She lived like that every day, had basic good health, no chronic conditions, and surmounted any odds (two lots of successful breast surgery in the Spring of 2012.) I was convinced she had many years still in her, and hoped she would die an “old lady”, in her bed aged perhaps eighteen. It was feasible.
I had never known a dog like her; a good girl, obedient, sociable, loving, loyal and sweet-natured, with an elegance and grace of character of such an exquisite kind I had never met before in a dog.
She was my Soul Friend. I have no children, but even so, I never felt that she was my "baby". She was never treated as a baby, but as a dog. Yet our close connection was never that of "owner" and "pet". It cut across those boundaries.
There was no species-barrier, she was sister to me, companion, equal, the one I loved. In life it was just the two of us, as friends and most of my family had died.
Yes I was her protector, but equally, she was mine. Thanks to her companionship she restored me to the place I belonged.
However, on that last night, I was the one in charge. At 6 a.m., with no improvement -instead, a sudden worsening of symptoms, and with a dreadful prognosis for her blood cancer, I made the terrible decision protectors often have to make. To have her euthanised.
She passed away quickly and peacefully. The whole procedure took only five seconds. I heard her last breath being taken as I held her gently, whispering to her to go to sleep, that it was alright now.
After that last breath an awful silence started. A silence like no other.
Her body went to the earth, for she had always loved the earth, her feet had always smelled of it. I planted flowers above her, and a little solar light to shine out in the darkness.
And my grieving began. I had never known a devastation like it.