Today I said goodbye to my gorgeous, old dog. The end had been in sight for a while, and even planned for the end of the month. People like me do this sort of thing – dying vicariously, you might say. We were aiming to go out on a high. My housemate had planned a trip back to Perth to celebrate her 30th birthday, leaving Jed and me on our own for a few days.
We had arranged everything, he and I. A last hoorah, doggy style. [No, that’s not what I meant at all :-)]
As it turned out though, nature had other ideas. This Saturday was the first morning Jed showed no inclination for his morning walk, such as it was. These walks had been growing shorter and shorter, admittedly, over the last few weeks. Ten houses and then back… Seven houses and then back… Sometimes only three houses… But he always wanted to go, mainly because he always had to go!
Sadly it became clear as the weekend wore on that the black beast with the grey muzzle was no longer able to support his own weight on those tired, arthritic legs, and by Monday I was tobogganing him back and forth across the floorboards on his mat, to minimise the number of paces required to do what he needed to do outside.
So this afternoon Jed met a very peaceful end, and I am left to write on without my hairy muse. Perhaps, like my protagonists, we will meet again at some point in our souls’ futures. As I think back on our time together, I am driven to pen some form of obituary to my adorable “pound special”, since he became the most constant thing in my life.
We were struck by love at first sight in 2001, setting Jed on a path to outlast many other elements of the turmoil-infested life I flung him into:
- Five house moves
- Two interstate flights
- Several dodgy partners and a husband who didn’t see the point of dogs
- Two sets of stepchildren
- Amber, the gorgeous but domineering German Shepherd
- One unsuccessful suicide attempt (not his)
- Nine jobs (again, not his, though I kept waiting for him to pull his weight financially…)
- Six long visits by my parents from London (spoiled rotten, of course!)
- An entire generation of the neighbour’s screaming grandchildren
- Being bailed out of jail four times, as a result of thunderstorms or fireworks
- Being hit by a truck and puncturing a lung
- Recovering from the above, only to snap a cruciate ligament by putting a hind leg down a rabbit burrow
- The last bite of many an Indian curry; and
- Two-and-a-half books of my six-part novel serial