Yesterday my little dog died.
I patted her goodbye as I went off to town and when I returned in the afternoon I was surprised that she didn’t run out to greet me. She was getting quite deaf but usually the cat nudged her when I came through the gate and they would both run to meet me. The cat didn’t meet me either and as I stepped onto the terrace I saw the cat watching me through the glass door.
I looked to the side and there was my little dog, lying on her favourite blanket, head on paws, fast asleep. I bent down to pat her and realised she was gone.
Tears welled up, as I remembered the many happy years we had shared…..the day we chose her from a litter and my husband put her in his pocket, the time our small granddaughters decked her with necklaces and tied a baby bonnet on her head as she sat patiently and the way she liked to sit at your feet with one paw resting on your shoe.
Sophy and our cat, Sox, were best friends.
They trotted after my husband as he checked water troughs and fences. They sat, one each side of me, as I gardened or picked tomatoes, then followed me back to the house. Often they were to be found, lying side by side, stretched out in the sunshine.
As Sophy became more deaf, Sox would tap her to make her aware they were needed. Sox is now dogging our steps, obviously missing her companion.
Sophy is buried in our pets’ cemetery, alongside Gyp, the most faithful companion to our boys as they navigated childhood.
Gyp was the ball-fetcher when the cricket ball or football went out of bounds, having learnt how to latch onto the football laces. Gyp was the one our four-year-old painted with his older brother’s model paints and when questioned, claimed “Gyp had got wet and went rusty”. Gyp liked to pose when the camera came out and there are few photos of our boys without him.
How grateful we all are for the wonderful love and companionship these little dogs have unstintingly given us, the empathy our boys learnt from being with them, for other animals, and the sheer joy they brought to our lives.
Sophy was over seventeen years old, fit and active, apart from some deafness, to the day she died. Wouldn’t we all like to live a full and busy life and then gently fall asleep in our old age ?
Farewell our good and faithful friend.