A dog called Paddy
Little Paddy came to live with us after the death of our precious dog Leo. Rescue dog Leo had a hard life before he came to us. We all had great fun with him. He loved everyone and they all reciprocated.
Then he was diagnosed with a severely enlarged heart. For more than a year and half he battled on remaining a happy little chap most of the time. Life became a mixture of pills, visits to the vets, vets bills and ups and downs.
Finally on August Bank Holiday in the UK 2010, Leo had to be euthanized.
Although we all knew it was coming it was a very difficult time. His special quality had meant that he had got deep under our skn and into our hearts.
Then there was Jessie.
Jessie came to us on a temporary foster basis when she was around 9 months old. Leo had been with us a couple of years by that time and was spoiled rotten. Why not he deserved it after the cruelty he had endured in the past.
Jess was a naughty dog. At times a monster. Yet she was a sweetheart deep down and soon the pair of them got along like a house on fire. Perhaps it was Leo's influence that made Jess behave and she soon mellowed into a well behaved pooch, albeit with an edge.
All these years she is still with us and boy did she miss Leo.
Of course, so did we. Heartbroken is the only word to describe how we felt. Yes I know Leo was just a dog, if you think that way, but dog lovers will know what I mean. Plus he was such a special little guy.
Jessie would run to do the usual tricks and games and then stop quickly, pulled up short. She would visibly lose her happy face as she remembered Leo had gone and glumly go and lay in her bed. Life was sad for Jess.
We toyed with introducing another rescue dog but decided against it for many reasons.
Paddy came as a bt of fun but helped. What sort of dog is he, I hear you ask?
He is very small and very brown. He needs no attention, food, nor expensive vet bills and will not break our hearts when he has gone. He sits behind the porch door and gives many people a reason to smile.Occasionally when we have been out we come home and Paddy is stood on his head, or laid on his side. Touch him and he feels a little damp.Look across at Jessie and she will innocently look in the opposite direction.
All of this sounds bonkers I know but it is written to remind you not forget or exclude other pets, when you are grieving. Paddy is a brown corduroy door stop.
Jessie and Leo were a proper Mr and Mrs. Wherever he laid she would follow. Bigger than him she did not care. She woud curl up and rest her head on him. They would on cold nights squeeze into one of their large beds together. When necessary it was the two of them against the world. For around 8 years of her life he was there. Is there any wonder she pined?.
For a long time Jessie carried her loss. It was plain to see. With time she is returning to her playful self. When I see Paddy upside down I know this for sure.
Never exclude a pet dog from your grief. The pet may help you on your road to normality and the pet will definitely need you. Simply replacing a dog with another one may not be the best course of action. In time though it could be. For now Paddy fits the bill.
In late August an unexpected friend came to live with Jessie, and us of course. Little Tinka was desperate for a home and one way or another we all found each other.
Jessie must always be top dog, now that she is our longest resident but Tinka is easy to love. He has brought a breath of fresh air to our home and given Jessie a new lease of life.
He is around 4 years old and tiny. She is much larger and aged around 11. Both needed a home at one time and of course there are many such dogs out there. At Christmas animal shelters will be fit to burst. Help in any way that you can.
Best Buddies or Mr and Mrs?
More by this Author
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or the RSPCA, has been the foremost animal charity in the UK for around 200 years. The RSPCA is still the leading animal charity in the UK but it is struggling...
I am well aware of China's terrible human rights record. I am also well aware that animal welfare in China is or was a non existent concept.
Having started to lose my eye sight a few years ago the thought of blindness is something I have given plenty of thought.