Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Goodbye Gazza

Yesterday afternoon we had to take Gazza to the vet to be put down. He had crippling arthritis and the drugs we gave him to alleviate the pain also prevented him from moving around. He had no quality of life left after 15 years of a life led to the highest quality. Gazza is the reason people own dogs. His utter love, devotion and excitement made him the perfect companion. But 15 years of non-stop aerobics finally began catching up with him and for the last few months he was barely able to climb the two steps into the house.

We met as a family and drove him in the green station wagon to the vet. He had a freshly laundered carpet to stand on in the back. He had his usual exciting time, staring maniacally out of the window on at the green world going by. He was so bloody sore he snarled at Dad when he had to be lifted out of the back. We explained to the vet that it was time and the vet took out a bottle of green liquid, a syringe and a little bucket of dried liver treats. Dad helped him to lie down on the table while he snuffled the liver treats out of my hand. We all patted him while the vet shaved his leg and put the needle in. He snuffled a few more dark little squares and then relaxed his head. We rested it down and lay him carefully on his side. We stroked his wonderful mane and Dad let me take his red collar off. We cried, thanked the vet and went sadly home.

He was a good dog.

If you knew Gazza and would like to say something or tell a story about him, please write it in the comment box. We'd all love to hear about it.


  1. Sorry to hear about ol' gaz, I know how much he meant to you.

  2. Add me to the list of mourners. Those are beautifully chosen photos, and the post beautifully restrained.

  3. Sam, your message brought tears to my eyes even though I have only met Gazza a few times, and not for several years. I do know, however, that he was a king among dogs and that he was, and will continue to be, well loved.

  4. I got to spend last year's Christmas holiday with Gazza and much to my surprise we fell in love. He followed me around the house, tucked me in at night, and sat at my feet while I worked in Neal’s office. Normally I am leery of dogs but Gazza helped me to see the light. His enthusiasm for living is my fondest memory of him. I am thinking of him from far away in Arizona, good rest my friend. Mary Margaret

  5. Hi Sam, Suzanne & Neil, ta for letting me know, Gazza's such a part of the Franzway family, all that joy, energy, enthusiasm and mountains of generosity bundled into a beautiful dog! How lucky he was to have you all (and he knew it and showed it) and how fortunate are you all to have been with him. Fifteen fabulous years, vale to a pal, love from Vicki C(and Lili and Georgie who will welcome & play with Gazza in dog heaven as surely there must be such a place for these fine creatures!)

  6. Gaza was such a wonderful dog. He had the kind of personality that you measure other dogs against. He made me feel secure and comfortable as only a charming, loving, and hospitable Gaza can. Sam, Suzanne, and Neil I am very sorry for you loss.

  7. Dear Sam, Suzanne and Neil
    I am so sorry to hear about Gazza. I loved his boundless enthusiasm and his conviction that we all shared it.
    I especially love the story about him trying to make the car go faster on the way to Pt Julia by adding paw power, racing around the back seat in manic excitement.
    Much love from Kathie and Buck, Clio and Ody.

  8. Sorry to hear about Gazza, Sam. A very sad day indeed. Love, Shelley xxoo

  9. I didn't know Gazza at all, but I still had to do a little extra fast blinking to try and stop the odd teardrop. Glad you had so many wonderful years with him.

  10. Beautiful photos, capturing the essence of a life lived in motion. Gazza - you will be missed - for your zest for life, for your occupation of whatever patch of ground one was trying to walk on, for terrorising the front door and for being a gorgeous dog. Reading Sam's words brought a tear to my eye. I'm thinking of you Sam, Suzanne and Neil, with much love, Louise

  11. Gazza was the most annoying dog I ever met, he drove me crazy!! Luckily however he was so damn adorable that he got away with it and always made me smile. Much love to you Gaz...

  12. Dear Suzanne, Neil and Sam,
    thanks for your story about Gazza. Dogs do creep into our hearts and take over (as I know from dog-sitting Kathie's Clio and Odie) and there is no bond in the world like it, even dare I say between parent and child.
    I remember Gazza, in days gone by, rushing to the front door barking ferociously followed by Suzanne's or Neil's 'Gazza, stop that' which was reiterated as he high-pawed the visitor.
    Goodbye Gazza,

  13. Oh Franzy, my eyes are tearing up for you. Gazza sounds like a prince among princes. Having fifteen years with him is a real privelege.

    I've only had my little furry faced friend for three years and already feel a lump in my throat for the inevitable parting. They are so much more than pets or dogs - they live for love, friendship and togetherness, don't they?

    Sorry mate


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32