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Sunday, 17 February 2013

A sad weekend at Pell Wall

It's been a sad weekend here at Pell Wall.  For 17 years I've been owned by a small dog named Jet who passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Jet: 28th January 1996 to 16th February 2013
She was a special friend and will be missed very much.  I've put together a few pictures of her around the house over the last few years as a little remembrance.

The picture of her peering up at me through the bamboo was taken late summer 2012 - I think she was supervising me while I took out the rubbish - like any responsible owner, she supervised whether I needed it or not.

Jet by Kat Foster
I'm sure I saw a snake here somewhere . . .
The painting was done for us in December last year by Kat Foster, a young artist working at the same shop in Newport where I sell my range of perfumes.  Kat worked from a photograph I took of Jet on her 16th birthday, when it hardly seemed possible she would stay with us for another year.
Checking for evidence, Spring 2012

In the snow, January 2013
Here you can see her exploring the garden in differing conditions.  By January this year running in the snow was no-longer an option, but she still enjoyed going out in it.

It was hard to imagine for those who only knew her in her later years, but she got her name not so much because was mostly dark coloured as because she was so fast - a jet-plane among dogs.  Chasing birds was one of her earliest pleasures.

The indoor picture shows her sat in the middle of some paperwork I was trying to do sat up in bed: evidently on this occasion close supervision was required.

Jet, not doing the filing
Seventeen is a remarkable age for a pedigree Sheltie (normal lifespan for the breed is 12-13 years) and she was fortunate to remain happy and mobile  (albeit slowly and not too far) right up until her 17th birthday.  She was still waiting at the door to give a wagging welcome when Angela came home from work late on Friday evening.
Later that night she became suddenly very distressed, we stayed with her to comfort her through the night but by 5.30am she'd already chased off Death several times (no doubt leaving him with the seat of his robe torn) so we decided, very reluctantly, that we'd have to call in help.  In the event by the time the vet arrived at 6.30 Jet had already slipped into a coma so she was unaware of the injection.

 A peaceful final resting place for Jet
We buried her at a spot at the end of the garden yesterday morning and went to choose some plants to mark the place in the afternoon.  I took the picture of the spot today - if you're interested in these matters the flowering bush in the middle is Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite' and we chose it because it is beautiful, slow growing and with luck it will flower each year around the time of her birthday and be still flowering by the anniversary of her death.

~~~~ updated 17th April 2013 ~~~~

Two months to the day today and the new Pell Wall Pack that have come take on Jet's mantle have been dominating our time and attention for some time now, but I thought I'd take a moment as the sun went down last night to capture the way her resting place looks now: the snowdrops are gone and Hammamelis is more-or-less over now - though it flowered on throughout the March snows - but the heather looks even better and now there are dwarf daffodils in flower, with more to come as these go over and the first shoots of lilies have emerged too.
Jet's grave in April 2013


  1. My sincere condoleances Chris!
    Best, Jeroen Sparla.

  2. So sorry to read your news..what a beautiful girl!
    I have a 12 year Jarvis Cocker Spaniel and hope he will be with with me many more years.

  3. Chris, I hope you and your family are peaceful during this time. I'd love to smell a scent inspired by your love for Jet...hint hint.

  4. Thanks so much for your kind words Jeroen, Annie and Darryl. We are coping OK and yesterday took the decision to start looking for two puppies to fill the big gap left by Jet: Ownership of her humans is passing to a new generation.

    Darryl I confess that thought had occurred to me but I'm not quite ready for it yet. Perhaps I can create something along the lines of the scent of the Hamamelis that marks her grave - they have a beautiful soft translucent scent - plus perhaps a little note of damp wool could be added to that . . .