by Tracie Hussey
(Guildford, Surrey, UK)
My Awesome Boy
In September 2009, we had a break in. My husband said to go and buy a padlock for the gate. Driving into the village, I passed a kennel. Without thinking, I drove into the kennel, parked and went into reception.
"Do you have any German Shepherd pups?" I asked. They had 3 girls and 1 boy. Without hesitation, I asked to see the boy. As the lady carried out this black bundle of fluff and handed him to me, I said "Hallo Padlock."
From the day you entered our lives, we knew we had a special boy. The only down side was you grew up with two jack russells and they taught you to be a jack. Rabbiting was a favourite pastime, and chasing rabbits even more so. As you grew older you contented youself with just watching them.
By my side day and night you went, up the stairs to lay at the foot of my bed, we spent so many hours together, with the horses, watching tv, you barking at the tv if dogs came on the telly. You never left my side, my faithful companion.
Last Monday night, when we went to do the rounds to check on the horses and you stayed by my thigh, I knew you weren't feeling well. "You ok boy?" I asked. I thought maybe you were just off colour.
In the morning you were still the same. You refused your breakfast. As we went to feed the horses, you drank from the horses' water bucket. My lovely horse placed his nose on your head, and I knew then you were ill, very ill.
It was only 6.30am, so I had to wait till the vets opened. We sat in the garden together and I told you not to leave me. I begged you not to. The strangest thing that I can never explain happened. You looked at me and a voice in my head said out loud "It's time for me to go."
Rushing you to the vets, I got you out and took you in. The vet said you had trouble with your heart. We both agreed that as you were tender in the tummy, you could have eaten something. They put you on a drip and made you comfortable. They took xrays and thought that you had fluid round the heart. They tried to drain it but it would not drain.
They put you under and tried to find what was wrong. They asked if they could take a sample from your liver, and I said whatever it takes. They asked if I could collect you in two-three hours and take you over to an overnight hospital and I said yes. 20 minutes passed and they phoned to say your heart stopped.
Paddy, how am I ever going to get over losing you? I just don't know. You were running round like a puppy on the Saturday before. I even asked you when you were going to grow up. The shock and heartache are unbearable.
We brought you home and your dad and uncles dug your resting place under the oak tree where you lay after you had played ball in the garden, where you always lay, in my bluebells, where this beautiful picture of you is taken. Now all I have is a collar and memories.
But through all my tears and pain, I thank you, my wonderful friend, for saying "Goodbye" and for making the decision, because though I now know you weren't well and maybe could if you had come round lasted a wee while longer, you know and I know that I couldn't have borne to make that decision. (I wouldn't have let you suffer and prolonged it but making it would have been a whole lot worse.)
I sat by your resting place and asked you to find me a boy who would be as kind and loving as you. When he is ready to come home, I will love him for him as I loved you for you. I'll told him he has Big Paws to fill, and when I call him to me your name will silently be on my lips every time as I know your spirit will be walking beside me every day.
You will never be replaced. My love for you is forever, but the love that I have still to give deserves to be given to another.
Thank you, Paddy, my Awesome Boy.
"If you have ever doubted that Dogs do not have a Soul, you have never looked into the eyes of a German Shepherd."
27.07.2004 - 01.10.2013