We found out last month that Harry our beautiful hound had advanced stage lymphoma. We were told he might have weeks, though it could be months. I hoped for the latter, fate had different plans and opted for the former.
Last week he was OK, Saturday he was a little slower but I thought it was the heat affecting him. By Sunday I knew it wasn’t the heat. Our boy, our first baby, had had enough. He was suffering and it was time. I made the call to the vet, then lay down with him on the kitchen floor and said my goodbyes. The Husband took him to be euthanased, stroked him whilst he took his last breaths.
And now he has gone. My home is too quiet, even with the children around. I desperately want him back, for one last cuddle, one last wag of his tail, one last bark. It’s not to be, though. I understand this. Pets die, we are expected to outlive them. In actual fact, when I look at it logically, we are now better off financially, we are free of a dependent, life will be easier. But no matter how many times I tell myself these things, I just want him back.
Harry was so good, the very best. We won’t have another dog, we could never have one as great as Harry. He was fabulous with the children, he was brilliantly behaved, he was always a snuggler wanting lots of affection and cuddling up as close to you as he could physically get, and he was so handy for eating up all of the scraps and crumbs – he was a greedy little thing.
And now he has gone.
I walk through the front door and he’s not there, wagging and wriggling, happy to see me.
I go to leave the house and there’s no need to grab a chew for him, check he has plenty of water. He no longer sees me off at the window.
I make my son’s lunch, without a presence lurking hopefully behind me. No need to share the cheese any more. Just buying cheese upsets me.
I take a photograph and it’s devoid of him. He photo bombed with the best of them.
I descend the stairs and he’s no longer waiting for me at the bottom, eager for a snack, wagging his tail optimistically.
The house is Harry-less and I hate it.
It’s only been a few days. It’s still painfully raw and I’m still feeling empty, tears streaming almost constantly. I hold it together, twice a day, for the school run. And then I can come home and release my emotions again.
I am mourning Harry and I am mourning being a dog-owner. For over a quarter of my life, I had Harry, I was his mum. I vividly remember the day we collected him at 16 weeks old, our first few days together, the puppy years and mischief, then onto the years as the kids came along. He had been with us for just over ten years, for all of our time in this home, the memories are everywhere I look.
I am sure it will get easier. I am sure I will stop crying. I am sure I’ll be able to talk about him without sobbing. In time.
But until then, please don’t tell me that he was ‘just a dog’. He was my dog, the best dog, faithful until the end. He was family.
Rest in peace, Harry.