A friend gone

11th Nov 2010

This week Allan and I laid to rest a good friend. Nick Potts was a gentleman.  He was committed to his dogs and his sport. He was funny, sharp, gentle, warm, thoughtful and straight. He didn’t bitch about decisions not going his way. About birds not falling his way. If he didn’t have something good or honest to say, he said nothing. He adored his dogs. One last thing, the evil that is Cancer, prevented him from doing was having a litter from his adored Ebony, Wadeshot Honey. No man had planned harder for a litter, he so wanted to get it just right. That was Nick all over.

I met Nick maybe 7 or so years ago, when this slightly shy, extremely talented man started doing well at tests I was running for the KSSLRC with a pretty black bitch called Tara. We got chatting and never looked back. Nick must have helped at as many tests and trials as he ran in during a year. That is a rare treasure. Someone who is as pleased to come and throw dummies as he was to be asked to judge. Nick was a grafter. He was real, and he was genuine.

So many memories. But one of the most recent being, after YEARS of having showbred dogs out working, the end of last winter saw me spring out of the car at training, a young, tall, leggy, lanky yellow boy. Patently all trial bred, and utterly utterly different to anything i’d ever owned. I danced him up to Nick, who muttered, ‘who did you steal HIM off then Di?’ as he chuckled and rolled a fag. He watched silently as I took ‘legs’ Bondy for a quick wee, and then back to the cars. As we got near, he said ‘hey, Di…. nice dog, but you know, if the gundog thing doesn’t work out, with legs like them, theres always coursing!!!’ And a huge grin broke out as he put his arm round me and followed it up with ‘Glad you’ve got yourself a proper dog at last, girl!’……   😉

Tuesday saw myself, Allan and six of his close friends with our dogs outside the church at the beautiful village of Buxted in leafy East Sussex. We took our dogs that we had trained with Nick or were trained by Nick. They all sat up quietly and solidly as the mourners filled the church, nearly 200 in the end…. On the dot of 11am the hearse appeared, and slowly, close family passed between us into the church. Nick was carried through our guard, there to honor him, to the opening bars of Queen’s ‘Who Wants to Live forever….?’ into the church. The dogs didn’t move a muscle. We forced ourselves to walk inside behind him, with the dogs, into the church…… to possibly the most emotionally charged, uplifting, devestating, funny, heartbreaking funeral I have ever attended.

Nick, we won’t ever forget you, and we won’t even have to try in that. Some people stay with you forever and you are one of those. Sleep well……….. ‘All Out’.

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