Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘walking

Capone Stanley Reynolds. Never A More Faithful Friend.

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Capone Stanley Reynolds, 2005 – 2020

My darling boy Capone left us at about a quarter to three on Sunday, 9th August 2020.  It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and I was sitting with him on the lawn at the back of the house.  I knew his time was near and as I was stroking him, he very calmly and peacefully stopped breathing.  As much as it could be, it was beautiful.

Capone was a very special dog and he will live in my heart until I die.  He came to me in 2007, shortly after I had left London to live in Emsworth, on the south coast between Chichester and Portsmouth. It was his sixteenth year, an extraordinary age for a dog of his size and type.  He was a cross between a German shorthaired pointer and a Staffordshire bull terrier and weighed up to 35 kilos at one point.  He became lame through arthritis in 2014 and put on a lot of weight. From that time on he never walked more than 30 or 40 yards. In his last year that reduced to maybe five or six yards but he always remained cheerful and a vital part of my family.  He leaves a huge hole and while my two younger dogs have taken it in their stride, Carla who came to me only six months after him, is devastated.  She didn’t eat for a week and although she is now recovering, her own time is not far away.  When she goes it will feel very much like the end of an era.  Capone and Carla both knew my parents and memories of staying at Mum and Dad’s with them are strong and precious.

Walking in Chichester Harbour (from Country Walking magazine)

Capone saved my life when he came to live with me. I was depressed and lonely after leaving London where I had been living for more than 12 years.  I needed to get away from an unhealthy lifestyle and a terrible relationship but it was difficult and I was going downhill. He gave me a reason to get up in the morning, walking with him became my therapy and it eventually led me back into writing, which I had lost in the chaos of London life.  For the first time in years I had a piece published, ‘One Walk, Four Seasons’ in Country Walking magazine.  A year later I moved to Dorset and celebrated walking with both my dogs in my blog Paradise Valley, excerpts from which were regularly published in a local newspaper.

Surfing, Bowleaze Cove, Dorset

Surfing, Bowleaze Cove, Dorset

As well as walking, Capone loved swimming.  I would throw a stick from the beach and out he would go to retrieve it, fearlessly, through waves three, four times his height, relentlessly, indomitably and he would insist on going again and again until I almost had to drag him out the water.

Later, out of the blue, Capone developed severe epilepsy and he became my personal experience of the extraordinary power of medicinal cannabis. He would have died at least five years ago were it not for his daily dose of low-THC cannabis oil.  I wrote about his experience in 2016. Eventually it cured him completely of his seizures and in his final months I increased his dosage and it enabled him to live out his last days in comfort.

My mother died over the Christmas period in 2015 and that year her gift to me was a cushion emblazoned with ‘Dogs welcome, people tolerated’. She knew me so well.  Dogs are definitely my favourite sort of people and Capone, without doubt, has been the most important dog in my life.

I buried him in my garden just a few hours later.  My good friend Georgina, her son Paddy and my other three dogs, Carla, Cariad and Kearney stood beside me at the grave and I recall telling them how he was always such a good dog, right from day one he didn’t have to be on a lead.  He would walk faithfully by my side, through a field of sheep, along a busy road through crowds of people, never bothered, never perturbed.  He was as steady as they come, centered and always content by my side, as I was with him.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 22, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Paradise Valley

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Paradise Valley

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The early summer has made the valley explode into life.  Read the latest instalment here.

Paradise Valley

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Two hours here with the dogs every morning.

It’s the only thing that keeps me sane.

See here for the latest episode.

Paradise Valley

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There’s just the very slightest suggestion of spring in Paradise Valley.

See here for the latest.

Paradise Valley

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For the latest news on Paradise Valley see here.

Paradise Valley

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Dorset is experiencing its worst winter for 30 years but in Paradise Valley it just makes the views more beautiful and the adventures more exciting.

See here for the latest instalment.

The Real World

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Anytime I want.  Day or night.  Summer or winter.

All I have to do is step outside.

Leave behind all the paranoid stoners, political junkies, earnest enquirers and put the deadlines on hold.

Right outside my front door is the real world.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

Paradise Valley

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A Christmas ghost story available here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Paradise Valley

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Come with me into the crisp, sparkling air of the Dorset countryside.  Let the salted breeze blow away your cobwebs and the sheer beauty still your soul.

This is real life.  All the rest is illusion.

Go here.