Linus lost his short battle with cancer on March 15th, 2006. The first indication that he was seriously ill was in November 2005, when he developed a large, swift-growing swelling on his shoulder. It was only the professionalism of the staff of the Veterinary Hospital in Lincoln, and the The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital in Cambridge that enabled him to enjoy another four months of happy and reasonably active life until the disease finally claimed him.
Linus was a beloved dog, not only by his family, but by almost everyone who came to know his gentle strength, sweet nature and overwhelming sense of fun. As for those of us left behind . . . . I can do no better than to refer you to the words of Kipling. Farewell, Linus. And thank you
"The Power of the Dog"
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie --
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the term of years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find -- it's your own affair --
But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone -- wherever it goes -- for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.
We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept'em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long --
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?