Today is March 17, the day for the wearing of the green. But today I'm in a more sombre mood as I've just had to say goodbye to a mate of almost 17 years. He died today in the arms of my wife, after a melanoma in the mouth finally took away his quality of life.
Clancy was an Australian Terrier. We used to quip that Aussie Terriers were just German Shepherds that had shrunk in the wash. The same glorious zest for life, the same loyalty, just in a more compact package. Right up until yesterday he was still trying to jump up to welcome his dinner, even if he didn't get his front feet more than an inch off the ground, the will was still there.
Clancy brought joy and comfort to everyone he met. When he'd got a bit older he was my aging mother's favourite as he would like nothing better than to snuggle up to her and she would commiserate on the process of aging. As a youngster it was like living in a pinball machine, he would literally bounce off walls.
When we got Clancy I spent time learning by heart "Clancy of the Overflow", a classic Australian poem by Banjo Patterson. I don't think I'll ever forget him or that poem.
So this evening we've poured two fingers of whiskey each, and toasted that wonderful creature that both of us will miss dearly.
Farewell Old Friend.