A goodbye bouquet.

It is a very sad day in for the extended Read By Candlelight pet family. Two Sundays ago, we said goodbye to our little dog Tui. Today, we heard that Charlie, another RBC veteran, has gone. Knowing both of them, they are in the dog equivalent of heaven, eating everything in sight. Both were old dogs in declining health, and both went without pain or trauma—but it is still very hard to say goodbye to such good friends.

I do not want this blog to become known for depressing animal stories, so I want to share instead something that I think is lovely. Last weekend, a lady that had met my grandma once before showed up at our house with a bouquet for her, ‘knowing how much she must be missing her little dog.’ Mum says this is a proper Victorian style bouquet.


A bouquet of blue and white flowers of varying types with vivid green leaves at the edges.


What struck me immediately was the inclusion of Forget-Me-Not. This flower was one of the first I learned the name of and used to grow wild in our garden in Nelson. The giver stuck with the blue and white theme for her bouquet, but some of the flowers have meanings in the Victorian language of Flowers ( the A-Z of the Secret Victorian Era Language of Flowers ). Anemone means Forsaken, Angelica Inspiration. The bluebells symbolise constancy (a good way to express a dog’s loyalty), Pink symbolises boldness. Scabious means unfortunate love (um). Daisies have connotations of innocence and purity, and Columbine (apparently called Granny’s bonnet here) indicates folly.

Having looked up the meanings, I think the giver chose the flowers for their colours rather than their meaning, but this was a really lovely present and has given grandma and the rest of us, a lot of joy. It’s a really restful combination of flowers and while we miss our dog a lot, it is really nice to know that someone was thinking of us. I have not met the lady who gave grandma the bouquet, but it’s obvious that she has once had a pet. Isn’t it kind of amazing, that, even when they’re gone, our animals continue to bring us together?