For some people dogs are more important, and have more of an impact on their lives, than other people. I have always loved dogs and the three beautiful creates above had such a huge impact on my life.
The first dog is Sammie. I was still in primary school when we rehomed him. My dad knew someone who couldn’t care for him anymore so offered to take him. Sammie was the sweetest, most gentle dog ever. You could do anything to him and he would just lie there. He terrified us the first time he ‘smiled’ at us (baring his teeth like a snarl) but he changed our lives. Sammie was 3 when he moved in with us and we had 7.5 wonderful years with him. He used to run up and down the garden chasing cars and destroyed my dad’s precious lawn. He was so well known in my village that people would walk up the street and say hello to him! Sadly when he was just 10 Sammie developed cancer. He had emergency surgery which we hoped would give him a few more years but sadly, two weeks later he passed away on the 29th July 2007. I felt like someone had chopped of my right arm. The house had never been so empty. This was my first experience of losing someone important to me but I will always have all the wonderful memories to look back on.
The middle picture is Hazel. We rehomed her when I was 19 and just heading off to University. All we knew was that she was around 18 months old and was found in an abandoned house. To say she had issues is an understatement. On one level she was the most affectionate dog in the world and loved nothing more than climbing on your lap and going to sleep (she had a weight problem so this became quite interesting at times). On the other hand she had clearly been very badly treated. She hated anyone leaving the house and how bark for hours. She was terrified of loud noises, people, cars, bikes and pretty much anything that moved. She was so frightened that she refused to go for walks – she would actually drag you to the middle of the road and lie down until we turned back. There was no moving her. She also never quite figured out how to play fetch. She would catch the ball then lie down and wait for to come and pick it up to throw it again! Poor Hazel was just 7 when she had a massive stroke and lost the use of her back legs. We took her to a specialist in Cambridge but sadly there was nothing they could do and she passed away on the 3rd August 2014.
Losing two dogs in such tragic circumstances took it’s toll and we did not entertain rehoming another dog until February 2015. Enter Barnaby, the blue merle Border Collie with the mismatched eyes. Again, we know very little about his history. He was around 1 when he moved in and loves to play play play. He is like an energiser bunny and never seems to stop. He is not the most affectionate dog but he makes up for this with his playful nature. Although every now and then he will decide to jump on you to knock you over and lick your face. As with many rescued dogs Barny has separation anxiety so he is never left alone. He is extremely protective of his family and does struggle with strangers.
Losing a dog is like losing a member of the family. They rely on you totally and in return you receive unconditional love. It’s extremely sad to think back to poor Sammie and Hazel but I always remind myself that we gave them a good, loving home and everything they could ever wish for. I loved them as much as I love my parents and they brought so much joy into my life. I couldn’t imagine life without a dog in it.
How have dogs affected your lives?