When it goes dark

January 19, 2015

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Dogs are not like humans. They have this supernatural ability to intuit when they’re going to die. It’s as if they have a counter somewhere in their head like a odometer that tracks the journey of life and when it all comes full circle to zero – they just know deep down in the marrow of their bones, it’s time.

Today my lead dog Richie ambled slowly up to me and licked my hand. As soon as I felt his touch, I swear I could taste mortality. I could sense what he was trying to say…..master it is time…..I will no longer be able to serve and protect you…..I will have to go to the other side.

There will never be enough words in this whole wide universe to describe the deep spirited bond between a farmer and his dog to a layman. Dogs in a plantation aren’t just casual pets. They are the farmers hands, it’s a relationship based on love, respect and trust. So I wouldn’t even bother to try….it’s just impossible. Besides there will always be some things in my life I never ever want to share with others and much prefer to keep to myself forever.

This just happens to be one of them.

What counts most is we had a good run. Perhaps even one of those epic runs that people write and make movies about between man and dog.

I am a simple man who has experienced great hardships and so even a little happiness that comes in the shape of a dog goes a very long way to make life sweet. I don’t need a lot of happiness to keep going. I am not like other men, who need this and that. I just need a bit and I am grateful that it came to be in Richie. When I reflect back he was like a constant shadow stretching all the way back to my humble beginnings. He was always there. These memories will always be etched in my heart where they will always live forever – they will always be some of my happiest and most edifying moments in my life.

Few men in this world can claim to have what I hold dearly in my heart. So I remind myself I must not be sad. This is after all the highest expression of what it means to live.

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‘When I first started out as a planter. Life was very hard. I lived in a wooden shed on a my land. It was a very modest dwelling without electricity or running water – this is the way it usually is when a man begins to build an enterprise with so very little. Life is just hard. My only possession comprised of a mountain bike, torch light, three changes of clothes, a shelf of books, a baseball cap and radio which I had to ration the batteries.

One day I bought a old wind up phonograph from the village junk shop. I said to myself this wouldn’t need any batteries and fixed it back. It came with only three vinyl records….only one could play. Richie and I would listen to J’attendrei after dinner that I reckon was our favorite which became a sort of ritual as we watched the sun go down. It could always just sweep us like a magic carpet into that other world.

We did not have much then, but we were happy.

That was a very long time ago.’

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