It happens. And having run Leading Petcare for almost nine years now, I have, like vets I guess, become somewhat hardened to the passing the animals I’ve cared for. This doesn’t mean I’ve become used to it, of course. (Readers of my my book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,‘ will understand that death plays an inevitably significant part in my job.)
Prior to going on holiday for the first two weeks of the New Year, I knew wee Gem had been diagnosed with a terminal tumor. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see her again after her walk on Hogmanay.
And I didn’t, although weirdly, I had a dream about her two days before she peacefully passed away whilst I was on holiday.
I don’t have ‘favourites,’ honestly, I don’t.
But I did have a wee soft spot for Gem. As a Staffie, a breed with a much maligned reputation, other dog owners would steer well clear of her when we were out walking. But Gem was absolutely nothing like the stereotypical impression people feared. She was so gentle; she was unconditionally loving, and when the ground was frozen and too cold for her wee paws, she’d whimper and offer me a paw at a time so I could warm them for her.
She was also mad and totally blinkered as far as chasing balls went. I always had to ensure I threw the ball nowhere near a brick wall as without doubt, she’d try to run right through it.
She was quite a personality.