Ruskin

 

To all his friends, Ruskin died on 30th July 2008, 9 days short of his 17th birthday.  He was cremated, as befits a Celtic Warrior, on the bank of the River Ericht at the edge of the Scottish Highlands at sunset the next evening. The rain was torrential as the sky wept at his passing. Thank you for the love and experience of this life you gave him.

Ruskin age 14. We had walked the equivalent of 3 times round the world together. Ruskin never had a collar. Only trust and wanting to be with each other connected us.

Ruskin age 14. We had walked the equivalent of 3 times round the world together. Ruskin never had a collar. Only trust and wanting to be with each other connected us.

Last picture alive. Asleep as Obama won the Wisconsin Primary. One of a lifetime of experiences we shared.

Last picture alive. Asleep as Obama won the Wisconsin Primary. One of a lifetime of experiences we shared.

The Pyre at Sunset

The Pyre at Sunset

Our final time together, flowers from the garden and a picture of us together to take on his journey.

Our final time together, flowers from the garden and a picture of us together to take on his journey.

Release and reunification of his spirit

Release and reunification of his spirit

The next morning as his ashes were collected the sky darkened as the Moon eclipsed the Sun. The rain never stopped.

To Ruskin-the best friend I ever had

cave adsum

cave adsum

My love

Roger

Last Times at the River

Special thanks to

TJB Landscapes Blairgowrie 01250 870890

  1. #1 by New Fazer on December 8, 2008 - 9:24 am

    Ruskin was an exceptionally fortunate dog to have found you so early in his life.

  2. #2 by Rafal on December 25, 2008 - 11:19 am

    So, so you think you can tell
    Heaven from Hell,
    Blue skies from pain.
    Can you tell a green field
    From a cold steel rail?
    A smile from a veil?
    Do you think you can tell?

    Did they get you to trade
    Your heroes for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change?
    Did you exchange
    A walk on part in the war,
    For a lead role in a cage?

    How I wish, how I wish you were here.
    We’re just two lost souls
    Swimming in a fish bowl,
    Year after year,
    Running over the same old ground.
    What have we found
    The same old fears.
    Wish you were here.

    PINK FLOID

  3. #3 by celticlion on December 25, 2008 - 1:01 pm

    Thank you for the comments. When I got back from the river I put a CD player on for the first time in a while. I had forgotten what was on it and it was this. Which took me back more than a third of a lifetime to a small puppy standing on a back street pavement who just insisted on following me.

    “Never Tear Us Apart”

    Don’t ask me
    What you know is true
    Don’t have to tell you
    I love your precious heart

    I
    I was standing
    You were there
    Two worlds collided
    And they could never tear us apart

    We could live
    For a thousand years
    But if I hurt you
    I’d make wine from your tears

    I told you
    That we could fly
    ‘Cause we all have wings
    But some of us don’t know why

    I
    I was standing
    You were there
    Two worlds collided
    And they could never ever tear us apart

    INXS

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PZZGwENyUNs

  4. #4 by celticlion on February 6, 2009 - 8:39 pm

    Should you, while wandering in the wild sheep land, happen on moor or in market upon a very perfect gentle knight, clothed in dark grey habit, splashed here and there with rays of moon; free by right divine of the guild of gentlemen, strenuous as a prince, lithe as a rowan, graceful as a girl, with high kink carriage, motions and manners of a fairy queen, should he have a noble breadth of brow, an air of still strength born of right confidence, all unassuming; last and most unfailing test of all, should you look into two snowclad eyes, calm, wistful, inscrutable, their soft depths clothed on with eternal sadness—yearning, as is said, for the soul that is not theirs—know then, that you look upon one of the line of the most illustrious sheepdogs of the North.

    Alfred Ollivant

  5. #5 by Yvonne on May 15, 2009 - 3:09 pm

    What a wonderful send-off for a loved companion. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. #6 by celticlion on May 17, 2009 - 8:33 pm

    Yvonne

    My thanks for visiting Ruskin’s final journey. We were two sets of senses of the same mind. If all I ever achieve in life is just the privilege of being the person Ruskin chose to spend his physical life with, that will be enough.

    We had looked after each other in life since that first day as a tiny puppy he followed me and sat on the palm of my hand waving his little paw at my face.

    It was only right that it was me who sent him on his final journey to again become part of the eternal spirit..

    Some people don’t understand how I “could have burnt my own dog”. But it was also closure for me. We had been as one through our shared life. I needed to do that final absolute separation of our physical beings. It could only have been me who lit the pyre. It gave me those final minutes together, just me and him alone as darkness fell to say all the things I needed to say, before he left me. I still cry. I am crying now as I write this.

  7. #7 by celticlion on July 30, 2009 - 9:10 am

    1 year on and I miss you everyday

  8. #8 by ecolizzy on July 30, 2009 - 7:01 pm

    Roger I’m thinking of you and Ruskin, I know how sad it is to lose a much loved companion. xxx

    • #9 by celticlion on July 31, 2009 - 10:36 am

      Had a nice time sitting on the river bak in the woods watching the sun set, well disappear behind the trees and little valley sides. perhaps I’ll go tonight and take a picture. Thought about many things. Funny when I got back looked at the NN blog others had been thinking similar.

  9. #10 by celticlion on November 17, 2009 - 5:01 pm

    Wake to remember; sleep to forget
    Forget who we are
    What we do and need to do, and are and used to be

    Awake in chains, bound; secure and sound
    Sound mind. Mind not who we are
    Where we go, or went and what we did, or need to do.

    Here: dishes in the cupboard, dirty
    There: boots in the bathroom, slippers in the yard
    Everywhere: flesh of the present; only vapour of the past

    Biting tongue to draw blood, feel pain
    Pain inflicted by pinching, punching
    An arm, a pillow. Not you my love

    Alone to be free. Free together to
    Live, love and laugh again. ; A loneliness wells up
    To suffocate and extinguish all that I am, that we were.

    Will you go, so I can live
    Live the life we should be sharing
    For who you were, and I am meant to be.

    BYT

  10. #11 by Brightyangthing on November 19, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    Seeing this link and the loss of a dear friend I venture to add the following.

    Wasted?

    Was a moment wasted?
    A moment of exquisite pain laboured forth
    a pulsing scarlet thread of love unconditional.
    Love eternal, invisible and invincible.
    Magic moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Moments of snatched sleep, meals; cold tea
    When peace and rest were scarce; diamonds glinting
    in the darkness. Indelible heart print of a smile.
    Challenging moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Scraped knee bathing, snotty nose wiping moments
    of growing into and out of shapes and scrapes;
    tears, fears, hugs and laughter; cries of joy and pain.
    Growing moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Moments of struggle: battling wills to sleep, eat
    walk, run or don’t run, hurry, hush, tidy, study.
    Tempers worn and frayed by boundaries tested.
    Testing moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Moments on the frozen touchlines miles away from home.
    Cheering, hearing your name as flushed with pride
    the aches and chills evaporate.
    Warming moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Moments we uttered words of anger or rebuke.
    The sorry’s we said and those we didn’t
    The hugs we shared and those you ducked
    Everyday moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Dark moments of rock hard impenetrable dejection;
    Of red hazed blinding anger, fear and distress.
    Impotent to untangle the fine wrought chain.
    Pointless moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Moments as numerous as grains of sand on a beach;
    as countless as the tear drops that swell the rivers and seas;
    as shifting and closely woven as the scarlet thread we shared.
    Treasured moments. Stored moments. Not wasted!

    Was a moment wasted?
    Reflecting shared air, earth, water and sky moments.
    Lighter, darker, deeper, brighter; now harder moments.
    Indelibly printed on my heart. Broken!
    Eternally cherished moments. Never wasted

    The background
    The young brother (15) of my youngest sons best friend tragically and accidentally (a grand gesture going too far) hanged himself after a family row in April this year.

    I kep hearing people say ‘what a waste’…….. and started thinking about all the wonderful memories and moments a mother would have that could never be taken away, and were never wasted.

    I know what people meant and my friends, who found him and cut him down, will never ever ever get over it. Nor my son who was texting with the sister about her brother being a pain an hour before the incident.

    His funeral was at once the most devastating yet empowering and life affirming – but still hopefully the worst experience my son and his peers will ever have to face.

    When his estranged father and two half brothers lifted the coffin to the strains of Snow Patrol’s ‘Run’ adults, children, family, teachers, ministers, counsellors all held each other and wept. Then they gave three cheers.

  11. #12 by Brenda on May 21, 2011 - 6:43 pm

    I visited this site because my neice was talking about a celtic pyre. I was surprised to see I wasnt too far off & deeply touched by your story. Thank you for sharing. Its amazing how we can be so touched & connected to an animal. Its precious & my heart breaks as I think I do not know if a cat I lost last year is alive or dead but I know I will see him again in Heaven ♥

    • #13 by celticlion on May 22, 2011 - 8:20 am

      Thank you for visiting, not sure if it was much use for your niece though. but thankyou for leaving a comment, Ruskin was lovely. Sorry about your cat, that must be awful. The story is here, I was asked for a donation to a mental health charity, so I looked at their newsletter and wrote this to support a pet bereavement helpline . Page 4. Last Times at the River

      http://www.plusperth.co.uk/69280_PLUS_April_4pp%5B1%5D.pdf

      A more final draft is on Seiben’s site. It has now appeared in dog magazines and even was told used as a reader in a English literature highers class in Scotland.

      http://seibendog.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/last-times-at-the-river/

      Seiben had been rehomed twice,kept in a crate been in rescue, list of issues, pretty much on his last chance saloon, but he is fine and happy now this is him six weeks after he arrived.
      http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCelticlion

      Roger

  12. #14 by \jan Parry on June 8, 2015 - 5:28 pm

    what an amazing end to Ruskin’s life. such a fitting cremation for such a warrior . Wish we could do the same for our furbabies.

    • #15 by celticlion on June 8, 2015 - 8:14 pm

      Thank you. I suppose at the back of my mind I had always wondered how we would say our goodbye to this physical life together. There is no reason why you couldn’t do the same or say goodbye in your own way to your fur friends. To say goodbye this way helped me with closure, it was me who sent him on his way, it was me who decided on the separation.

  1. Polish Up the Mind « Celtic Lion

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