I Miss

I miss you in the kitchen, my constant companion throughout the preparation of meals.

I miss you sitting watchfully at the table, taking as much interest in the chopping of peppers for Ratatouille as you did in going for a walk or having a game of fetch.

I miss your eyes on me, and your paw, gently reaching up to tap a reassurance to both of us.

I miss you waiting patiently for your portion of the food served. I miss walking from the room knowing you wouldn’t touch any morsels left on the table as I prepared a meal, not even a tasty piece of fish, or a scrap of cheese tantalisingly in reach.

I miss the pride I always felt when any guest noticed you could be trusted in this way, and the warmth of affection when I watched you take proffered tidbits from visitors with gentleness, never snapping or wolfing down. Always gentlemanly and reticent.

I miss the way you’d lock on my eyes, watching for any small expression of encouragement. A tiny nod would bring you to my hand, a tilt of the head would alert you to step back.

I miss the chatter between us, me in words and you in the soft vocalisations you used to express your feelings. You did it more as you got older, and perhaps as you got more deaf.

I miss the kitchen door banging open when you arrived to join me. Closed doors were never an impediment to you.

I miss you massaging my back. Was there ever a dog who did such a thing? You were extraordinary.



I miss you, all the time.

17 thoughts on “Missing

  1. Jack was such a lovely little dog. I still remember him sitting under the desk while we chatted. So chilled out.
    Will he still be making appearances in your paintings?
    Thoughts are with you.

  2. Oh Clive. This is heartbreaking. Your grief is so palpable and to see Jack’s face there in the shrubbery, with his bone (stick?) and his beautiful generous eyes. Bijan sends his love from across the waters.

  3. I have enjoyed your blog for quite a while from a distance. It has provided a stream of fascinating images and a glimpse of creative interaction between yourself and others. I have enjoyed every post. And of course Jack. I have to admit I always hoped every blog post might include a picture of Jack. I lost my own constant companion last November, a beautiful diva of a whippet. So I have to say thank you for being able to describe so eloquently, the void that exists after they leave. Plus another thank you for the delightful copy of your book, Hansel & Gretel which arrived yesterday. I didn’t believe it was possible to feel such a frisson of fear as I turned the pages, I was a child again.

    • Forgive the delayed reply. This was a difficult post to return to. I feel for your loss of your whippet. These little creatures become so embedded in our hearts and lives. Pictures of Jack, in future, will have to be from my archive, and I must be sparing, or people will be too sad. (As shall I.)

      I’m pleased that you’ve enjoyed Hansel & Gretel. It gave me a lot of pleasure to make it.

      Very Best.

  4. Sigh. . . . I feel I know Jack now. A special friend. Once there was a cat, Sailor, who hopped to the sink every morning–every morning–for years the moment I stepped from the shower and ran a comb through my hair. Sailor had his own set of combs and brushes. I miss the low rumble of his purr as I groomed him, quickly down his back, more delicately along his cheeks and forehead with a set of miniature combs I found in a toy shop. He never missed his morning session. I’d give anything to have him back.

    • Jack, that description of grooming your cat is delightful. I hope that you kept his miniature set of combs, and that one day another companion cat might benefit from them. One day I hope to have another dog, though not just yet. The fact is I’ve had dogs all my life, and I’m not entirely myself without a four-legged companion.

  5. As one of those who has closed my own blog indefinitely, and very largely withdrawn from the blogosphere altogether, I’ve only just wandered over here for the first time in many months and learned of Jack’s passing. So very sorry Clive; as Mol’s life dwindled and passed, you said so many kind, true, comforting, eloquent things, I can’t really say anything better. We know, when we take them into our lives, the price we will pay. It’s always worth it. Thinking of you, and Jack, with love.

    • What a tender message, Lucy. Thank you so much. Yes, these have been sad times for us. But in time the immediate pain will retreat, and we’ll have all the happy and funny memories of Jack’s long and largely idyllic life. It feels bleak right now, but as you rightly caution, that’s the way of love and the price we pay for it. I never met Mol, but she became dear to readers of your blog, as Jack became to readers of mine. It’s such touching-points that give social media humanity and warmth. When it works, it works wonderfully, and movingly.

      I’ve very nearly given up blogging on many occasions, especially when at the time of the referendum there were those who came here to be offensive. But in the end I saw them off, and stayed to continue writing and sharing. There’s less traffic here these days, but I don’t mind that. While I can, I will, and I enjoy it when I hear from old friends and fellow-bloggers who stroll in to say hello. (And in your case, an ex-guest editor at the Artlog!) Thank you for leaving a message. It’s much appreciated. xxx

      • That was such fun, that Alphabet Soup!

        A couple of months after Molly died, Tom nearly killed us on the road because he was still so distracted with grief. We were certain we would never put ourselves through such pain again. I’ll send you a photo.

  6. Oh dear Clive, such a lovely Ode to Jack, he was a wonderful companion, so very very special, I know you’re heart is broken, I know that physical pull in the chest, the ache of missing and it’s no good me saying it’ll get better. I’m glad you’re allowing yourself moments like these to exorcise the pain of your memories of him, agonising as they are the healing process has begun. I remember when old Tess died, it hurt so much I sculpted a figure of her out of chicken-wire, the action really helped ease and exorcise the pain.
    Much much love from me on a grey cold April day in France xxxxxL

  7. There’s nothing like an old dog, what a thorough little gentleman your Jack Russell looked. I do miss my Staffie terribly but still see her in my dreams.

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