A Dog Called Paddy
Little Paddy came to live with us after the death of our precious dog Leo a rescue that had a hard life before he came to us. We all had great fun with him and he loved everyone and they loved him back.
Then he was diagnosed with a massively enlarged heart and 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, desperate urges to pee, vets bills and ups and downs.
Finally on August Bank Holiday in the U.K. 2010, our vet had to euthanize Leo.
Although we all knew it was coming it was a very difficult time. His special qualities had meant that he had got deep under our skin and into our hearts.
Then there was Jessie
Jessie came to us on a temporary foster basis when she was aged around 9 months. 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 young dog and 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 or just growing up but she soon mellowed into a well behaved pooch albeit always a dog with an edge.
But boy did Jessie miss Leo.
Of course, so did we.
Heartbroken is the only word to describe how we all 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 she would slope off to lay in her bed.
Life was very sad for Jess.
We toyed with introducing another rescue dog but decided against it so soon for many reasons.
Paddy came as a bit of fun but helped
What sort of dog is he, I hear you ask?
He is very small and very brown and 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 would 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 so is it any wonder she pined?.
For a long time Jessie carried her loss plain for all to see.
With time she returned to her playful self.
When I saw Paddy upside down I knew this for sure.
Never exclude a pet dog from your grief.
The pet may help you on your road to normality but the pet will definitely need you to help ease the emotional pain and grief it is feeling.
Simply replacing a dog with another one may not be the best course of action.
In time though it was for Jessie but that's another story.
Initially Paddy fitted the bill perfectly.
On day in August a few years ago 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 was out top dog as our longest resident but Tinka is easy to love.
He brought a breath of fresh air to our home and gave Jessie a new lease of life.
He arrived aged around 3 years old a tiny bundle of fun when Jessie, much larger, was aged around 11.
Both needed a home at one time and of course there are many such dogs out there.
Animal shelters are all too often fit to burst.
Help in any way that you can.