Pete's dear Uncle Ken is not particularly a well man. There are health concerns of a major nature. That said, he and his wife Margaret are, as always, at our beck and call on our visit. They have uprooted their entire lives to shift to her mum's house so we may have the run of theirs. In the weeks before our visit, they scavenged as many booklets on things to do that they could possibly find.
Their house was tidied up to accommodate our family of savages. They put so many things on hold -- another critical medical procedure for Ken, the re-plumbing and tiling of the bathroom, the completion of the laying of new flagstone and fixing the back yard, the re-decorating of their home -- because they didn't want us to be inconvenienced. In short, they have done immeasurable acts of kindness in the interest of making their home our home, their lives our lives.
We love them dearly. The two adults in our family of five are forever fearful that something will happen to Uncle Ken, a man who was a much better father to Pete than Pete's own father ever was. He was the man who showed Pete what a man was supposed to be. He and his wife our irreplaceable in our lives.
My mother arrived yesterday to stay for about two weeks, and she and Uncle Ken and I were chatting about the two border collies, long gone from Ken and Margaret's lives. Drift and Dash would qualify as their children. They accompanied them most everywhere. One died more than 10 years ago. The other died even before that.
There remains evidence of the dogs everywhere, as it should be. Especially when you consider how Drift saved Ken's life once.
She had a habit of sitting on Ken or Margaret if either were lying down. She'd paw at their chests, kind of drumming on the chest really, and put her snout to their face and "mouth" words to them. It was something she did from the very beginning until the very end.
Ken had pneumonia. He was in very bad shape. He was moments away from falling into a coma. He was completely out of it. And then Drift started in on him, sitting on his body, pounding on his chest, face to his face, mouthing words. I imagine the words were probably akin to, "Ken, wake up! It's not time to go!" And Ken woke up because it wasn't time to go.
Ken owes his life to Drift, most people who hear the tale believe. The goosebump-inducing part, of course, is that Drift had been dead for several years when she did this.
Thank you, Drift, for waking Ken up. Good girl.