It is a privilege and an honour to announce that we have a renowned and much loved writer who has written a report on the Pet Service which took place last Sunday. Some will know him from the Parish News where he has his own column “Turbo’s Tales’s”. A huge thank you to Turbo I’m sure you will enjoy his latest article:
I dragged the Guvnor and his wife over to Heytesbury on Sunday to attend the Pet Service. We haven’t had one for a while and it is such a good idea I am glad it has been returned to the rota. I was quite young when I attended the last one and I have to admit, with the hindsight of maturity, it wasn’t my finest hour – I attacked a cat basket and wee-ed on a chair leg.
A younger Turbo.
In those days it was a wonderful opportunity for a punch-up at best and a way-marking competition with other dogs at least – a half hour of canine capers – but this one was different; all attendees were dogs, all seemed friendly and we had a lot of fun. We all got on splendidly, probably because there were no cats, ferrets, parrots, guinea pigs or rats to complicate matters but perhaps I’m just becoming more grown up. I tried my utmost to embarrass the Guvnor and his wife by having my morning constitutional in the churchyard on arrival – but he spotted it, bagged it and disposed of it later (considerate not to bring it in, I thought.)
We began by singing:
‘All things bright and beautiful, (the Guvnor’s wife, I thought)
All creatures great and small (me and me, I thought);
All things wise and wonderful (the Guvnor, he thought – huh!)
The Lord God made them (us) all’.
It is the Guvnor’s favourite hymn and takes him directly back to his childhood when it was the sort of thing that made children homesick and most adults puke. Same thing, I suppose, but he and I think it’s fantastic and we love it.
We had offered the following ditty which some think a bit soppy but, again, I love it because it has a personal resonance:
‘When God had made the earth and sky,
The flowers and the trees;
He then made all the animals
And all the birds and bees.
And when his work was finished,
Not one was quite the same.
He said, “I’ll walk this earth of mine,
And give each one a name”.
And so God travelled land and sea,
And everywhere he went,
A little creature followed Him
Until its strength was spent.
When all were named upon the Earth,
And in the sky and sea,
The little creature said, “Dear Lord,
There’s no name left for me!”
So God the Father smiled and softly said,
“I’ve left you to the end;
I’ve turned my own name back to front,
And called you Dog, my friend.”’
I was surprised that not a single dog joined in the singing. I suppose it might be because the Guvnor’s voice was drowned out in the general hubbub and so I didn’t have to take unilateral action to distract people’s attention from that heady mix of the rasp, the fret-saw, the sandpaper and the squeaky door handle that we normally have to listen to reverberating from the bathroom here.
In an idle moment looking round the gathering, I thought the poor Rector’s dog collar was a bit dull. It was plain white, it had no studs or sparkles, no buckles, no disc with the address of the Rectory on it and no invitation to ‘Scan me’. I wonder what happens if she wanders off?