When we lost Maggie last year, I was adamant I didn’t want another dog.
The pain and sense of loss is still there after four months, but both of us have been thinking about her, Barney, and Kizzy, and talking about dogs I had before Hubby and I got together. He is missing her too, and like me expects to see a nose poke round the door when we open the fridge, and that little bit of cheese that doesn’t quite get grated is no longer a treat for a furry face.
Photos February 2019, shortly after her 14th birthday.
As far back as I can remember, there was always a dog in the family. As a child, we had a cat too, but dogs have always been my preference. My Dad was wonderful with all animals, and he always said to let a dog come to you rather than force yourself on it.
Kizzy was a nervous wreck when I got her, and the first time my parents visited afterwards, I watched my Dad with her. He didn’t actually ignore her, but sat on my sofa chatting over a cup of tea after lunch. He put his arm down by the side and left it hanging, and Kizzy’s curiosity got the better of her. She quietly got up and lay down alongside the sofa under Dad’s arm, not touching, but not far away.
Eventually she moved closer, and without missing a beat in conversation, Dad stroked her head. She didn’t move away, moving closer still, allowing Dad to stroke her all the while.
It took about an hour, but he won her trust, just as I had when she first arrived a few months before.
Colin first introduced me to this, and reminded me of it when we lost our baby.
Before humans die, they write their Last Will & Testament giving their home, and all they have, to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I would ask.
To a poor and lonely stray I’d give:
- My happy home.
- My bowl and cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
- The laps, which I love so much.
- The hands that stroke my fur and the sweet voices which speak my name.
I’d will to the sad, scared, shelter dog, the place I have in my human’s loving heart of which there seems no bounds.
So, when I die, please do not say “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.” Instead, go and find an unloved dog whose life has held no joy or hope, and give MY place to him or her.
This is the only thing I can give, the love that I will be leaving behind.
Maggie is with us all the time, and we have a PIR in the bedroom that comes on of its own accord for no reason at all. Both of us believe it’s Maggie checking up on us, and whilst we know no other dog will every replace her, we now feel ready for another dog.
Once the rescue centres are open and allowing visitors, hopefully a dog will choose us just as Maggie and Barney did.