On Saturday afternoon, 12th June 2021, Flash who had spent all but for the first few weeks of her life with us, died peacefully, not on her own but surrounded and supported by her family.
Flash came to us from a farmer’s barn, if not the runt, certainly not the strongest of the litter.
She was unaccustomed to human contact, let alone kindness and proper feeding.
Yet from this unpromising start she became, a central fixture of the farm team, the family, Queen of the Business Park and keen supporter of our postmen.
She loved attention, was in her element at open days, would even, as needed, play her part as the farm’s only sheepdog for many years, and always provided entertainment when, after working she would find the closest water to dive in to cool off.
It would be untrue to suggest she had no failings – her close company to the cook could and did irritate, her need to lie across doorways, her inability at times to decide whether she wanted to be in or out… As to her willingness to ‘sing’, was not a positive musical memory for me, but she joined in every birthday sing, and we will miss her voice amongst us.
While our memories may very much be of her as a house dog, the real memories of her come from watching her working sheep, playing with the younger dogs we subsequently acquired and being a faithful companion on my daily walks.
She now lies at the end of the garden under the aged apple tree that grows there. The burial took place, with the family in attendance, against the buzzing of the host of insects seeking pollen from the mass of flowers on the adjacent long border against the brick wall with the sunshine as a blessing on the event.
To use words by Lord Byron on the death of his favourite dog:
“…who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferosity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices…”