For Donguan John

A small thought that just occurred. Bought a new pair of trainers (Primarni* bargain basement stuff in the sale, for walking doggie through mud etc) and just a thought occurred.

Laces are laced through the eyes. OK. Is this something automated as yet? Or is this still something that is done by hand? The placing of the laces into the shoes?

Not even sure I know why I’m even vaguely interested in knowing the answer, even if I am – this might be displacement activity as I’m finding a piece for elsewhere difficult to write – but it has just risen into the mind.

*OK, Primark then

36 thoughts on “For Donguan John”

  1. No fvckin idea on this question, but I wonder why no piece on/mention of the “sujet du jour”, or are we being quiet about it just not to provoke suicidal thought and actions by certain posters?

    Whatever you do, don’t mention the B word, I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it…..

  2. I buy shoes out of China & many of them come partially laced. So I’d guess, if they had a lace insertion tool, they’d come fully laced. Once you have the first two holed sorted, that’s 90% of the problem. I’d say they’re saving on labour time doing a partial lace.

  3. Off topic – but still connected to dogs: Had to have my dog put down last night. He was clearly fucked and knew it and prolonging things would have been an unkindness. We had a moment together and the then vet pushed a massive overdose of barbs in. I’ve come round very strongly to the view that forcing humans who are clearly fucked and suffering to not get put down similarly is also a severe unkindness. There is a point in every exit journey when the moral thing to do is to help it along with a smile and best wishes.

  4. @Patrick

    Sorry to hear about your dog. I agree with you, and more so the older I get. But against this we have to balance the message that life is precious, to keep downward pressure on the increasing murder and suicide rates, particularly among younger people who may be less enlightened.

  5. Yes life is precious. Quality of life. Forcing the continuation of suffering is not equal to dignity. There is a dignity in choice. The real problem comes for those who suffer but are beyond ‘compos mentis’ choice. So, for example, I’d absolutely allow a locked-in syndrome sufferer to chose to die but much less so an Alzheimer sufferer. We need a more flexible and compassionate approach than the current blanket ban which puts people in the positional equivalent me being forced last night to let Charlie shiver his life away in pain and not being able to tell the vet to bring it to a dignified end.

  6. …oh…and thanks for commiserating over Charlie’s end…was not a pleasant evening…
    …and funny how vets and vet nurses seem much better than their NHS equivalents at customer care…

  7. Much easier to get rid of less-than-competent staff in the vet clinic than in the NHS…
    Schools have the same problem.

  8. The Other Bloke in Italy

    Patrick, I add my sympathy. Miserable business, losing a dog; even when the poor creature knows it is time to go Home.

  9. Patrick, sorry to hear about the dog; never easy.

    Think you’re right that they know; my previous one died in the car on the way to the vets. Probably less distressing all round that way – he hated the vets’ (and of course cheaper).

  10. RichardT
    Thanks. ‘and of course cheaper’

    Yes, I’m £800 quid poorer (!) but don’t regret a penny. They were wonderful and properly diagnosing a patient that can’t talk isn’t easy (turns out his liver was more tumour than liver). Get what you pay for I suppose.

  11. It has always struck me as odd that we can be kinder to our pets in extremis than we can to our nearest-and-dearest.

  12. We’ve had the same heartaches with cats over the years. The problem with people is the ‘thin end of the wedge’ stuff and the European activities well within living memory have definitely poisoned the well.

  13. £800! FFS, my 19 year old cat will need the same sometime.

    Without meaning to belittle your sadness, a certain eminent QC despatched an animal of the dog family without any expense, apart from to his reputation and perhaps loss of future business, with a few strokes to its head using a handy household item.

  14. The difference between pets and humans in these sad circumstances is that nobody has a financial incentive to have Rover put to sleep. Granny, OTOH … So extra protections should be and are required.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset


    My sympathies as well.

    A few years ago a neighbour died of cancer, we weren’t close and I don’t know which one but it went on for some times with MacMillan nurses always coming and going. After his death I offered my condolences to his wife her comment was that you wouldn’t put a dog through what he went through.

  16. Bravefart. Problem was it came on relatively suddenly and we genuinely weren’t sure if this was a recoverable infection or something uglier. He needed a consultation, antibiotics, blood tests, nausea meds, another consultation, scans (i a different location), dehydration drips, euthanasia, and disposal. 48 hours ago it looked like I might toady have been feeding a sick but recovering dog some ongoing antibiotics. It just took a bit of digging to establish that his liver was fucked and had been for some time before displaying any symptoms. Had I the wisdom of hindsight on Wed then, yes, it’d have been just the euthanasia and disposal. But it was a medically unarguable route that we took and a humane decision from me at the moment we knew that was what was needed. I’ve had the odd tear but I feel good that we did the right thing by him at every stage.

    And BiND is right that human patients can’t get that route when they need it most. It’s wrong.

  17. Understood Patrick

    Where I struggle with human euthanasia is the spectrum of conditions in respect of which it could be regarded as “humane” to allow it. Grimness of the condition is often different in the eye of the beholder or the sufferer.

    Due to personal experience with my mother, the worst of all to my mind is advanced alzheimers etc where there is no quality of life whatsoever, although even that is a guess and can’t be objectively proved. And such a person can’t give current consent, only in advance. The suffering is more in the near family and the actual patient is (probably) totally unaware of, and not suffering, anything

    For one example, what about those who suffer continuous intense and chronic pain but are not going to die from it.

  18. It’s a question of mercy.

    Right now we can show animals a degree of mercy we cant show our fellow humans..

  19. @Bravefart

    What about euthanasia for people because they have autism, for example? Or even tinnitus? Or patients with conditions treatable in other ways, but who refuse any option other than euthanasia? Examples of all these discussed in

    And been in the news too:

    Very hard for someone who agrees with euthanasia in certain cases to write a law that doesn’t cover a whole bunch of people they might think shouldn’t be, and doesn’t cover some people they think definitely should.

  20. Patrick: losing a dog is never easy. Condolences and sympathy. Meanwhile, to raise a smile:

    The Top Ten Reasons Why A Dog Is Better Than A Woman

    10. A dog’s parents will never visit you.

    9. A dog loves you when you leave your clothes on the floor.

    8. A dog limits its time in the bathroom to a quick drink.

    7. A dog never expects you to telephone.

    6. A dog will not get mad at you if you forget its birthday.

    5. A dog does not care about the previous dogs in your life.

    4. A dog does not get mad at you if you pet another dog.

    3. A dog never expects flowers on Valentine’s Day.

    2. The later you are, the happier a dog is to see you.

    1. A dog does not shop.

  21. Condolences, always hard to lose a companion.
    My wife worked over a decade in ICU and it made her a firm believer in living wills/DNR notices and the right to die. She said there were times when the family couldn’t let go and it was just cruelty resuscitating people time and time again but the staff had no choice

  22. Talking of which, whatever happened to DNR Reid?

    Incidentally, I have an oak tree at the top of the garden which is home to three subterranean labs – great friends, worthy of the tears that accompanied the last thing I did for them.

  23. There can be a little mercy. My wife spent her final days at home on a morphine pump with a dial to regulate the dose. As her discomfort increased, the nurse would nudge the dial up. Eventually she was unconscious for most of the time and when she wasn’t, in obvious distress. She couldn’t communicate but the look in her eyes, when they did open, told tales of a million nightmares. The nurse and the amazing McMillan angel took me to one side and said, once we turn the dial up to this number, there is no going back. We need your permission to do that. Their meaning was clear. It was the hardest and the easiest decision I ever made. The turning up of the dial took a lot longer than usual, for some reason, and then they left. She was gone when I woke in the morning. You can call that what you like but I know the only guilt I felt was in not being able to do it for her sooner. And those two fucking brilliant nurses will have my eternal love and gratitude.

  24. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The bit at the end is the price you pay for having the dog (or cat etc.) in your life. No-one’s worked out a way of having the one without the other. I saw a guy with a West Highland terrier outside my local supermarket the other day and was instantly transported to the summer of 1989 when we lost our Magnus. I got a half-day off work to go with him to the vet and then help my Dad dig the grave in the back garden, hardly able to see. The scar tissue doesn’t hurt unless you poke at it but it’s still there.

  25. @bis

    Yep, most Clarke’s Shoes come part laced, usually first two pairs of holes

    Customers accept this, no point inventing machine

  26. @Patrick

    Condolences. I feel for you, very painful losing a loyal, adoring best friend for years. What breed, age was Charlie?

    Truls’ behaviour changed overnight (seizures), most telling he lay in garden staring at sky and wouldn’t come in.

    I agree on humans and have written so here many times, nobody responds.


    Suicide: if someone wants to die allow them a quick painless way to do so. Better for all than suicide by bus, bridge, cop, hang, train etc

    Post on Wednesday about death by DWP: Assisted suicide illegal, unless by DWP stopping benefits


    Legal in Belgium, Holland, Switzerland. Guernsey soon/now too

    @Anon for this one

    Similar with an uncle in NI hospital, pragmatic Docs explained to his wife and allowed them to do it alone when desired

    Glad they allowed you to end her pain, sorry you lost your ‘forever’ love


    +1 fond memories of Truls (15y 11m) still bite

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