place for the wee man :o)

We're still really slacking but so look forward to your new blog.
Nicky & the Beags, who send slobbers xx

Two French Bulldogs said... beautiful. Hamish is happy walking around and watching his home. We will wait for blog updates
Benny & Lily

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

We read this with tears and smiles and a quiet content that dear wee Hamish is at peace. We hope that the healing power of time, love and friendship helps you, and the joy you have in this special pup's memories will sustain you....

Sent with love,

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanny

Dexter said...

That is the best. Now little Hammish will be in his most favorite spot forever.


Anonymous said...

Becky from Singapore said:

The perfect commemoration for Hamish. It must have been heartbreaking, but I hope you feel better for it. Good to hear from you - a lot of us out here are concerned that you're OK!

(I can only seem to log on 'anonymously' but that's probably just my ineptititude with the blogging world...)

Anonymous said...

Becky added:

Oops - and ineptitude in spelling ineptitude. And I’m a journalist...

the magic sleigh said...

Wooos Gail! I think woo picked a perfect resting place fur our dear friend. Mum so fell in love with Hamish too, that has has made the decision that her next doggie will be a Westie, and possibly named Hamish if it is a boy...We hold woo in our hearts!
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

This was indeed the perfect spot for sweet little Hamish to spend his eternity. That stone looks heavy...hope you didn't pull anything carrying it there. We'll be visiting your new blog.
Smooches from pooches,
BabyRocketDog and Hootie

Jesse the Westie said...

There could be no other spot more beautiful than the one you have chosen. Bless you and Hamish, may he rest in peace!

Jesse the Westie and mom

Asta said...

I can't imagine a mowe fitting a bootiful westing place fow my sweet fwiend hamish..i wish I could come wif mommi and sit thewe and think and's peaceful and lovely and the stone couldn't be mowe pawfect
west sweet fwiend till i see you
love and smoochie kisses

Joy said...

Perfect spot, Gail. Thinking of you. God bless.

Unknown said...

Ohhhh - that's beautiful. Just the perfect resting place for a wonderful little dog.

Hsin-Yi & Honey the Great Dane

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute and a great story. We can All picture you enjoying this beautiful spot. And petting the strong stone that marks Hamish's resting place. Give him a pet for Us, would you? AAArroooo! Stuart