My son George passed away on Tuesday the 18th of September 2018.
He had a long term schizophrenic battle since he was in his formative years to become a young man; no one knew what struggles lie ahead of us. My George was a kind, loving, artistic, curious, food-loving, gentle and generous boy. His free unbound spirit often was misunderstood as arrogant, selfish, and inconsiderate. But suppose you look at this being deeply, unapologetically, unbiased and impartial, George is someone that you can count on, that his being is his whole heart, and that he will be the one who will be your teacher of patient and perseverance.
The day before he passed away, he and I were enjoying the September walk, I remembered it as it were just yesterday.
The air was crisp and clean, it was rather cold, but the sun made us feel a warm glow inside, walking hand in hand, he said, or more accurately he advised me to get a dog. He said, put your foot down woman! And tell your man ( his father) that you want a dog. I replied: if you ever have a dog, what breed will you have and what sex?
He stood in front of me, with a longing stare at the blue sky and said, well mom, I am gay, and I am lazy, so I will choose a labrador as the breed because they are kind and gentle, a black one because I don’t have to wash it all the time when it gets muddy and I will choose a male one.
One month after my George pass away, Little George came into my life. Little George was eight weeks when stepping into my broken heart and shattered dreams.
I choose him from a pen full of labradors litters. At first, I was overwhelmed by the sight of cuteness and joy, but there’s one puppy just chilling in the corner. Whilst his other siblings were jumping about trying to feel what a human touch feels.
Little George was just calmly observing the situation before him. I looked at him and whisper, George? He lifted his head and looked at me with a twinkle. And at that moment I knew, he is the one.
He is a pure breed, black male labrador retriever, with a white mark on his chest. He’s got a floppy ear and a very sharp and piercing gaze. He loves food, loves to play, intelligent, ever so cuddly, a goofy but gentle personality and a very calm and considerate being.
He was my first, our first family dog.
Little George was a fast learner, considering that he is our first dog, we, when I say us, it is mostly me. I never grew up with a dog for a pet.
I remembered my days with little George were full of waves of laughter and goofiness. We have a private moment together: him laying down beside me, our cuddles, bath times none of these activities can be capture on my super smartphone. He is a curious and fast learner. I thought of putting him into a dog training school, but I decided to train him my self. The basic protocols such as to sit, paw, lay down, stay, and the cue of call back.
As he got older, he will sit and gaze at me lovingly when sadness overwhelmed me. He knew when I was struggling to get my bearings. He will sit in front of me, with his steady and loving gaze, as if to say ” I am here, please hug me.” He will be following me everywhere I go. If he walks a few paws in front of me, he will look back and wait for me, especially on country walks when the soil was slippery and muddy. I told my husband that little George is very protective of me. And I to him, I will wait for him when he is investigating something interesting in the woods only to appear with his perky black ear and a gaiety gallop running towards me.
With him, there are no words, but a powerful silence that connected us.
I have no idea that his life with me is brief. He has been struggling with his digestive; it is either a loose poo or constipation. I don’t assume anything of it, since every time he looks poorly, a visit to a vet and everything is fine again. But little do we know, that it is a deadly symptom and little George was suffering all of this time.
A week before, his gaze has changed; he looked sad and stared at me longer than usual, not because he wanted to play or asking for some treats or anything like that. But just a longing look that now I remembered how my son, George, use to look at me just weeks before he passed away.
What does it mean, I ask my husband when he explained to me what the surgeon told him about Little George’s progress in the surgery. Two words: either we decided to let the surgeon take all the dead intestine in his little body and let him live with ill working organs and a lifetime of discomfort or put him to sleep to end his misery.
I was shocked!! We are supposed to be together little George, you and I walking side by side, one waiting for the other if one got left behind. I don’t want my George to suffer anymore. I was back to a dark pathway, cold and alone.
On Sunday 14th of February 2021, Little George crossed over to the forever land, free at last. I’d like to imagine that my son George is the one that will be greeting him, and they both will be waiting for me by the pearly gate when my time is up.
And now as I am sitting down writing this journal, I realized that Little George was the one who is training me to get on my feet, to be patient when I need to, to be still loving and faithful to life just as I have taught him to sit, to lay down, to paw, to stay all those months ago. And he knows that my training session was complete and it is time for him to leave.
Now little George is laying by our front garden with his favourite toys. I stood beside the ground this morning and many mornings to come to greet him. I will plant flowers on top of were little George came to rest, so that by spring the land will once again rejoice for a loving memory of a young boy and a dog, that touched our lives.
Play, rest and love well you two. X
In memory of
George Tennyson Holt 7/10/95- 18/9/2018
George Holt 19/7/2018-14/02/2021