as most of you will probably already know from instagram, we recently had to say goodbye to our lovely old dog Finn. he’d been with us for fifteen years so it was pretty heartbreaking, and we’re still adjusting to the huge empty space he left behind. but we have so many lovely memories of him, and thinking about everything we did together over the past fifteen years has been helping.
i’m sure most pet owners will agree that each of our furry companions have their own character quirks – we make up little stories about their lives, have imagined conversations, are sure that they have their own thoughts & feelings – and Finn was no exception. one of the things that we found quite funny about him, and quite unexpected, was just how much he loved Kate Rusby (no, seriously!). i love music, and listen to it constantly while i’m working; i especially like folky and traditional music, so that’s on quite a lot of the time in the dye studio. Finn didn’t have massively strong opinions about most of it, but as soon as Kate Rusby came on, he would start to look happy and relaxed, and fall asleep almost before the song was finished (even as a young & over-energetic boy, it was quite remarkable!).
we did often use this to our advantage, to try & de-stress him if he got anxious (he was quite a nervous little dude when we first got him, although he did mellow a lot over the years). we played Kate Rusby for him when we were moving house; when we had to drive him all the way home from Stirling after a major knee surgery; we left it playing on my iPad in the car for him whenever we went on a ferry to the Hebrides; we even bought him Kate Rusby’s Christmas album one year as a present! and without fail, every time, he would look happy & relaxed, and fall asleep. one of our favourites was her version of the traditional song “Wild Mountain Thyme (Blooming Heather)”, because in the second chorus, a male voice comes in as harmony that we were pretty sure was what Finn would sound like if he could sing.
because of that, i’ll probably always associate this song with Finn, and especially with our trips to the Hebrides – we would always go to the stone circle Poball Fhinn in North Uist (for obvious reasons, as it translates as “Finn’s People”!) which is on a hillside covered with heather and looks beautiful in full bloom.
so this month, i’ve dyed up another new colourway, called “wild mountain thyme” – it has heathery layers of purple, green, rust, and blue, and i’m really happy with how it’s turned out.
there are a few skeins available in the web shop now on the merino 4ply, and it will be gradually rolled out across all bases soon!
So sorry to hear about Finn. We lost both our German Shepherds in the last couple of years. Tilly the white shepherd loved the Bob Dylan song “Make you feel my love” it is a song I’m fond of and contains the words “I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong” which I used to sing to her when we first adopted her. Skye’s (black as the Cuillins) favourite and very appropriate song was “Stupidly Happy” which exactly summed her up. Not sure yet what our latest dog’s choice of song will be but she fell asleep when I played the link in your post so maybe she is a fellow Kate Rusby fan.
This is such a lovely post. Tangible associations of objects, places and music with memories of loved ones can be so powerful.
I hope you are knitting some of the beautiful WMT into something comforting for you both to wear in Finn’s honour.
I shall look forward to its appearance on Shetland or the alpaca mix for my own wild mountain memories.