Ten years ago, with a little bundle of black and tan fluff at my feet, I read a poem called ‘Lend me a Pup’. It spoke of God gifting us with a journey with a dog and letting them go when it is time.

I cried reading it, not truly understanding.

Until today.

Today it was Szarik’s time. We have been blessed with ten years of joy and love and chaos and loyalty.

As a self confessed cat person I never wanted a dog. Until the moment I saw a little German Shepherd pup playing hide and seek under a shrub. That was the day Szarik joined our family.

When grief and sadness feels overwhelming I go to a safe place. For me this is the garden. It is a space where I can sow specific happy memories. Not just for those who are gone now but for the living too.

For my Grandma I plant all things red which is a colour that reminds me of her.

Red curtains. Red Robin on her tea cup. Whenever a Red Robin appears in my garden it feels like a reminder of her love.

Nan is perennial Stattice. It has always grown around the farmhouse and she loves it. Tough as nails just like the woman I admire, it thrives in the heat here and gives us masses of purple flowers.

Today I stood beside the garden arch in what will be Szarik’s garden.

Passionfruit and Jasmine are planted ready to share the arch. Elderflower is starting to flower nearby too.

But that isn’t him.

Eventually I chose a memory that lets me remember him without feeling sad. We had a peach tree once under planted with blue Muscari bulbs.

It was a mystery why it kept shrinking. Until one day we saw a certain puppy break off a piece and drag it away to chew up. He loved the taste of fruit tree wood. Especially peaches. At times he would eat grapes off the vines too and tomatoes if the gate to the veggie patch was left open. That is how I want to remember him most of all. Cheeky and adventurous and always happy to share whatever food was on offer (even cucumber).

The gentle guardian who was endlessly patient for our kids because they would sneak him snacks and who always sat with me in low times even when the bickies and tea were finished.

One day this will be an orchard. With a blue Muscari carpet.

One day. ❤

4 thoughts on “Planting a garden of happy memories. For Szarik with my love and gratitude.

  1. I’m sad for you Nat. It’s so hard to lose a beloved pet. They become such a big part of your life and their spirit stays long after they depart. You’re creating a beautiful memorial for Szarik.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane. I know some people might not understand the attachment to a pet and that’s ok. But you are right he was a massive part of our family and it feels so odd not to have Szarik as my constant protective shadow in the garden anymore.


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