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And The Bagpipes Played

The passing of a beloved pet is always tragic, even more so when you have to choose the time of the passing.

The dreaded question that plagued us during Wolfy’s two year battle with cancer was “how will we know when it’s time?”

How short is too short, how long is too long?

Any time would be too short for me. The thought of losing my beloved pug was killing me. The thought of never seeing him again, of never touching his soft fur or having him cuddle up to me when we watched television was beyond painful.

We were charged with making that fateful and irreversible decision and the burden weighed heavily.

Some dogs will let you know when they want to go but I knew that Wolfy would struggle to the end. He was the most stoic dog I have ever met. Wolfy came to me from a pug rescue with only one eye and was a bold, feisty little boy. Every challenge thrown at him he dealt with in a creative and courageous way. Yet it was his bravery and stoicism that were going to make the decision difficult.

Wolfy became a part of our family in August 2007 and somehow, as his time came close, I knew that he would be leaving us in August 2013. August slowly wound to an end and I watched as Wolfy’s symptoms became more acute. We made the appointment to let him go on the evening of Friday, August 30.

As the day arrived I prayed to the Pagan Gods I had almost lost faith in to give me a sign it was the right time, but none came. The almost two hour drive to the vet gave me plenty of time to question our decision. I felt bile coming up in my throat as we neared the destination. We had decided to take Wolfy and the rest of our pack for a final walk around Lilydale Lake. The lake is only a few minutes from the vet and has been a place we visit often with the dogs. Many a day has been spent sitting and drinking coffee in the park while waiting for one our dogs to finish having surgery.

We drove into the darkened park and I said my final prayers to the Underworld Gods Hades and Anubis – please give me a sign. Surely they would understand. Hades has his own dog Cerberus and Anubis is… well he’s part Jackal!

As we got out of the car we heard bagpipes start playing in the distance. It was surreal and haunting but more than that, it was a sign. One of my favourite television shows is Hamish Macbeth and in the tragic episode Wee Jock’s Lament, bagpipes are played at the little dog’s grave. As I listened to the bagpipes I cried and said “They are playing the bagpipes for Wolfy”. So began our pre-funeral march. We went for our final walk as a pack towards the darkened lake, glistening in the dim lighting. The bagpipes filled the air with sombre notes, nudging us towards our final task.

Wolfy passed peacefully surrounded by his family and his pack. He died at 7.20pm, the same time that I was born. Another sign and another link that will bind me forever to my beloved Wolfy. As a life was taken, a faith was renewed.

My pug friends say that Wolfy is at the Rainbow Bridge. My Pagan friends say he is in the Summerlands. My mother says he is in Heaven. I know that Wolfy is running wild with Cerberus and his pack.

Until we meet again in the Elysian Fields.

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Personal account of laying my dog to rest.

I’m a keen amateur photographer with a passion for nature photography, food, drink and still life photography, architectural photography and anything gothic.
I’m also a non-fiction writer specialising in tarot, numerology, witchcraft and vampirism. I also have a PhD in Film and Witchcraft.
You can visit me on my blog vsomethingspeaks
or my website

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  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 1 year ago

    Vicky ~ I am so sorry to hear that Wolfy has passed over into another dimention. I know you did the right thing by letting him go. He no longer has any pain or suffering and I believe he can see you with both eyes now….although I know one was perfect enough for you. What a beautiful write and tribute to such a sweet boy. I’m so glad to hear he got to take a last walk at the lake with his doggie pals and his favorite person in this world… I had shiver when I read about the bagpipes and I know that must have given you some sort of comfort for you at such a difficult time. Run free on the other side Wolfy… free of any pain or worries. You will see him again one day. Such a beautiful tribute Vicky. Your little one is a star.

  • Thanks Ginny. I still picture him with one eye but with the sight restored so he can “keep his eye on us” from the beyond :) Having him buried in the backyard is a great comfort and I love having a cup of tea next to the grave and chatting to him. The bagpipes sent a shiver down my spine too – they are an incredible instrument.
    Thank you for the favourite.

    – v-something

  • jainiemac
    jainiemacover 1 year ago

    Vicky it’s never an easy thing but in your heart and soul you know it’s for the best . i’m sorry you have lost your little mate .
    He’ll be ever in your heart .
    We had to part with our beloved Buffy this time last year
    your tribute and memories so beautiful and fitting for Wolfy.
    My best to you

  • Thanks Jane. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know the time was right for him but it was so hard to let him go. Having the support of people who have gone through this – like you with Buffy – is great. Condolences for your loss last year.
    Thanks for the favourite.

    – v-something

  • Donna19
    Donna19over 1 year ago

    So sorry for your loss. I know this feeling and just hurting for you. xo

  • Thank you so much Donna. So sorry that you have gone through this too. Such a shame our beloved pets have such short lives. But they give us so much pleasure during that time.
    Thanks for the favourite.

    – v-something

  • Zdogs
    Zdogsover 1 year ago

    So sorry for your loss Vicky, Letting go…It’s one of the hardest things to do and every time we do It a piece of our heart goes with them :(

  • So true Danni. Letting go has been the hardest and a piece of me has definitely gone with him.

    – v-something

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