by Graham Valentine
My wonderful friend
We had decided to adopt a dog from the local dogs home. One Saturday we went to the home and we were able to take some dogs out for a walk to see if there was one we liked. As the home was closing for the day we decided to take out one last dog. He had been in the home for several months and he looked difficult.
As we walked with him, he was so keen to play that he kept picking up stones and bringing them to us to throw. By the time we returned we had decided we would give this dog a try. The people at the home seemed a little surprised and told us that it would be ok if we brought him back as he was "difficult."
We put Tango in the car and took him home and from that moment I knew we had made a great choice. Tango was playful, he was fun and he certainly looked after us. He loved the garden and ran miles chasing his many toys. He also loved to swim in our nearby lake, always chasing his toys.
After two years it became clear he had a problem with one of his legs. The Vet said that he had either been hit by a car or somebody had ill-treated him. The Vet told us that he could operate and restore Tango's leg but it would be very expensive.
We went ahead and Tango was like a puppy again. He made friends with everybody who came to our house and was a favourite wherever he went.
I worked at home quite a lot and Tango was always with me in my study. His presence was always a comfort.
When our granddaughter came to visit, Tango was so gentle with her and they became firm friends. He seemed to instinctively know how to play with a two year old.
As he grew old he slowed down but kept his faculties. He died in his sleep. He was 13.5 years old.
He was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I am so glad we took the chance that day at the dogs home.
I just hope he enjoyed his life with us. He gave us so much.
A truly wonderful friend. He will be sorely missed.