Goodbye My Faithful Old Friend

Goodbye old friend
Rest In Peace Old Friend

The dog owners amongst you will know the feeling; the one you get each morning (especially at this time of year), when it’s still partly dark outside, it’s pouring with rain or there’s a blizzard of snow, there’s a biting wind and everyone else is still tucked up in bed snoring…

It’s even worse if you’ve had a heavy session the night before but the ‘job’ still has to be done!

The dog needs it’s morning constitutional and she is waiting for you, a face gleeful in anticipation, big eyes of gratitude and a wagging of the tail in excitement. She is ready to great you at the bottom of the stairs, with a face that asks, “where have you been, I’ve been awake for ages” whilst wiggling a stump in her case!

But tomorrow there will no be suggesting to the wife it’s her turn, no muttering under my breath when I find it’s mine, then stubbing my toe as I get out of bed. No stomping around the bedroom looking for slippers or loosing my footing on the bottom step as I descend the stairs. There’ll be no requirement to wrap up well, no quest for the missing glove or wooly hat and no search for the missing lead, which is actually where it always is. You just can’t see it in the cupboard because you’re still half asleep!

No, tomorrow will be the first of many where, despite waking before the alarm actually goes off out of habit, it’ll be a day when I can turn over and attempt to doze off again, trying to remember the days before I owned a dog. But despite remaining in the warmth of my bed and not having to brave inclement weather, often dressed like Scott of the Antarctic, I just know I won’t actually want to recall those days.

You see a large amount of my life has been preoccupied with dog ownership, I was born into a family of dog lovers and I’ve also owned several of my own during adult life. A dog is a loyal companion, a friend and source of enjoyment. But so many appear to see a dog as some sort of status symbol, particularly with a breed like a Rottweiler, some even see them as a simple fashion accessory these days. But a dog is neither; it is truly a part of your family and should be considered and treated as such. As I’ve written before, when you have a dog, it’s  “not just for Christmas.”

Despite owning several different breeds, the ownership of a Rottweiler (rescued by the RSPCA) has actually been a true joy. Not one of my previous dogs could ever hold a candle to the loyalty, devotion, obedience and good nature displayed by this wonderful animal. She may have started out in life under difficult circumstances and in later life, suffered more than her fair share of ill-health however, no animal could have shown any greater love and trust for its owner(s). I feel so proud and in a way humble, that we made her last years on this earth happy ones.

But as with any family member, the time comes when we eventually get old and we all have to shuffle off to a different place and time. Unfortunately, tonight was her time and I’m sure that if my dog could write, she would have left a note, just like Lawrence ‘Titus’ Oates in the Antarctic which said, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

My wish is that when you arrive in your better place dear friend, you return to your favourite pastime of chasing rabbits across the fields, enjoyment you’ve lately only dreamt of and sadly missed for some time.

Goodbye my faithful and loyal old friend, we will miss you!

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