Wednesday, 6 January 2010

One Hell of an Inheritance.

I kept a full daily diary only once in my life, 1985. I thoroughly recommend it. Events long since forgotten are instantly there when you glance through. Who cares some may say; well I do!
January 6th 1985
'Today would have been the birthday of Clara, my aunt and guardian who died four or five years ago, aged mid seventies.
In life Clara (and Walter her husband) gave me a home, love and affection. In death Clara unknowingly gave me an amusing if unexpected bonus. Towards the end of her life Clara became somewhat eccentric concerning money matters. Whilst little or no food could be found in the house (Clara lived alone in a small cottage) it was obvious that money was accumulating due to Clara's frugal habits. No amount of pressure could persuade Clara to either buy necessary food or bank excess money. (Food therefore tended to be provided by others.) Eventually, sadly, due to self neglect and a lack of a will to live, Clara died.
Now I would suggest that it would not have been unreasonable to expect that a little of Clara's money might have found its way in my direction. (A materialistic consideration but nevertheless realistic in this day and age.) I was, after all the second 'almost' adopted son for over ten years. Alas, it was not to be! Number one son (real not imaginary son) received the money. And the tea service, the clocks, the brasses, the linen, the electrical goods, contents of garden shed, pots, pans and sundry paraphernalia. Which accounted for everything, except Rusty. Rusty being a decrepit, sixteen year old, rather deaf, medium sized poodle with an extremely enlarged left knacker. (testicle to the more refined of you out there.) I, (or rather we, my wife, my children were included) 'inherited' Rusty, the alternative being an end of indecent haste after years of companionship to a lonely, often confused old woman.
Rusty's condition was, to say the least, unfortunate due to neglect by ignorance rather than malice. To restore Rusty to something resembling a dog, never mind a poodle was no mean feat. Cutting through matted fur was physically difficult yet needing an almost delicate touch. Where ears really began was difficult to ascertain. Eyes, faded with age and induced darkness blinked somewhat mechanically as fur was sheared almost sheep like. Most amazingly a dog that had for many years been almost muddy in colour was discovered to be nearer a light grey in reality. As Rusty shed his coat, so too the years seemed to be lifted from him. A young sprightly dog emerged, over the next four years, admittedly with increasing knacker, but a young at heart dog, full of life and vigour nevertheless.'
The happiness one old dog brought to another old dog was truly immeasurable. We had four happy years together, Rusty, the children, my wife and I.
My cousin, the number one son was not so lucky. His marriage broke up, and he never lived long enough to achieve the contentment old age can sometimes bring us. I never felt he captured the happiness he too sought. Life is indeed strange at times.

42 comments:

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wonderful post Ken. Although a little loot from Clara would have been nice, it sounds like you got the better of the inheritance in Rusty and in your happy life.
Cheers,
jj

Mark said...

I enjoyed that - a knackered old poodle

Von said...

Indeed it is Ken and karma came to you all.Inheritances are so often very different from the way we imagine..the most precious are those that have nothing to do with money and more to do with gifts of learning, experience, courage and dogs!
Glad you had a good four years, how happy he must have been.
Thanks for sharing the information about your past.As you'll see I'm now commenting as Von (formerly Goosebreeder), reason on my blog.

Molly Potter said...

Wow what a wonderful story....a fantastic, straightforward illustration that money does not create happiness. A well crafted story too!

I used to keep diaires - yes they do remind me of experiences I had forgotten. When i read them i often find myself saying (in a surprised tone) OH YES!!!!

the fly in the web said...

Your kindness was well rewardeded, then.
Your description of the 'new' dog emerging from the old was great.

rosiero said...

I like this post. It just goes to show money is not the only thing to bring you happiness. I am so glad Rusty regained his youth and verve for living again.

slommler said...

Such a delightful post! Brought a tear to my eye! You allowed me to meet Clara and Rusty and it made my day. What a blessing you received from Clara in many ways!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lane said...

I love this story. You certainly were the lucky 'son'. And so was Rusty.

cheshire wife said...

Money does not buy everything and it certainly can't buy happiness. All the best for 2010!

Kelloggsville said...

Nice post - thank you for sharing, it was rather uplifting x

gayle said...

That was such a sweet post!! Just goes to show the surprises in life!!

The Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Very well crafted post-you made the memory come to life. In my minds eye I saw the old cottage Clara lived in...smelled the musty shed...and Rusty stole my heart. Clara must have known what she was doing by seeing to it Rusty went to live with your family. I'm sure his last years were happy ones. I'm also certain the love he gave your family in return was worth far more than money could buy....

StorytellERdoc said...

Ken

What a great post! Lucky Rusty...to inherit your family. Too bad son #1 didn't know how to share.

I'm happy you left me a comment on my blog, Ken, so I could trail you over to yours and enjoy your writing.

Look forward to more.

Jim

I LOVE FRANCE said...

Hi Ken
Really enjoyed this post
It is true money dosent bring happiness.
But just think of the happiness you brought to the dog for the remainder of its life lovely
Andrea

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

A great story Ken and heartwarming. You gave Rusty a new lease of life and I'll bet he couldn't believe his luck. You and he benefited the most I'd say.

Sage said...

Just goes to prove that sometimes money isn't the route to happiness xx Happy New Year Ken xx

Pam said...

I love this story, very poignant observations also. But your favorite movie is Quadrophenia? Hmmmm.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I love the poetic justice of this!! It seems you inherited what was of true value...the love of one for another...and that, as you demonstrate, is by far more valuable than money or possessions...I think this post is absolutely first rate!!! Thanks for big smiles!!! Cheers! Janine

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Joanne
Thanks. I'm sure you're right.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mark
Thanks. Very witty reposte as always!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Von
Thanks. Von, indeed, and I've only just got used to 'tother. Good luck in your new name.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Molly Potter
Thanks. Interested in your diaries. How far back?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

fly in the web.
Thanks for kind words.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

rosiero
Thanks. Very true words.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

slommler
Thanks. You ladies are easily moved. But we men could learn from you instead of presenting a hard front.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Lane.
Thanks. Your words are very true.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

cheshire wife
Thanks. Very true words. Good luck in 2010.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Kellogsville. Thanks for kind words and thoughts.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

gayle
Thanks. Sweet indeed! I do my best!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nakamuras
Thanks.No shed but you're right about the cottage. Typically English.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

StorytellERdoc
Thanks and welcome. Though my life is quiet at the side of yours. I 'watch' rather than 'do'.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I love France
Thanks and welcome.He was a happy old dog who could have reacted to a hard earlier life.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Anne.
Thanks. I think we all benefited in different ways, life is strange.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Sage
Thanks and a good year for you to come I trust.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Pam
Hi and thanks. Don't you like my film choice! Its the bikes and the era. It captures it so well.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Sniffles and Smiles
Thanks for kind words. Life is indeed good at times.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I agree what a wonderful post, and its true money doesn't always buy you happiness.

Gill in Canada

An English Shepherd said...

Yes I think you got the best inheritance as well!

Wizz

Kath said...

“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich”-Louis Sabin

Loved this story, remids me of when we adopted our younger dog and she had dreadlocks hanging from her belly and bum.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Gill
Thanks. Very true. I'd rate health higher than wealth any time.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

An English Shepherd.
Thanks and I think you're right.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Kath
Hi
Very tue and I had to look up Louis Sabin!