The Corgi Sighting Database
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FIN CH Newcard's Real Friend
June 13, 2010 - November 24, 2018

An duigh ni mi t'fhagal
Ri taobh oir a' chuairt
Le gach miann 's gach beannachd dhut

"An Dealachadh"

Kamu a few hours before his last neck surgery, November 2018

Eulogy for a Real Friend

A bit more than a fortnight before Easter 2012, I took on a young Cardigan boy. This, in itself, sounds unremarkable — five had come before him. The important distinction was that his predecessors had been chosen and officially owned by my beloved Sanna and I had only adopted three of them as legally my own after her death. But this one I took of my own accord, for myself: Kamu was my very first own dog.

He was no longer a pup when he came to me and his life until then had not been the easiest possible. He didn't trust me right away — in fact he attempted to run away on the first night at my house, but his breeder found him and brought him back. Eventually, I earned his trust with considerable help from my gentle older Cardigan Rosti and my new love Minna, the start of whose travels by my side started soon after Kamu's arrival.

Once we got over the trust issues, Kamu turned out to be a loving, loyal and obedient dog, never far from our side, always ready for a cuddle indoors and always a stalwart guardian out. The notable exception was that because in his mind he was a great brindle hunter, once he got a whiff of a hare, a deer or indeed almost any game, he was off on its trail no matter how hard you shouted for him to stop and come back. No small amount of exasperation resulted from his hunting expeditions. And as far as I know, he never caught anything larger than a vole. Aside of this minor flaw, his registered name was obviously an omen.

Sadly, his date of birth contained another. While his spirit was as huge and strong as that of any of our Corgis, his body turned out to be too frail to support it.

First to go was his knee, unsurprisingly when he was hunting. We gave him pain medication, limited his exercise and kept him on leash. He would never hunt again, but at least he was able to walk reasonable distances without a limp. That turned out to be merely an early warning, for just shy of 13 months ago his travails really started1.

Over the course of a year, he broke his back at the waist like Tikru did 7 years before, then suffered a herniated cervical disk. He was operated and he recovered, fairly easily in the latter case and with great difficulty and some loss of feeling in his hind legs in the former. Furthermore, two incidents of sebaceous gland tumors had to be removed from his right eyelid. Just 5 days after the stitches from the second eyelid surgery were removed, his neck broke again. And once again, we put him through a surgery, hoping against increasingly weak odds, and deciding that this was to be the last time he was cut open.

Then, 13 days after the surgery, the same neck injury symptoms returned and got steadily worse despite a heavy regimen of several different painkillers. We had to admit it was time for his last visit to the veterinarian. Cold rain drizzled down from the clouds as we headed for the clinic. He fell asleep in my lap and went gently into the endless night, his battered body finally giving up without a fight. The sky overhead had cleared when it was done. A foggy dew rose from the fields. The world had moved on, leaving Kamu behind.

He was my very own dog. The first, and almost certainly the last. For his all too short time with us, we tried to give him the best possible life. In return, he didn't stop at merely trying — he gave us his all. His name truly was an omen.

Jouni Pohjola (with Minna Hyvönen)
Piikkiö, Finland
November 25, 2018

1) Those who might want to read a more detailed record of Kamu's last months, I decided to put it here since after choosing to edit it out from above

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