Friday 15 May 2015

New for Old

Two weeks ago I turned eighty years old. The Ordinariate and people of Gainford held a nibbles and wine party, and the people of Barnard Castle held an afternoon Tea Party on the Bank Holiiday Monday: both occasions very delightful and enjoyed with great gratitude.
So much for the old! Now for the new.
Last Sunday, May 10th, after a perfectly normal day, my dog Storm lay down and after a short illness simply died. Maybe a heart attack, maybe a stroke, who knows but the same result. I have many fond memories of the struggles I have had to rid him of his fears and anxieties and of the evident success I had with him.
I immediately decided to go to the local Dogs Trust centre to find another dog. After talks, viewings and decisions I came away yesterday with a black greyhound, who is in most ways to exact opposite of Storm.  Whereas Storm was cowed and only wanted to hide when I first got him, this new dog, Prince by name, just wanted to search his new premises, every room, from beginning to end.  Actually, I soon realised that what he was searching for was food, any kind of food, he snatched a mouthful of bird seed before I could move the bag, this morning when as usual I had cut up the final half inch of loaf for the birds he ate the lot as soon as I had thrown the pieces onto the grass. He is a canine food dustbin. I had to fight him for my teatime sandwiches yesterday - I won but only just. He has a huge attraction to food, of any kind. On the other hand, he cannot cope with staircases, so he has not come upstairs with me; I think he will soon get the hang of stairs, but this of course gave me a pretty sleepless night last night. First night, away from what he was used to, he was lonely and needed reassurance from my presence - my chair became uncomfortable after a while but the settee was much better!. However our early morning walk through the Bowes Museum grounds was very pleasant, with him looking at all the new places and hearing sounds of traffic which he is clearly not used to.
Photographs will follow when I have more time, but I feel sure that we can work together and both enjoy a new life.


  1. Many happy returns, Father. Sorry to learn of Storm's death. Prince is a lucky old thing to have you as his new master. Good times ahead, I'm sure.

  2. Lovely story, Fr. Delighted you and Prince are getting on so well. Do keep your Readers posted on progress. Congratulations.

  3. I very lovely 'canine food dustbin' Father, I'm sure you'll have many happy hours together.

  4. Many congratulations Father, both Theresa & I wish you many more happy years in your priesthood. May you stay active in your ministry as long as you wish.
    PS My birthday (77) crops up next week.
    We both hope that you are almost fully restored to good health.Ad Multos Annos!

  5. Only 80!!! at least another 20 years to go Father!!!