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A Dog Called Paddy

Updated on September 17, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Born in the 1950s in Yorkshire where she still lives this English woman has a keen interest in politics, travel, music and animal welfare

Jessie and Leo
Jessie and Leo


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.

Paddy looking the worse for wear
Paddy looking the worse for wear


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.

Best Buddies or Mr and Mrs?


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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      2 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Peggy

      And sadly three years ago he lost Jessie and then we all went through that grieving process again including Tinka. It never gets any easier does it. Have loved them all x

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I see it has now been 6 years since you lost your Leo but I will bet that he is still a big part of your fond memories. I know it is with the loving dogs we have had through the years. And yes, our pets grieve just as we do. Nice that you have been able to take in other dogs which needed a good home from the shelters. Wish everyone did that! Kudos to you!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I was a bit scared of dogs many years but hubby wanted one when we married and the rest, as they say is history. There are just so many needing homes, and cats. People should be more like you SweetiePie rather than just take a dog in without the proper thought.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am glad you are adopting rescue dogs. I spotted a very beautiful dog once when I went by an animal shelter, but I just do not have room for a dog right now with the apartment and only a small backyard. I can barely do the cat, but will get a dog one day if I ever get a bigger place.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thank you. We now have a new naughty four year old rescue dog keeping Jessie and us on our toes lol

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 

      8 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      awe God bless

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I was drawn to your Hub because I love dogs! I have a Miniature Schnauzer named Baby (I've written several Hubs about her), and I rescued a beautiful Maltese.

      I am sorry for your loss. I've been broken hearted over the death of a beloved pet so I know how that feels.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 

      9 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      wonderful hub

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Aw Bonny that is sweet of you to say. Yes I often almost feel his presence

    • bonny2010 profile image

      bonetta hartig 

      9 years ago from outback queensland

      as i was reading this story I saw in my mind Leo sitting beside Jess who was sleeping and a little sad - Leo put a comforting paw on jess's shoulder and stayed like that until I saw another picture of Leo looking at Paddy - his expression seemed to be 'what the heck - if it works - dont knock it" - I know this sounds silly - but these are the images that sprang to mind - I believe Leo has never left you or his little friend - thank you for these beautiful pictures your wonderful ability has enable you to share

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      homestead, Eiddwen and Barbar it never gets any easier no matter how many times you have to do it. Over almost 40 years Leo was not the first. All caused grief but he was that little bit extra special I suppose.

      It is so easy to try to solve your own grief but you have to remember the dog's best pal may be feeling it too.

      Thanks for the great feedback guys and give your dogs a hug from me.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      This is so very sad but at the same time beautiful.

      Many of us will know what it is to lose a dog and my heart goes out to you.

      Lots of hugs to you.

      Take care and have a great day.


    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing your touching story. We've lost a pet too and I sympathize with your feelings. The stuffed dog was a good idea.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      When I lost a beloved dog 2 years ago, our other dog also grieved too. We did adopt another (she was a puppy mill mama) and she has been a blessing to all of us. The time was right for us to do so. Sorry for your loss. I know it is hard.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes Sannel dogs often offer confort when we are grieving for people too. Thanks for understanding

    • SanneL profile image


      9 years ago from Sweden

      Oh Ethel, my heart goes out to you. Losing a dear pet is just devastating and heartbreaking!

      I'm glad that after a cruel life, Leo found his way into your home and loving care. He must have been such a happy dog!

      Of course Jessie is grieving as much as anyone else, but dogs have the amazing ability to comfort even if they are heartbroken themselves. She knows that you are there for her, and that you have each other.

      Thank you and all the best to you,



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