I didn’t get a chance to know you long, sweet Brodie.
I only met you last year, one of Tuppence’s sons
sold from the litter before I even met your father, my Best Beloved.
You weren’t being shown as you were born to do,
so your Mam bought you back again last summer, to live with your brother,
Jamie, already a champion, and your affectionate sister, Breagh, doing well in her shows.
Never had I seen such an elegant little dog;
your swaying walk with head held high was a glorious sight.
For me you were the epitome of papillon beauty,
Brodie, slender and graceful as a swan.
But I loved you for your soul, Brodie, more than your looks,
that tiny part of your father sparkling in your eyes;
the quick mischief and quiet need to love and be loved;
the curiosity and intense interest in the world around you;
the trusting affection so readily given and received with pleasure.

How could I ever forget the first night you stayed with me?
Yourself and Jamie for a fortnight in the home with Tuppence, your Dad:
Cracker, your half uncle: wee Jakie, the the playful puppy
and Tess the Terror, cross collie!
What a riot!
The new bigger and better pack tore about like maniacs all afternoon,
round and round the garden, in and out of the house, up and down the stairs.
Wee Jakie was ecstatic, and the two of you clicked immediately
with some mysterious bonding ;
he was almost glued to your side for the whole two weeks.
You seemed to appreciate this lavish hero worship and played with him tirelessly,
Jamie and Tuppence occasionally joining in.
But you were the one for Jakie, Brodie, he loved you extravagantly, as did I.

We had a fairly settled routine, the pack of five, of which I was seldom leader
The sleeping pattern was long since fixed;
Tess the Terror was not a bed dog despite my best efforts,
while the three wee guys always bedded with me.
Cracker, the main man, always settled at my feet;
Tuppence favoured the pillow next to mine,
and wee Jakie clung to whatever part of me was available.
You and Jamie came with your cages and covers in which you normally slept;
until you had a look at me and thought,
ah, here’s a soft touch, we’ll get round this one!
And so you did
. You should have been tired.
You were well fed and watered.
We all retired.
The barking began.
Wee Jakie of course shot off the bed and ran downstairs to investigate.
He doubtless jumped up and down your cages trying to get you out;
came back to bed.
The barking continued.
Jakie ran up and down excitedly.
I got up, came down and spoke to you sternly,
gave you both a chewie in your cage, ignored the pleading in your eyes,
blamed Jamie for the noise before I discovered it was you,
and tucked wee Jakie under my arm.
Back to bed with door shut.
The barking continued.
I got up again, wee Jakie ran around hysterically,
I gave you a really good row, and headed back to bed with the troublemaker in tow.
It was after midnight by now.
The barking got louder.
Bob the lodger shouted through, someone will be phoning the police!
I gave in, as usual, came down and let you both out.
Well, you’d think you’d been interred for a week.
Hullabaloo ensued, three tearaways running riot up and down the stairs,
on and off the bed, round and round the house.
I let you all out.
Tuppence and Cracker had to get up by now, exasperated.
Tess unfurled to investigate.
Ok, two in the morning, everyone back to bed.
But the stairs were the lure, racket up and down, bark, bark, bark.
Your father gave you a row; you couldn’t have cared less,
you were in your element.
Cracker and Tuppence tried to sleep, quite difficult
with white flying missiles randomly landing on the bed.
By four in the morning, I pulled a pillow over my head and dropped off.
Morning found me exhausted and covered with little white silky bodies
not a bit tired and raring to go again! And so we did.

I couldn’t handle walking six dogs on my own,
and as you weren’t accustomed to walks,
I judged it realistic to take my four and leave you two at home with the dog door open,
access to the garden, food and water.
You didn’t agree.
I came home to find Jamie jumping at the gate, but not a sign of you.
I couldn’t believe it. My garden was supposed to be dogproof
for Tess, escape artist extraordinaire.
My wee guys had never got out of the garden at all. But you did.
A neighbour appeared before I had a heart attack with you in his arms,
he’d found you running around his garden.
My relief was palpable.
I studied the garden perimeter and reinforced every possible escape route,
but having been through this carry on with Tess,
I kept a fairly close eye.
Not easy with six dogs tearing about on a lovely summers day.
Hmm, were you missing again?
I ran into the garden and from next door’s hedge wee Jakie was peeking
and trying to get back home. Bless. No sign of you.
Two gardens down you were romping around like a puppy.
Recaptured and another near heart attack.
Friend Tommy was phoned frantically and appeared with rolls of wire netting
and put an end to your wandering ways.
Of course, you both had to come on the walks then,
and I had to find helpers and extra hands.
I let you off the lead for a while and you took off like a racer,
past all the other dogs, past your father usually in the lead, and on to the horizon.
Calling your name was wasted breath.
But you came back, as your father had done,
delighted with your freedom.
I wish I had spare hands to take a video of you in flight,
what a magnificent sight! Poetry in motion.
You were truly beautiful, Brodie.
You were a smasher by name and in looks and spirit, Brodie,
and we can’t believe you’re gone.
Assuredly you would have been made up to champion this year.
Your mam was so proud of you.
You were well loved, Brodie,
and may that love carry you to the Bridge where your father,
my Best Beloved, will greet you.
May the Angels of Peace hold you tight in their arms and heal your hurt.
Goodnight, Jaylanjay Amasmasher,
sleep well and wake over the Rainbow Bridge safe with your father.
God bless, little darling, I will meet you at the bridge with Tuppence, my best beloved.
That he can be there for you is the only good thing to have come from his loss.
Father and son, together forever, somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge,
love and peace.