Sunday, September 18, 2016

Epitaph to a dog

Thursday our Newfoundland dog Fnug was taken to the veterinarian since she all of a sudden couldn't move her aft body
The vet examined her and the verdict  was a heart failure. This was completely unexpected to us.
She was given medication, but to no help, so she was put to sleep in the evening.

No one has described loosing a Newfoundland dog better than Lord Byron in his famous poem "Epitaph to a dog" The first part of the poem is written by Byron's friend John Hobhouse.

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808


When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one -- and here he lies.




Fnug having tested if the paint of a door was dry.

Fnug in Danish means "a flake" like a snow flake or some very small piece of dust etc.

36 comments:

  1. Sorry sorry sorry. What a sweet girl, lucky you had each other.

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    1. Thanks.
      I had to wait a couple of days before I could post this. It had to settle first.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  2. Sorry sorry sorry. What a sweet girl, lucky you had each other.

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  3. Condolences. Dogs always leave behind hair and then great memories.

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    1. Thank you.
      The leaving hair behind is true when it comes to a Newfoundland dog.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  4. That must have been some dog to get a poem like this. Sorry to read of your loss.

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    1. Hi Ralph.
      Thanks.
      I guess that all dogs make a huge impact on their owners, but since I am Newfie person, I can assure you that every bit of that poem is well deserved.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  5. I'm sorry for your loss. We go into sharing our lives with dogs knowing what will happen and the pain that will follow but their joy in life and the pleasure they bring in the end make the pain worth while.

    Typing with tears in my eyes,

    ken

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    1. Hi Ken

      Rudyard Kipling described the "problems" of owning a dog so well in his poem "The power of the dog". The fourth verse has always touched me deeply because he describes the dreadful feeling when the dog is not there anymore.

      Brgds
      Jonas (who has started crying again...)

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  6. Pretty much lost for words Jonas. I'm really sorry to hear of your families loss!

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    1. Hi Goerge

      Thank you.
      It is especially tough since I am out at sea. I fear my reactions when I come home and our dog is not there to greet me.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you. We all know that dogs don't live as long as us, but it still hurts so bad when they are gone.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  8. I know how you feel. I have a thirteen year old Golden Lab who has been my close friend and constant companion but she is growing old. I can't describe how much she means to me.

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    1. Hi Andy

      It helps to think of all the good times you have experienced together, and that we have hopefully been able to provide a safe environment for our dog throughout its life.

      Rudyard Kipling described the issue incredibly well:
      http://www.bartleby.com/364/335.html

      I hope you will still have many happy days together with your dog.

      Lots of thoughts
      Jonas

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  9. I know how you feel. I have a thirteen year old Golden Lab who has been my close friend and constant companion but she is growing old. I can't describe how much she means to me.

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  10. Hi Jonas,
    I'm verry sorry to read this sad news.
    Please accept my condolences.
    All the best to you and your family.
    Regards,
    Stefan

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    1. Hello Stefan
      Thank you for your support.
      I am thankful of all the time I spent together ith her while she was alive.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  11. Sorry to hear of this, Jonas. That's a real bummer. Remember all the good times.

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    1. And some parts of that poem are just as strong a statement about man as other parts are about dog. Powerful.

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    2. Thank you.
      I do try to remember all the good times, like taking a nap with a dog sleeping next to you, or sitting around the campfire in the night and scratching her behind the ears.

      Lord Byron clearly demonstrates a certain skill level in that poem. It is impressive that even 200 years after being written it is still true and makes an impact.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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  12. Replies
    1. Hi Robert.

      Thank you for your support.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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  13. I have recently gone through the same sadness. Please google Eugene O'Neill re the essay he wrote after his dog Silverden died. It was comforting for me.
    Ron

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    1. Hi Ron

      Thank you for bringing that very touching essay to my attention.

      I am also particularly moved by the fourth verse of "The power of the dog" by Rudyard Kipling
      http://www.bartleby.com/364/335.html

      That verse puts words on some of of the things that are so difficult after loosing a dog like the silence when you come home.

      Take care
      Jonas

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  14. Dear Jonas and family
    So sorry to hear about Fnug passing. We experienced similar experience back in 2000 when we had to put down our Jake (Bearded Collie) after a stroke. Hardest thing i did at the time. To us pets have always been a part of our family, like sons or daughters. Rudy and I feel your pain and sends our warmest thoughts in Fnug memories.

    Bob and Rudy

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    1. Hi Bob and Rudy

      Thank you very much for your thoughts.
      Dogs are indeed members of the family.

      Looking back on this last time I was home, I am so glad that I spent so much time together with Fnug.
      I had opened the windscreen of the old Volvo Valp, and placed Fnug at the shotgun seat. So she could sniff to her hearts desire while we drove to the summer house at a slow speed.
      She would lie and contemplate over life (so I imagine), and after our lunch we would go down to the beach and she would take a quick dip in the water.
      Than back to the summer house for a nap in the shade.

      My warmest thanks
      Jonas

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  15. Jonas, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. Whenever you happened to post photos of her I would show them to my daughter and she would always say that she would love to use her as her pillow.
    I told my family and they offer their deepest condolences. A good pet is part of your family, and difficult to lose. But I am glad that you had a good and loyal dog, and the memories that no one can take away.
    Your friend,
    Bill

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    1. Hi Bill

      Please tell you family that their condolences are greatly appreciated.
      Being of a somewhat lazy nature, being used as a pillow was something our dog liked.
      Also due to the fact that she was very social, so being close to people and taking a nap at the same time was definitely a win win situation in her mind.

      Your friend
      Jonas

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  16. Sorry to hear of the loss of your dog, a loss of a pet is a fixed turning point in many family timelines that indelibly mark future and past events.

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    1. Hi Jeremy

      Thank you for your support.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  17. Jonas, this is late, and I had to search it because I could not recall it from memory, but this was one of the most famous quotes regarding the love and loyalty of a dog:

    "Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
    Gentlemen of the jury: A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

    If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."

    It was given by a lawyer named George Graham Vest in the trial of the accidental death of a dog. It is an interesting story, and the only reason I know anything about it was because in 5th grade our teacher had this quote framed in our classroom and she read the story to us. But I thought it was very moving and a great testimonial to the loyalty of our pets.
    Your Friend,
    Bill

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    1. Hi Bill

      Thanks a lot for the quote.
      A dog really takes the meaning of loyalty to a completely different level.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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