Friday, 7 March 2008

Look at the funny side

Those of you who have been sniffing around my blog for a while will know there have been rather a spate of family deaths over the last year. It is the "norm", and I say that with a pinch of salt, for the (remaining living) family members in the region, ie. Oop North, to submit an entry into the local paper a few days before the funeral to let people who might have known my relative know what has happened. As well as being a useful way of contacting those who we don't know or have phone numbers for, it's a good way of telling people what they are expected to bring to the funeral by way of tributes.

Due to the health related problems surrounding those who have died, donations to charities have usually been requested over flowers; such as the hospital (the heart unit for example) that had perhaps helped them before they died.

My granddad, who was a bit of a character, died in 2004, peacefully in his sleep after a string of heart related problems. We submitted the obituary over the phone and got on with the grieving process, requesting that donations be made towards the Castle Hill hospital and Guide Dogs for the Blind, a charity he had always supported, instead of flowers. A few days later we checked the paper and, under the deaths section, found that our request had indeed been noted:

Died peacefully in his sleep on 25th October.
Loving husband of Beryl, father to five, grandad to Jo and her sister.
Funeral service will be at this crematorium, at this time, on this date.
Family flowers only, but donations to Castle Hill Hospital and Guard Dogs for the Blind gratefully received.

Now, I had heard of Guide Dogs for the Blind, but I wasn't aware that all this time there had been an offshoot of this association which catered for blind people living in rough areas. I wondered if perhaps members of Guard Dogs for the Blind were provided with Alsatians and inbred pit bulls instead of Labradors and Retrievers. Perhaps Guard dogs for the blind also wear studded collars instead of luminous yellow ones, or carry a small canister of CS gas in their harness on a trip to the shops.

I wondered if they too have an off-shoot association: SAS Killer Dogs for the Blind, deployed to blind people in Iraq, rottweilers perhaps, armed with grenades and AK47s. Or maybe this is just a special set up for those unfortunate enough* to live north of Watford, blind people whose canes would otherwise be stolen from under their noses 'daan the local Co-op.

If anyone has any information, or if you know someone who uses a dog donated to them by Guard Dogs for the Blind, do let me know. It would be wonderful to know how many dogs received steel paw-caps thanks to the donations received at my granddad's funeral.

Have a good weekend all!


Marika said...

Oh my...I feel awful laughing at this in the context of such a sad situation, but honestly...can't anyone use their initiative anymore? Seriously, I hope it didn't impact the donations to the Guide Dogs.

China Blue said...

That's brilliant - I had a good old guilty chuckle at that...

London-Lass said...

Oo dear .. how awful.

Ella said...

I noted your cleverly placed asterix to avoid a north/south debate.

I have to say, a person who attempted to make donations to Guard Dogs would be even lower on the "I use my initiative" scale than the person who typed the newspaper entry.

Boy said...

That's genius! Guard dogs for the blind! I definitely think you need to take that onto Dragons den!

Jo said...

marika - Don't feel bad, we all laughed at it, we're definitely a family who sees the funny side in situations like these! Unbelievable though eh?

china blue - So did we ;) I only wish I still had the newspaper clipping.

londonlass - awful in a funny way. What a section to make a guff like that in!

ella - Yep i didn't want to spark a war ;) And you're right about that. I'd like to think everyone realised the mistake!

boy - now there's an idea...


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