One year; two dogs


This time a year ago we moved and I wrote this post as we were about to leave Manchester.

Some hours later, about the time of day that I am writing this, the removal men were unpacking the van and I was walking two very fed-up lurchers round a strange village in the dark. They were not impressed by the trip over the Pennines in an over-stuffed campervan or by a late walk on the lead.

The new garden in the morning, with neighbouring cats to chase off, was better. But that first evening I felt like a very poor dog owner.

A year later both dogs are gone and we are bereft. Bob, everybody’s friend, the plucky three-legged character, died in the summer at nearly fifteen years old. Doris, our ‘young’ dog, was nearly thirteen by then – see Spot the dog and Poor Doris for more about her. She was getting a bit stiff with arthritis, but was still frisky in spirit and we expected her to be with us for some time more.

Yesterday, suddenly her back legs gave out and she couldn’t walk or even stand. We talked about investigations, x-rays, general anaesthetics, pain relief. We wanted to keep her longer but it felt that it would be entirely for us not for her. So we let her go and the house is desolate with no dog. In twenty years we have always had at least one.

I was planning a celebratory post about a year in Heckington for today. But all I can think about is that a year ago I had two dogs and now I have none. And then, ridiculously I start feeling guilty about making them move.

I know this is transferred guilt about having hurt people by my leaving (of which more another time). Really I know that no dogs, or people, died because I moved to Lincolnshire. I’m glad that Bob and Doris shared the beginning of our new life and I’m glad they had a garden for their last months.

But I do miss them: beautiful creatures, greedy scavengers, speed merchants, born-to-kill hunters, all of that and dear companions.


13 thoughts on “One year; two dogs

  1. I am so sorry to hear your news. Bob & Doris sounded like two very big characters. They are such a big part of your life there is just no way to ease the very big hole they have each left. Treasure the memories and be proud for having been the best owners they could ever have wished for. Thinking of you.

      1. I too am sorry to hear about Doris and I do know exactly how you are feeling, our beautiful 5 year old German Shepard, Rocky, died of a heart attack 2 weeks ago and we were in Scotland.
        But they both had a lovely time in the country, we did the same we had 2 old dogs when we moved here, and they both died within a year of being here, but they did have a lovely time in our big garden. Your two remind me of a black Lurcher we had many years old, wonderful dogs, and you did give them a wonderful life x

  2. Oh dear, poor you. I know exactly how that feels, and that feeling of a large hole in house and life is a measure of how much our dogs add to our lives. We didn’t last long before we got another one! Much love.

  3. Hello Veronica (and Phil) – I was so pleased (OK delighted) to get your Xmas card – why? Well to be honest we don’t get that many (no, not hearts and flowers, nor mistletoe and holly) – lots of my friends are scattered and we know we love each other anyway, plus I’m crap at sending seasons greetings – I hope that’s not just an excuse! Janne and Chriistine had told me to look out for your blog – beautiful, they said. Anyway on receipt my boys said awww,,, then asked – how do they know your surname? Well I don’t know how, but I am gratified that you either remembered, or chose to find out.

    Anyway – your lovey dogs! Lovely, lovely doggies. My Che (remember him? I know that once upon a time in a story of 16 Whalley Avenue, Phil brought us carrots, home grown, and Che decided to tell him where his home was. I was embarrassed (mortified?) – but Phil said – it’s territorial, no bother).

    Anyway (again) – I have been up all night because Che has laborious breathing, and intermittent fits – but you know what, Veronica and Phil? I so hope you have settled in – and not just settled in, but have found your place. x

  4. So sorry to hear about Doris, she was lovely. We know all about that emptiness in the house – and the day – without a dog around. We were looking forward to walking with you all round the Bawsey lakes with John and his dog. Can still do that, it’ll give you an insight into walking with shaven headed man and a Staffy, in case you are thinking of getting one (either). (its a love/hate experience). Love and sympathy. D and R

    1. Thank you everyone for kind thoughts on here and email messages. It is very weird still – keep expecting Doris to greet me at the door and wake up in the morning thinking must go and let the dog out.

      I’m sure we won’t last long before getting another dog or dogs. Won’t be a Staffy as I like pointy-nosed dogs best. But I’m very happy to walk with one, shaven-headed man and all!

  5. Hi Veronica, We were so sorry to read that Doris has died . It’s always very hard but especially so when it’s sudden and at that this time of year, our last dog died on New years Day.We wish you well and look forward to see you at the club in the new year. Regards Doug and June

  6. I don’t usually comment, but just wanted to say how sorry I am to read about Doris. It sounds like Doris enjoyed her life and was loved and cherished, which is all a dog could ever want. It breaks your heart when they go, but dogs give us so much joy – may she bound about in the sunny fields wherever she has gone, where there are unlimited bones and nice wam beds to sleep in. x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s