Staffies often get a bum rap and unfortunately their most often unmerited ‘reputation’ frequently precedes them. But if ever there was an example of why a book should not be judged by its cover, then Gem was it.
She was a gentle, loving wee soul who could sense when I wasn’t feeling myself, and genuinely did show signs of concern. That wasn’t very often, though. Normally, she was a bundle of hyper activity – especially when she saw the chance to chase and fetch a tennis ball.
UK readers of a certain age will recollect a television advert for a well known brand of cigar, where the dog chases a ball through an open top-storey flat. Gem wasn’t far from that – I’m just glad that where we walked there were no trees or walls. As it was, there were a couple of bushes that had Gem-shaped silhouettes forcibly imprinted on their foliage as she frantically followed an escaping ball!
Her (sort of) brother, Sam the cairn terrier was the opposite. Well, regards being ultra friendly, they were similar. But Sam was not the active type. he was more into mooching and letting any doggie pals know how may blades of grass he’d passed by. But he too was a gentle wee thing, although when push came to shove, he was quick to let Gem and Ozzie (the beardie ‘half brother’ from the same household as the others in the photo) just who was the boss.
Sadly, Gem passed away almost two years ago, and Sam a couple of months back.
Their owner had asked that Gem’s ashes be returned to her , but no similar request was made regards Sam, simply because she was too upset to scatter Gem’s and couldn’t face going through it all again.
Consequently, I was asked if I’d mind disposing of Gem’s remains. I’d never been requested to this before, but in a funny way, I felt quite honoured.
In fact, I didn’t feel sad at all. Memories of the seven years or so I walked her with Ozzie and Sam came flooding back. I knew the perfect place for her.
And so there she was. Back in her old haunt on Gleniffer Braes, looking over the town of Paisley, early on a bright and chilly November morning. And at the spot where Gem knew that, clear of any obstacles, I could launch a ball for a good seventy yards. She’d bound up and down on her hind legs in excitement and anticipation, letting out pleading yelps until I drew my hand back and released ball into the air.
The spot was chosen carefully. Gem never did this ‘rest’ thing.
Run in Peace wee Gem.