Saturday, 15 April 2017

Tribute to an Old Girl

I remember when you were a baby.

Your eyes wide with wonderment at your new surroundings. Those turned over ears sitting on top of your head would soon be pricked and alert. You sat in our kitchen and gazed upon us. 

Did you wonder what happened to your siblings? Did you wonder why you were in this place alone?

But you were not alone. In through the door came Fred that galloping klutz who taught you all you needed to know – how to con titbits from the table, how to unravel the toilet roll and how, with a little teamwork, to unlock the sliding door.

By the time you were a slip of a girl you started to figure things out for yourself. 

I remember the time you sneaked out of the bedroom in the middle of the night. I am still in awe of how you managed to reach the front room of the shop; carefully stepping over fragile objects to claim the stuffed tiger from the furthest corner. He was yours forever. After all that effort, we couldn’t take him from you.

But I remember you were a bit cautious too. We spent hours coaxing you up and down the back stairs. You were very reluctant to try it by yourself but you finally managed and once achieved did it in bounds.

Within a year, you climbed anything and everything including the old car in the back yard.

At two you became a mum delivering a healthy litter of 10 puppies then went on to earn your Championship title before going into retirement.

More recently, I remember the morning I rose to let you out of the house. You couldn’t stand on your back legs. You dragged yourself along the ground while I stood and sobbed. I remember screaming ‘not my Sassy!” I shed more tears as we led you into the vet, dreading the worst. A slipped disc the vet announced. Injections and tablets would become part of your new regime.

Not long before you had undergone an operation for breast cancer and more recently you suffered a serious stomach infection. I owe the vet a small fortune. People tell me it is time to say goodbye. They tell me she’s 13 and lived a good life.

Then I thought. I am not young any more. I have pain and a chronic condition and I will also be on medication the rest of my life but I am enjoying life and I certainly am not ready to be “put out my misery”.

I don’t believe Sassy wants to end her life now any more than I do. 

And so, each day, my beautiful Sassy and I take our medication. At times, we both hobble around with stiffness and our exercise is more gentle these days. Neither of us could run around the show ring even if we wanted to.

We are both happy and have a love and a bond that is very special.  She is still the matriarch of our dogs but now is our time to leave things to the younger ones.

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