Lady of Ampleforth

4 March 1984 - 27 July 2000

Lady, Lady, Lady,
Sweet, sweet dog.
Beautiful girl.
Brown silky curls
Gentle dark eyes.

Watching, waiting for a word for a look
From us

Ears raised, poised expectantly at the hint of a walk.
She understands, anticipating the fun of exploring
every nook and cranny along the way.

From Yorkshire’s fields to Malta’s rocky shores
She switched from spotting pheasants hiding in the grass
To scurrying crabs which clung to moistened rocks
And fishes darting to and fro And lizards scampering out of view.

A sudden lunge beneath the sea
To catch the prey would satisfy
Her hunter’s nature for a while
Though hour on hour she’d stare and swim And nothing gain.

Her sheer delight was plain to see
Along the Qawra shore
Excitement showed from tail to toe
When sniffing under stones
Invisible tracks she’d follow still
When nothing seemed to show
Yet one could sense she saw much more
Than humans ever will

Truly a ‘Watchdog’ Lady was
everything passing by her gaze
Watching the door for our return
Watching us paint, watching us mend
Watching our every move it seemed.

Curiosity? Who knows? Or maybe just to be a part
Each new house or each new flat
Inspected sure and sniffed in full
Her disapproval, if it came,
Was sometimes very plain.

And once it happened just like that,
Once she deftly left her ‘mark’
Deposit left on kitchen floor,
She trotted back outside the door.
Our wavering minds at least could say
‘No, Lady doesn’t like it. We won’t stay’

Sweet, sweet Lady
Darling of our hearts
Like a mother you watched the children grow
Like a friend you were there for every high and low
When mum or dad had scolded, 
still with gentle look
You were there,
a friendly back to stroke.
Sharing the ‘dog house’
giving the ‘villian’ hope

So much, so much to say of you dear Lady,
Gift from God to keep us sane
Through years of growing, shaping, being
A Family forming in our home

Pictures, pictures, memories
Flashing through the mind
When passing by the places
Where you rested, walked and climbed

Not to see you there is pain
Not to stroke your head again
But you had lived your life in full
So sorrow must die too

And in its place we’ll gladly plant
A bouquet full of thought
Of one small creature who in life
Such joy to us has brought

Whose gift was being just herself
Whose presence there could calm a day
Who brought a legacy for us
Which she has left behind.

Goodbye Lady,
Thank you God,
For giving us her kind.