Life, photos but not the universe

Best dog in show.

As far as we’re concerned anyway.


A sweet and happy nature


The old dog has been called many things during his life with us.  He came to us, from a dog rescue centre, as Nanook and was promptly renamed Nutmeg by family vote and then called Nutkin, Squirrel, Idiot, Chutney, Mutley,  Nuttie, Nut Cutlet, Little Boy, Babe, Dog, That Dog and (in the grand tradition of Frank Muir’s ‘What a Mess’) ‘Get Out of the Way’.

I’ve been saying for a while that Nutmeg, the happy dog, wouldn’t be long for this world.  Not fully appreciating how short this ‘not long’ would be because you never do, do you.

Last night we found out.  He trotted out for his pre-dinner constitutional, flopped down, gasped a lot and probably had a fit.  Shortly after, we found him, lying on the grass, wheezing and unable to get up.

He said, with his eyes, really, this isn’t much fun.  Actually it’s pretty awful and scary – I don’t like this much.  Can you take it away please?  Ooh I think I have to lie down now.

We lifted him onto his bed and stretchered him to the vet’s and by the time we got there it was pretty clear that he was close to death.  While the vet was organising papers and injections to help him along, he slipped away.  About an hour altogether.  Pretty quick really and I suppose we were able to give him a little company  during the worst bit before he lost consciousness.

When he arrived here as an eighteen month old youngster, he had a number of alarming habits such as jumping up at visitors (often causing temporary incapacitation to the male ones due to the perfect but infelicitous placement of his front feet) and hurtling in small circles round the room in (frequent ) moments of high excitement.  He would hide shoes, one at a time, in different places. He had other totally charming habits like jumping into any lap that appeared to be available.  He was in fact much too big for a lap and therefore inelegantly trailed and slithered legs, tail and head over the margins of the lap in spite of his best efforts to curl up beguilingly.

He would also leap onto the windowsill (just large enough for a cat and nowhere near the width needed to accommodate a medium sized dog) and perch precariously there, peering hopefully out at the world, until he slid off.  He regularly leapt over next door’s fence like a little showjumper, sprightly with his legs tucked up, and then vanished for a longish time returning after raiding compost heaps and guinea pigs’ dinners with indiscriminate enthusiasm.  Later he would throw up and be very sorry for himself for several days.  He could leap some three or four feet vertically from a standing start.  He would chase and keep up with hares and pheasants – no problem for them since, if he caught up, he had no idea what to do next.  Not a red blooded hunting dog, Nutmeg.  When the cats gave him mice, he’d carry them carefully (alive or dead) to his basket and settle down with them.  Some days later, he’d tell me there was something bad in his bed and I’d find a small, flattened, bad-smelling trophy under his cushion.

He liked to be tucked in at night.

He walked into doors and tables, looked apologetic and then carried on.  He thought he could walk on water and looked deeply betrayed whenever this turned out to be untrue.  He hated getting his feet wet.  Though he adored snow.

He was completely at the mercy of the cats who would steal his bed and give him quick slaps as he passed, just for fun.  He was possibly the least assertive dog I ever met but there was one occasion when he found a dead bird’s wing in the grass and when exhorted to drop it, held on doggedly with an expression somewhere between wilfulness and childlike defiance.  “rrrrrmf” he said, somewhat muffled.  “It’s my new tasty, tuggy toy and I don’t want to let go.  rrrrmf”.   He did let go after a while because he knew he was being naughty.

He was such a pretty dog when he was young though he had a way of rolling on his back, legs spread out and his head hidden under a blanket which made him look like some kind of upside down, hairy, headless monster.


Taking his man for a walk while on holiday


Gone, the ticky-tacky toenails on the kitchen floor, the earnest, hopeful gaze and the stiff legged, eager bouncing at teatime.

Gone the pricked ears and the waving tail and the purposeful trotting in search of dinner.  The black nose followed by hopefully shining eyes and pointy ears appearing round the door.

The neat and polite sitting in the kitchen with all four paws perfectly arranged together when food was being prepared (Only spoiled by the paws slithering away from each other on the slippery tiles).

And the happy growling and tugging with his tuggy toy and the long, evening sniffing of breezes and passing smells at the top of the steps before the routine investigation of all his favourite smelling and peeing places in the garden.

And the leaning solemnly against any available human leg and the sudden playful pouncing on an unsuspecting foot. And the enchanting, bowing, Chinese dog pose which I never did get a photo of.

He was a good dog, a funny dog, a loving dog.  He was exasperating and endearing.  He was a nuisance and a sweetheart. He had huge zest for living and endless patience and an exuberantly sunny nature.   Ever hopeful, he was the best.


Last week early in the morning enjoying the sun


Need I say how much we’ll miss him?


Memories from last Christmas when he was still able to keep up  with the kids

















Still running, somewhere.....

Please raise a leg glass to a very special dog.



October 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. oh!


    I’m crying

    lovely dog – hope he’s chasing rabbits in doggy heaven somewhere (or grasping onto bird wings)


    (you’d love Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver)

    He’ll be running after fast things and when he catches up they’ll play with him and be his friends Inukshuk : )
    (I’ve just got ‘Pigs in heaven’. Hope that will be good too)

    Comment by english inukshuk | October 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh lovely Mig, I’m so sorry :(. Hugs xxxxx

    He did well Linda, sixteen years of being everyone’s best friend.

    Comment by Linda | October 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m so sorry. What a wonderful tribute you’ve written.

    Thank you Christopher. He sort of wrote himself : )

    Comment by Christopher | October 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Nutmeg was one of the very few dogs I liked and I really liked him. Beautifully written.

    Oh Thursday, you know he liked you too – not just because he liked everyone of course : )

    Comment by Thursday | October 16, 2010 | Reply

  5. k…..now I’m tearful….

    ((((((((((( Mig )))))))))))))

    Best in show.
    Best in being all that he was and is.

    Best in loving and best in being loved.

    (((((((((((((( Mig and Barney ))))))))))))))))

    He was a good little chap : )

    Comment by Mel | October 16, 2010 | Reply

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