This post is a tribute to the beautiful, kind, loving, funny and big hearted Pixie who must have heard the owl call her name.
Her heart gave in this week. It was the cry of the wild.
Pixie was born on the day our first wolfhound Jai died. A few weeks after Jai’s death I rang the Wolfhound Society just out of interest mind, to see if there had been any puppies born anywhere. They told me a litter had been born in Scotland on the day that Jai had died. What serendipity – the possibility that the soul of the beautiful Jai had returned as one of these puppies. I rang and spoke with the wonderful(though I didn’t know that at the time) Fran Barnbrook of Bribiba Wolfhounds who agreed (but only after I had told her we were used to wolfhounds and didn’t have proper jobs) that we could come up and look at the puppies.
We spent some time thinking of what we would call her and whilst on a walk I suddenly thought of the name Pixie.
Ironic I thought.
Stupid said the girls.
I rang Fran.
“How are the puppies?” I asked.
“Och we have a wee one we’ve named Pixie.” She said.
I told her about our name.
“You’d better have her then,” she said.
she grew bigger.
I travelled up to Scotland and didn’t look at any of the other puppies as Fran handed me Pixie.
She was adorable, with a white fur heart on her chest and a white tip to the end of her long black tail like a magician’s wand. She waved that tail sprinkling star dust and magic every day of her too short life.
She lived by our side for nearly ten years, a great age for a wolfhound who normally average at around 7 years. Clearly coming from a good and healthy line of wolfhounds that Fran and Bill have bred.
It was her big heart that gave out in the end and ironically, on the same morning that she died one of her sisters, Maisie, also died. But several of her litter still live on. Strange to think that the two pups could be born and die on the same days.
Since she's gone our house seems so spacious without her.
And cleaner and somewhat tidier. But I miss those muddy pawprints across the kitchen floor, the tumbleweed of fluff under the chair leg. The smiling face and large wagging tail in the morning. Her excitement at the regulation dog chew which she guarded from Rocket, holding it between her large paws under the table. Her good advice on the scones.I miss the way she’d back out of a tight space between the sofa and the coffee table as if she were a small articulated lorry. I felt she should have had flashing lights attached to her rear end. I miss the way she’d perch just her bottom and tail on the sofa like a lady about to take afternoon tea. Which later she did.
"I bet she eats a lot," people used to say to me. "Yes. She's eaten the sofa and turned my boots into slingback shoes." I replied.
Yesterday I left a half a pound of butter on the worktop and realised with sadness that no one was going to steal it. And who was I going to give my apple cores to? And the crusts from my toast and the bananas which had gone slightly brown that nobody but Pixie would eat.
She’s buried in the horse’s field next to her dear old friend Beezle who is buried next to Jai.
This is the last photo ever taken of her, five days before she died, by our friend Neila who had named her own dog Stanley Ruff. Her Stanley Ruff was the inspiration for The Missing of Stanley Ruff and Pixie will stay alive on its pages in the form of Mrs Melvyn Andrews who was based entirely on her.
RIP dear Pixie.
by Don Paterson
She might have had months left of her dog-years,
but to be who? She'd grown light as a nest
and spent the whole day under her long ears
listening to the bad radio in her breast.
On the steel bench, knowing what was taking shape
she tried and tried to stand, as if to sign
that she was still of use, and should escape
our selection. So I turned her face to mine,
and seeing only love there - which, for all
the wolf in her, she knew as well as we did-
she lay back down and let the needle enter.
And love was surely what her eyes conceded
as her stare grew hard, and one bright aerial
quit making its report back to the centre.