Hapennywoods Wild Calamint
10th. March 1996 to 14th. July 2010
A good dog - May he rest in peace

Today we said goodbye to Callum. There were tears a-plenty and there will be more later. But it was the right time for his passing.

Callum was Jane's "once in a lifetime" dog. He was a gentle and loving giant of a border collie, always willing to please and always at Jane's side. He was the first dog she trained and competed with seriously and the partnership got almost to the very top of the Obedience world. When Callum was in his prime, you couldn't see the paint on the hallway wall as it was covered with rosettes. We had to buy a cabinet just for his trophies.

That Callum made it to over fourteen years is a miracle. From a puppy he was plagued with various illnesses that required surgery and long treatment. Jane jokes that his insurance paid for the brand new hospital our vets built a couple of years ago. Two and a half years ago we were told he only had 24 hours to live and that we should have him put to sleep. We knew they were wrong (doggie people know such things instinctively) and, sure enough, the following day he was running around the garden like a puppy. So we are so grateful that we had those extra years with him and both Callum and ourselves thoroughly enjoyed them.

But there is one thing above else that I owe that dog big time for. I truly believe that the chances of myself and Jane getting through my illness as a couple, all those years ago, would have been far, far lower if Callum hadn't been there as a faithful and constant friend for Jane when I was in hospital and she was having to cope with everything on her own (there being, unsurprisingly, no help forthcoming from the Church).

His strength in the face of adversity made us strong. We will survive our bereavement to a large extent because of the example of our big, handsome boy.

God be with you, Callum, old friend.
You are going to be one of his favourites.



  1. My condolences to both of you on your loss.

    People sometimes downplay the pain of the loss of a companion, but they are the ones who have truly lost because they never had the love of a companion like Callum.

  2. I’m sure that Callum is on a beautiful beach in haven, running around and swimming in water I’d be too much of a wimp to go near (cold!)

    May he rest in peace and rise in glory with us all.

  3. I am sorry that this had to happen. But I know that Love will sustain you. I am sending virtual Hugs to you and Mrs, Madpriest. Bailey is 14 and I know it will happen to him sometime also. In the meantime I am grateful for all that he does for me. I also give a big hug to Glenna.

  4. Callum, I’m proud to have met you. I remember the first time I saw you, I exclaimed over and over at your size. You were the largest border collie I had ever seen. And I see that you were a giant in more ways than one.

    Jane and Jonathan, I offer my deepest sympathy and prayers. You may have another dog, but you’ll never have another Callum. May God give you heartsease. You will meet again some sunny day. Meanwhile, as my young grandson said, “If you love him, he lives in your hearts.”

  5. I’m so sorry to hear it, Mad Priest. How achingly sad for you and Jane. What a beautiful tribute though, and I trust Callum is in dog heaven wagging his tail right now, equally glad at the 14 years he had with both of you.

  6. My deepest condolences.

    Dogs are the very best of friends and to lose those friends is so very hard. My prayers are with you.



  7. Oh, MP, I’m so sorry. You both gave him a great life, I’m sure, and he returned the love in spades. I’m glad you have those transcendent pictures on the beaches. That’s my favourite memory of my dog, too–running in and out of the waves. Tears rolling down now; we grieve with you.

  8. I am so very sorry and sad for you and Jane. Callum is such a big beautiful boy and good and true. You and Jane will be in my prayers.

  9. My deepest sympathy Jonathan. A few years ago I said goodbye to just such a “once in a lifetime” companion. It’s a heart wrenching time.

    Hold onto each other and have a good wake in his honor, telling all the stories you can think of.


  10. Oh, Jonathan, I am so sorry for your loss of dear Callum. The love of a companion animal truly is a special gift from God. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your grieving. I am sure that God has a special place for Callum to run and play and a special blessing for you and Jane in thanks for all the love and care that you gave this very special dog.

  11. I’m reminded of Byron’s poem that he made for the loss of his dog Boatswain:

    “Near this spot
    Are deposited the Remains of one
    Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
    This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    If inscribed over human ashes,
    Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
    BOATSWAIN, a Dog’

  12. The loss of a member of the family – human or animal – whether expected or not, is still a shock. Courage and strength to you in the days and months ahead. (What lovely photos of your doggies.) – Jay

  13. MadPriest, my deepest sympathy to you and Jane on the death of Callum. May good memories of his life balance out the pain of his loss.

  14. Oh how sad. I’m so sorry, Jonathan. But I’m certain that it was truly right, to let him go in peace and dignity.

    In the Northern tradition, Odin is said to have associations with dogs & wolves thanks to the two wolves that watch by his high seat in Valhalla; they are named Geri and Freki.

    I am sure the Allfather would gladly make room for beautiful Callum by the high seat.

    We will raise a glass to his memory later this eve.

  15. Oh, MP, prayers to you both. Little Eddie and Boomer told me to give Callum the highest compliment in the doggy world for his life–“He was a good dog.” If we could only all be such good dogs ourselves.

  16. My condolences. What a lovely friend to lose. Companion animals do help people through all sorts of crises. We owe so much to them.

  17. Dear Jonathan and Jane, I send my deepest sympathy, even as we all join you in giving thanks for Callum. A good dog indeed. As he romps on the shores of heaven, wagging his golden tail, may he join Laika in interceding for us all. And may you find comfort in your loss.

  18. So sorry to hear that, you’ll both be in my prayers.
    At least I got to ruffle his ears before he went to the better place.

  19. My condolences. They are with us far too short a time. How lucky you were to share his life! Meanwhile he can romp with Dante–it looks like they both like water. ūüôā

  20. The way I look at it is that there is pain because they live such short lives but this is redeemed by the fact that this means you get to live with lots of them during your life.

  21. In the peaceable kingdom, your Callum and my Hildegard romp together I’m quite certain. Then there’s another old Canon McCallum, human variety, who in his Scots way could liven up any gathering. Prayers and all good things–this board was so good to me when I lost Hildy. I’ve saved all the comments to be sure!

  22. The critters in the household (Andy, Georgia, Jack and Charlie) and I all send our love and condolences to you, Mrs. MadPriest, and your whole household.

  23. I am so very sorry to read this MP. My condolences to you and Mrs. MP.

    I’m not much of a dog person, cats are more my thing, but I seem to have something in my eye as I sit here reading this.

  24. God says, as he scratches Callum and his companions behind their ears, “Well, at least some of my creation got it right.”

  25. Miss Xena Warrior Princess of All Norwalk is in deep mourning for such a beautiful dog…and so am I, for you and Jane. Xena barks, “Clumber said it all.”
    I like your redemption bit.

  26. Condolences, Jane and Jonathan and all of Callum’s companion dogs, for your loss. Prayers for all of you.


  27. Those “once in a lifetime” dogs ruin it for their successors, but what a gift in their ability to cause us to see the world the way it ought to be.

    My condolences to you and Mrs. MP.

  28. Love & prayers for you all from the whole gang (both human & canine) here. We shall be together once again, no matter how our hearts ache for now, and the love that filled your dear Callum’s heart is far greater than the fleeting obscenity of death.

  29. My deepest sympathies go to you and Mrs. MP. What a lucky dog Callum was, to have such humans — and what lucky humans you are, to have had Callum! May God welcome him into heaven, and the angels keep him happy and playing until that day (far, far in the future) when you and Mrs. MP join him again.

    Peace and love to you both.

    word verification is “inglov” — anagram of loving — how appropriate!

  30. Prayers for the entire MP family, human and canine.

    (I think St. Peter has dog treats on the ready at the pearly gates.)

  31. Oh, I am so, so sorry. My heart truly hurts for you and Jane. What a beautiful and good, good dog. And I do know what going through such a loss is like (as you know).

    May you be comforted and sustained. May Callum be richly rewarded as I’m sure he is. May we all be moved to give special thanks for the dogs who share and have shared their lives with us.

  32. Dear MP & Jane,

    I got this far with this note and the tears came…..God hold & comfort you
    and may you hold and comfort each other. Glenna & Delphi will need comforting also……take care!

  33. This is weird but true and unexaggerated.

    When we took the girls down the park for their walk this evening, my bitch, Glenna, urinated at every place Callum used to pee and more. But here’s the thing, every time she cocked her leg up to do it (which, for those of you who don’t know about the toilet habits of dogs is very unusual for a lady dog). It’s as if she was telling the other dogs that use the park that Callum may be gone but the park still belonged to the Mad Gang.

    I promise you, this is the absolute truth.

  34. Oh Callum: sweet, beautiful Callum! :-(..

    MP, I give you brotherly slug in the arm. Jane, however, I hope will accept a {{{hug}}}

    Mitzi, Sasha, and all the Golden Tail gang, welcome Callum w/ wags and butt-sniffs a-plenty. Grendel, show him to the ever-flowing gravy dish!

    No offense to Glenna or Delphi, but Callum was the handsomest BC I ever saw…

  35. It’s not unknown for Glenna to cock her leg up but it’s rare. She must have done it 20 times in a row this evening (normally she’ll go just a few times) and didn’t squat once.

  36. Oh, I see (said the blind man). Tonight was different. Oh well, Glenna be da man of da house from now on. Get out of the way Jonathan, or your shoe will be next.

  37. I am sorry for the loss of your beloved and beautiful Callum. Losing a pet that has helped you through a difficult time is a difficult thing. Thinking of you and Mrs. MP.

  38. Oh I am so sorry for you both. I had to go and give my three dogs hugs after reading this. He sounds like he was an incredible dog. And a good looking one, too.

  39. Deepest sympathy to you and Mrs. Mad Priest. Smoke, Sandstorm and Arthur send their wishes too.

    All dogs go to heaven, they are not the ones who screwed up. They and cats are proof that creation is indeed good.


  40. I am sad. So sorry for your loss and Mrs. Madpriests grief as her big pup moved on to the Rainbow Bridge (I always love the thought of all the dogs romping there waiting for their owners who will arrive one day to continue the friendship)…thinking of you, with kind thoughts and much Leonardo Ricardo

  41. Glad we got to meet Callum – a great dog for sure. Feeling sad for your loss — hole in heart -hard to mend

  42. My condolences on your loss. I loved meeting your dogs when we visited in 2008. They were so sweet and well behaved. Thanks for some wonderful memories. I’m sorry he’s gone but glad to have met him.

  43. My heart grieves for you on such a hard loss… our hearts and souls are for ever marked by those companions whom sojourn with us, never ever long enough. Many prayers for the two of you… and Callum’s canine companions, too.

  44. My sympathies. My grandparents had a border collie, Benjy, who was devoted to them (not surprisingly since they had rescued him from an abusive home). They are deeply loyal dogs.

  45. My prayers and condolences to you both. May Callum rest in peace and romp in glory.

  46. I am so sorry. I am not sure I should tell Holly as they were puppies together and with her illness, I am not sure I want her to feel upset.
    He was a gorgeous dog; I remember Jane coming over with him and him peeing in our hall. He was just a big puppy then.
    prayers for you all, give Jane my love.

  47. Dear Jonathan and Jane, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Callum’s story with us. While he is in good company, no doubt he will be thrilled at your eventual reunion.


    WV is caremin, must be short for “caring ministry”. How appropriate.

  48. God bless Callum for all the love given and received.

    God bless you MP and Jane. We will light a candle and offer a couple of dog cookies.

  49. Weeping with you, Jonathan and Jane, and holding you near my heart. Thank you for sharing the beautiful boy with us in pictures and stories.

  50. Yes, I’m crying too. I’ve so often come close to loss of Molly the WonderDog, that it feels as if I keep practicing grief. So I experience a bit of yours and Mrs. MP’s.


  51. I’m sorry Jonathan but Callum is in good company with all of our now heavenly dogs…and a few cats. We who have lost know the pain of loss. You will be with him again, eternally, when we are with God.

  52. This was a dog.
    A dog.
    An animal.
    Something that licked its own nether regions, had fleas and had a brain the size of a lime.
    Did you light candles for this?
    Even for religious people, this is stupid.

  53. Normally I don’t believe in feeding trolls but I just want to say to “Anonymous” that this has nothing to do with religion one way or the other. You have obviously never loved a dog or been loved by a dog. And your life is clearly the poorer as a result.

  54. That was the Rhode Island troll, Ellie (his name has slipped my memory but he’s the one who goes on about invisible friends all the while). From the amount of time he spends writing the same thing over and over again all day I assume that he is not getting any love from anywhere.

  55. Then may Holy Callum wag his Golden Tail in prayer that RI Troll do receive (perceive) Some Love from Somewhere…