If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Man's Best Friend

One day in 1998, we acquired a black Labrador who proved to be almost as crackers as his owners.  I have referred to him on this blog as Bonkers Dog, and for good reason. Six months ago, he started slowing down, and started to get pains in his joints.  He became less mobile, and for the last couple of weeks I have had to physically assist him in getting up if he has been lying down.  He's needed constant attention (willingly given) but started showing signs of acute anxiety if we left the room.  A week ago, his appetite went and suddenly he started looking haggard and gaunt.  This morning, the biscuits I had left in his bed last night were still there.  If you know Labs, you'll know that is a bad sign.  We took him to the vets this afternoon, ostensibly for an objective assessment, but we really knew what the outcome would be.  The vet was kindness itself, both to the dog and to us, and Bonkers Dog passed peacefully out of this world in the early afternoon.

He had been my constant companion for 14 years, and I am utterly bereft.  The house is too quiet, and Rescue Cat is wandering from room to room, looking for something that is no longer there.

There's a lot more I want to say, but right now I haven't the words.


  1. Sad to read of your loss Richard, thanks for taking the time to share your emotions with your readers.

  2. You have my condolences mate

  3. Deepest sympathies. I'm always grateful when my elderly mutt wakes up for another days scrounging.

  4. I so sorry to hear of your loss Richard.

  5. I am sorry for your loss Richard. It is never easy losing a pet. I always enjoyed hearing tales of Bonkers Dog.

    At least you know you did the right thing by him. It is better to let him go that have him here longer and suffering.

  6. I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. Been there, pal. My buddy and his family just went through it. My mom-in-law shortly before.

    Well phrased. We feel your pain and thank you for putting it so nicely.

  7. In ten years we lost three Greyhounds, it was like losing family, all I can do is add my condolences.

  8. In ten years we lost three Greyhounds, it was like losing family, all I can do is add my condolences.

  9. Truly sorry to hear of your sad loss.
    There just aint the words at times like this.

  10. If they could speak to us....these words they would utter:

    If it should be that I grow weak
    And pain should keep me from my sleep,
    Then you must do what must be done,
    For this last battle cannot be won.

    You will be sad, I understand.
    Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
    For this day, more than all the rest,
    Your love for me must stand the test.

    We've had so many happy years.
    What is to come can hold no fears.
    You'd not want me to suffer so;
    The time has come - please let me go.

    Take me where my need they'll tend,
    And please stay with me till the end.
    Hold me firm and speak to me,
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time that you will see
    The kindness that you did for me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I've been saved.

    Please do not grieve -- it must be you
    Who had this painful thing to do.
    We've been so close, we two, these years;
    Don't let your heart hold back its tears.


    Bonkers Dog.

  11. Awww, sorry to hear this :(

    Been there too many times myself, mostly cats, a couple of dogs. It's never easy, and you wonder why you put yourself through it again and again.

    That silence is why.

  12. Oh Richard, I'm so sorry to hear that. We went through that last year, I know what you mean by the silence in the house.

    Best wishes.

  13. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts. Your sympathy is much appreciated. I know you've all been there, as I have in the past, and just as you think you are all prepared and grown-up about it, it hits you like a sledgehammer.

    A good night's (uninterrupted) sleep and I feel better about it this morning. Yesterday was a pretty dark place, but life goes on.

  14. "Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale."
    OK, pets may not actually be brothers, but Catullus pretty much nailed the feeling.
    Sorry for your loss.

  15. Funny, that. Anna always said I treated him like a little brother.

    Good words from Catullus. Thanks.

  16. Tough, tough one. My rescue boxer cross died over 10 years ago and I still miss her.

    On the plus side if I come back I would like to come back as a Bonkers Dog in Richard's house.

  17. But are you house-trained?


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