Thursday, 28 July 2016
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that last night I said goodbye to Hero.
He had been becoming increasingly unwell over the past few months, with a wide range of symptoms which could probably be summed up as "old age".
He could no longer get in and out of his basket, so was visibly relieved when I bought a rug for the front room. He spent his last week on it... when he was not pacing the floor in agitation, scratching at the door to get out at all times of day and night. Once outside, he would stagger into hidden corners of the garden and refuse to come back indoors. He had stopped eating and was chewing at his water dish. Then there was the incontinence...
The vet said he had lost 3 kilos in the past few weeks and although he could give him antibiotics and painkillers, really it was just putting off the inevitable. The clincher was the simple fact that he was miserable. He was always his master's dog and I know he still looked for FL every time the door opened. On his last night, he came all the way into the bedroom, searching: he was not allowed in there, so this was very unusual behaviour. When I got up, he was lying outside the bedroom door, on guard.
So in many ways it was an easy decision to make: I am sure he was telling me it was time to go.
There are many funny stories to tell about FL and his dog. The time Hero took off across the golf course in pursuit of a deer, still attached to FL's golf cart? Classic.
I remember when FL first "discussed" getting a dog. We had not yet finally decided that I would come to live with him, but he told me he was going to the Rescue Centre to get "us" a dog. He reported back that it was a choice between an excitable German Shepherd puppy with anxiety issues, or an older quieter Collie. I was very clear: "Please get the Collie. Let's call him Julius!" So FL got the mad puppy and called him Hero.
The end of an era.