We lost our adorable little dog, Penny, early today.
A miniature Schnauser, she was not yet six years of age.
She’d been sick off and on since December – she had a severe mouth and throat infection which went away, came back and went away again.
But for the past few months we seemed to be bringing her to the vet every week.
You could tell she wasn’t herself.
If you lived near us, you’d know Penny. Because just seeing someone walk past the house sparked a bout of frenzied barking. It was even more frenzied if that person had a dog. And God almighty, she’d bark her head off if she saw a cat!
She was noisy and cute and affectionate and a real friend for us.
Last night, she went for a walk and she was fine.
But then, later on, Connie put her out just to have a pee before we retired to bed. But when she was carried back in, she couldn’t even stand.
And so, in the early hours, we headed for UCD’s emergency pet service.
They took her in and told us they’d call in an hour.
They did. She was, they said, “poorly.” She appeared to have liver failure.
Another call was promised.
And when it came Connie was asked, as they must ask, to decide whether to transfer her to an animal hospital – where she was going to die anyway – or be put to sleep there and then.
And so we did the kind thing. And Penny was dead, off to dog heaven. There have to be dogs in heaven don’t there?
We are grieving. We are lost without our little friend.
I had often imagined that, in ten year’s time, Charlotte would return from Australia or some where on the other side of the world having decided to travel for a year, and Penny would go mad when she arrived in the door with a backpack on her back.
But no. She has gone even before Charlotte’s 15th birthday which is next Sunday and before she has even sat the Junior Cert.
Heartbroken doesn’t come close to describing how we feel. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll understand.
All we can do is thank you little Penny. Thank you for the fun, the smiles you brought us, the affection you showed us and the trust you had in us.
We will miss you.
But I bet our Eric – who died six years ago – will be looking after you now.