"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 27 September 2012


It is with a heavy heart that I say Maximus, my faithful dog, is dead.
Yesterday he and I went for our morning walk about the property as we do every day. At eleven I discovered him fitting violently and bleeding from the mouth. Sometime that morning he had been bitten by a snake and was in the final death throes. I called the vet who agreed with me that there was almost no hope of saving him.
Then I killed my beautiful dog to end his suffering as quickly as I could. I shot him through the head. It tore my heart out.
Max was not the best dog I have ever had, nor was he the worst. He was a good mate and stayed by me through thick and thin. He was always a quiet companion and trusted me absolutely. He loved doing whatever I was doing and just liked being with me. He was a good dog.
We buried him in the orchard by the apple trees. I don't mind telling you I cried like a child. I have a lot more love for a good dog than I have for the vast bulk of humanity.

Late that afternoon, Alessa our other dog, came down with tremors and vomiting. She had been bitten sometime in the afternoon but was still in the early stages of the venom. I rushed her to the vet in town where she was given antivenene. The vet then sent me home and promised to call with an update. He warned me the situation was not good though. He called later that night and said there had been a small improvement. This morning he called early to say she had survived the night and appeared to be getting better but was definitely not out of the woods yet.

I now have the problem that I apparently have a large and aggressive venomous snake somewhere about the property that I am going to have to deal with. I don't really blame the snake to be fair. It was only defending itself form a threat. But if it decides my wife or son is a threat? Unfortunately I have decided that I must kill it should the opportunity present itself.
I don't really know why I am even writing this all here except that I suppose the good comes with the bad and so, in a way, you have a right to know. This is the life we have chosen to live and therefore it is part of the whole story.


  1. I am so sorry Ulf. He was a lovely, lovely doggie. I cried too. You gave him a lovely life after his rough start - warmth, food, love and companionship.

    1. Thanks Dani. I suppose I am just feeling sorry for myself. There was nothing else anyone could have done.
      Update on Alessa, she is home now and much better. Now to find that bloody snake.

  2. Nothing wrong with crying like a child when you have lost a long faithful friend. ♥