KNYSNA NEWS –
Jock was one of the purest beings I have ever known, said a
tearful Brian Keenan (61), well-known Knysna artist, last week.
Many patrons and shopkeepers at the Woodmill Lane shopping centre
were shocked and saddened to learn that they will never again see
the familiar face of the Cairn Terrier that always sat with Keenan
while he painted at the mall, and who featured in many of the
artist’s oil paintings. Jock died on Wednesday, March 12.
Keenan explained that Jock, who was 16 years old, had to be
euthanised after he suffered two strokes within a week, leaving his
hind legs paralysed. He was also going blind in one eye.
I think after his first stroke, he knew it was his time and he
wanted to go home. He wanted to go back to where he came from. He
couldnt walk anymore. He was in a bad way, said Keenan.
Keenan and Jock were inseparable for more than 14 years. When the
two moved to Knysna from Alicedale near Grahamstown several years
ago they had nowhere to stay, so Keenan and Jock lived in a
sandstone cave near the N2 highway for about two years. Sometimes,
it would rain so much that we would wake up in deep, cold water.
Jock was also with him when Keenan lost the fingers of his right
hand in a work accident at a mohair mill in Alicedale.
Jock was not only a familiar face in Knysna and in Keenans
paintings, he even appeared on Japanese television some years ago
when a Japanese film crew shooting a documentary on the Garden
Route realised that the familiar duo of Keenan and Jock simply had
to be included in their coverage.
He said that making the decision to have Jock put down, was one of
the hardest things he had ever done. However, he could keep a
promise that he made a year ago. I told Jock that mine will be the
last face he will ever see.”
” On the day, I held him until his body went cold, said Keenan.
Jock has gone home where he came from. I still believe that he was
on loan from God Himself. It was my test of honour to look after
him. I was very fortunate to have that.
Keenan said that he continued to thank God for the privilege he had
to paint “the most pure spirit”.
“Jock gave unconditionally to a lot of people. He made a lot of
people very happy, concluded Keenan.
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