You came to me on Grand Final Day – 27 September 2008 – like a celebration all of your own. The first sight I had of you was in the arms of a VicDog Rescue volunteer after the 8 hour journey from Mildura. The other rescue, a black lab, had barked constantly the whole journey. You, as always, had been an angel. The neighbours came round and dragged us over for a BBQ and all we wanted to do was stay home and get to know you. You came too – playful but overwhelmed you already knew to come to me for reassurance.
You were bullet-proof with kids – the perfect dog. You welcomed my babies with nothing but licks and love. You could not have been a better advert for the awesomeness of shelter dogs – I have never once heard you growl.
You left me today – 16 July 2020 and I am heartbroken. Amongst the sadness I can find a small smile. Leaving London for Melbourne I had had a realization that my dog was out there, somewhere in Australia, and you were. I smile because I know it’s significant that you left me twelve years to the day that I touched down in Australia – 16th July 2008. On my way to find you – the beginning of our journey together.
We adventured together, didn’t we? We walked the parks of Melbourne. You sprawled in the garden of our South Perth oasis and paddled in the Swan River and Indian Ocean. We made it to the Tropic of Capricorn and beyond and camped on the Murray River. And then finally, my little pup from Pearl Avenue, finally we made it home together. Twelve years later and home is where we end of our journey together.
I was with you for the end. Your little body that had been hunched and in pain, calm and cozy. Your dark eyes sad. Your ears like velvet and honey-scented as ever. Your white fur so very soft.
I was with you at the end. I buried my face in your fur. So soft. I told you that your friends, Aunty Saskia and the Hawthorn dogs, sent a cuddle. That Gillian and Lucy did too. I told you that I was sorry I hadn’t done more for you. And I am so very very sorry I couldn’t do more for you. I told you that I was so sorry for when I was grumpy. And I thanked you for everything you did for me. You gave me strength. You gave me purpose. You gave me happiness. You gave me cuddles. You gave me love. You were always happy to see me. You were there for me at my lowest, darkest moments. I will never ever forget you. My sweet, gentle girl. My darling girl. Run free over the rainbow bridge – your friends are waiting. Farewell my faithful friend – until we meet again my little love.
May your white fur forever cling to my clothes.