Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Ballad of the Nordic Snowflake

The knitting pattern didn't look quite right,
The pictured dog not Bertie's shape one bit
But Gail thought, she surely could adapt
The size, and make a jumper just to fit.

Come late September, yarn and needles bought,
But then that fateful visit to the vet,
The bladder cancer diagnosis shock,
A poor prognosis for her precious pet. 

The pup of course went on his merry way,
As happy and as bouncy as before,
The tablet he was given once a day,
He thought of as a treat and nothing more. 

And Gail decided she should press ahead. 
And knit this Christmas jumper just as planned.
To not do so would be a breach of faith, 
The thought of Bertie's passing, more than she could stand.

So Christmas came and he was bouncing still,
For sure he knew how handsome he appeared
In his red sweater. Gail was thrilled,
And optimistic for the coming year.

In January, he's doing fine. He's such
A loving pup, so fond, so smart, so bright,
One might imagine that he knows how much
Gail needs him through these long dark Covid nights.

The weather worsens, ice and snow set in,
The Nordic snowflake sweater earns its keep,
And passers by see Bertie, stop and grin, 
And comment on his winter wear. "So chic!"

Six months now passed since Gail first was told
That Bertie likely would not live too long.
This jolly jumper represents her hopes, 
And she is full of joy he's fighting on.


  1. Long may Bertie bounce! I look at our old Goldie girl, and 'my heart misgives me' - her days are numbered, and the two grandchildren will be as devastated as we will be. I try to see each day as a gift.

  2. PS . meant to say how spiffing Bertie looks in that sweater.

    1. Gail says: Thank you Virginia, and best wishes to you and your old Goldie girl.

  3. I follow Bertie's blog, with much enjoyment, however, without commenting very often, but I have to say how much I enjoyed your lovely, thoughtful posting today. Regards from rural New Zealand.

    1. Gail says: Thank you for this kind message.

  4. Hari OM
    Awwwwwww I think I may just have melted into my keyboard. You are a team, you two. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  5. Bertie, we hope that you will have many more years' wear out of that lovely sweater. It was knitted with such love by Gail, and wearing it, you look truly the handsomest doggy.

    Inca xx

  6. We hope you have many many more years in your beautiful Nordic snowflake sweater, Bertie♥

  7. Can't see through my tears, praying now that Bertie will conintue to bounce and live long and to the time he will not need that beautiful red jumper and can bounce in his own furs

  8. forgot to say the pool pup was MONKEYED into the pool, there is a long step over a lip to the pool and he is afraid to step off that ledge

  9. Well Done -- to Gail for her knitting prowess and to Bertie for his posing. The love that was put into this sweater is what keeps him going. Hugs to you both, E.T., Florida, USA

  10. Gail and Bertie,
    OH MY word the Ode to the Nordic snowflake has almost left me speechless..but alas I found my tongue and can say without a doubt this Ballard needs to be copyrighted and in print somewhere.
    Gail what a beautiful and loving mental tribute to our favorite WFT and OMDs you know how much I love Bertie in that jumper full of HOPE.
    Hugs and thank you for making me smile
    Cecilia (Bryan reads your blog at night so I know he will also say well done)

  11. PS we seem to have plenty of sparrows here; however, this spring there has been a warning about Gold Finches carrying salmonella and it can be transmitted to humans..Of course if can in the years of 20 and 21. No worries for me though as I wear disposable gloves when I do feeder maintenance. Evidently many have been found deceased. Not sure of the cause myself.

  12. birds found deceased no humans...I'm sure you knew that LOL

  13. What a lovely poem to go along with the lovingly created jumper for you, Bertie. We hope you get to wear it many more times.

  14. That was a great poem, and a lovely jumper! We hope Bertie keeps on bouncing for a long time.

  15. That is a beautiful ballad and a stunning jumper - Bertie wears it so well. It must be his good luck charm.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  16. A lovely poem. Very clever. Bertie looks great. Let's hope he continues to prove them all wrong.

  17. Oh, your Ballad is FABulous!! It brings a wag of my tail, and a smile to Ma's mug! As Ma said before, Gail's knitting skills are an envy of Ma's ~ she wishes she cold knit me such a chic sweater! It really does make you even more handsome than before...if that was even possible! Keep bouncing my furiend 🥰
    Ruby ♥

  18. Looking good Bertie! We are so glad ya is still bouncing.

  19. What a wonderful symbol of hope! <3

  20. The jolly jumper is so handsome and Bertie is the best boy ever with a wonderful mom to take care of him!

    Your friend Rosie

  21. Your Snowflake is AWWW-some! And you look so wonderful in it! The poem/story was uplifting! Thanks Bertie! You ROCK!

  22. Faith, love, hope, and yarn make a warm and wonderful jumper.