Saturday 24 March 2018

Goodbye to Human Granny

Wedding Day: 23 March 1956

Human Granny: 13 August 1930 - 21 March 2018

I called her Human Granny,
She sometimes called me Petsy,
I loved her tender touch,
And her kind and welcoming smile.

I wished I’d known her younger self,
That brave child aged nine, who was not seasick
When she crossed the Atlantic in 1940
In stormy weather, in wartime, to Canada.

They can’t have been easy, those four years away,
So far from her ‘Mummie’ and 'Daddy’.
She learnt to skate, to swim, to ski,
To be resilient.
She overcame her fear of Dick the Dog.

She was brave at the end too.

Toronto, 1940: HGY posting a letter to her parents in England

Toronto 1941: with Mr Harpham and 'Dick'


  1. So sorry for your loss. Soft woos and gentle hugs from all of us.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber and Mom

  2. Hari OM
    Bertie lad, you have honoured HGY in a most beautifurs way... My Love to you and Gail and Uncle Max... Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  3. So sad to hear of your loss. A loving tribute to HGY. Hugs to both you......

  4. What a lovely tribute to your Human Granny. We're so sorry to hear of your loss and have our paws crossed for all your family.

  5. We are sorry to hear about Grandma. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. RIP Human Granny­čî╣

  6. I'm sorry for your loss. I've never commented here before, but I've been thinking of you as you let go a much loved family member.

  7. So sorry to hear the news..expected, but none the less, sad. What a wonderful woman. Lovely poem. It is never easy to lose a parent. Hugs from us.

  8. We are so very sorry for your loss, sending love and snuggles to both you and Gail.
    Beth, Arty, Jakey, & Rosy

  9. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I'm so sorry.

  10. Dearest Bertie and Gail, what a beautiful poem in tribute to HGY. May memories of her brave and loving spirit comfort you in the days to come. Love, Ann - a longtime reader but infrequent commenter.

  11. So sorry to hear your sad news, sending lots of luffs and hugs to you
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  12. Sending pug hugs and love to you at this difficult time.
    Hazel, Mabel & Mom

  13. There is nothing more beautiful than a life well lived. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  14. So very sorry to hear the sad news, you are in our thoughts. May you find comfort in many happy memories.

    Love and hugs,
    Inca and her human xx

  15. As Angus said nothing more beautiful than a life well lived and HG certainly did that, Her beautiful, kind and loving smile said it all. HG will always be with you. Hugs to you Bertie, the lovely Gail and all the friends and family of HG

  16. Dear Bertie
    Mom and I are so very very sorry about HG and send you many kitty kisses and Gail hugs. You, my WFT buddy, have step up to the tribute plate today with this most beautiful poem about 'our' Human Granny.
    We thought of her as ours too.

    The wedding picture of Gail's parents is absolutely stunning and in beautiful condition. I can see from all the photos HG developed her signature smile early.
    Mom recently watched a movie about the era in which she lived. The main character said, ladies of that ear had gumption HG had in truck loads.

    Gail thank you for sharing your mom and dad with us over the years. Truly loved all the stories, pictures of functions with HG smiling surrounded by all who loved her..
    I'm so glad you have the blog posts to look back and smile and say Mother lived her life to the fullest. Gosh even addressing Christmas cards in 2017.
    Take care of yourself and Bertie you need to keep up that hugging you are doing.
    With love and hugs Madi and Cecilia

  17. I was saddened to learn of this news. Your mum was special to all of us who read your blog. May she rest in peace and may you find comfort from all of us here in Blogville.
    Elinor T.

  18. As others have said, thank you for sharing HGY with us, we learned to love her through your words and pictures, and learned more about you through the love you showed to her.

    It will not be easy, but she gave you a great example of fortitude and strength.

    Much love
    Teka and Mum

  19. So very sorry to learn of this sad news. Thoughts are with you. Julia

  20. Gail and Bertie, those are lovely photos you posted, a tribute to Human Granny's resilience, even as a young girl. Our hearts go out to you. I have loved you accounts, and photos, of Human Granny's adventures. God speed.

  21. Our hearts are with you. We are so very sorry to hear about Human Granny.


  22. What a beautiful lady. She will be dearly missed I am sure. My condolences to your family.

  23. Bertie, I'm sure you will step up and be a wonderful support to Gail. I am very sorry for your loss.

  24. A wonderful tribute to your mother. It’s lovely to hear that a dog from Toronto played an important role in her life—alongside Bertie (and Hamish). I am sorry for your loss. From a regular reader, infrequent commenter, Westie owner in Canada

    1. My mother was treated with such love, kindness and generosity by the family she stayed with in Toronto, and in later life enjoyed nothing better than telling people about the wonderful time she spent as an evacuee in your country. Thanks for commenting. Cheers, Gail.

  25. Bertie and Gail,
    I am sorry to hear of the passing of your dear mother. I hope the sweet memories of your life at home will sustain you and bring you peace.
    Pam and Bonnie the wee Scottie

  26. We are sending all the love and boxer kisses we can summon to you and Gail. We're so sorry for your loss. We feel like we got to know Human Granny through you, and she was a wonderful lady!

  27. “Birth and Death are words we chose to describe the doorways in and out of a cycle". Human Granny has entered another doorway we shall miss reading about her. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort Gail.
    Sweet William The Scot

  28. Bertie, I am sure that you and Human Granny brought each other much love and joy. We will miss her too, as we enjoyed reading about your visits with her. May you and Gail seek comfort in one another, by sharing extra hugs.

  29. Dear Bertie, please allow me to speak directly to Gail. I hope you don’t mind.

    What an incredible journey you (and Bertie) have shared with both of your parents, and then with us through your blog. Though I’ve not kept up with the regularity that I wish, I’ve still learned so many lessons of love and devotion and dedication and courage and strength from you. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us. What a lovely tribute to your mother. I hope that very soon all of the positive memories start to fill the hole in your heart and your life that you are undoubtedly feeling now. My sincere condolences, Gail. Hug Bertie and cuddle close with him. Much love from your Colorado friends …

  30. Bertie and Gail, I just connected the dots from comments you've made on Angus's blog. I, too, have enjoyed getting to know both HG's and so appreciated the love and devotion shared in your family. I noticed that you had received advice on healing: long walks together followed by a glass of wine! Great advice. We will toast you this evening after our walk. Sending love and rottie kisses from California.

    Otto, Osa and Lisa