Dogs. You love them and they love you back and then one day, sometimes without warning, it’s time for them to go. Last night was the time for our gorgeous Labrador, Amber, and now the computer screen has gone all blurry.
The time came without warning. A couple of hours earlier she’d been giving me her usual gimlet-eyed stare as Harry and I ate our dinner, guilt-tripping me to give her something from my plate, which last night I didn’t because I was eating salad. Mind you, being a Labrador, she wouldn’t have said no.
At twenty past ten she had a massive stroke. Let’s skip the details but somehow we got her to the car and I sat with her on my lap. I’ll skip the rest, too, but just over an hour after the whole thing began, we were back at home, without her, staring at the empty places, listening to the silences. Disbelieving.
I don’t want to think about that now. I just want to remember her total, utter, spectacular amazingosity. She was a complete soppy charmer. She had a wonderful life, despite the congenital serious joint problems; she was renowned at the vet’s surgery for endearingly proffering a paw to anyone, no matter what the treatment, and there was a lot; she lived three times as long as we were told to expect; she twisted us around her paws, knew her left from right and a load of other tricks I won’t bore you with; she gave us so, so much pleasure and fun, and I know we gave it back to her.
And here she is. Our fantastic dog.
Loyal, beautiful, funny, clever and a major part of our family. We were very, very lucky.