This is the last time I’ll be writing about Penny. I promise.
But when I wrote that blog yesterday, I really didn’t expect the reaction it provoked.
We are indeed, with some notable exceptions, a nation of dog lovers.
Sure, there are people who don’t get it.
But if you’re a dog lover you do.
They love you. You love them. It’s simple.
And so when a mutt, little or large, goes off to chase that cat in dog heaven (dog heaven is full of cats for chasing), it’s devastating.
For a while, I was a little ashamed of crying over the loss of a dog.
But when people, hundreds of people, contacted me to say they had been through it, they knew what it was like, they understood, I knew I had nothing to be ashamed of.
Thank you all who told us how sorry you are for our loss. Yes, just a dog. But a loss.
One of those who got in touch told me that sick dogs often pretend to be well. They make an effort to behave as they always do.
And Penny was one such.
Off she went for her walk at 6.30. By 11.30 she was a death’s door. Seven hours later, she was on her way.
In a funny kind of way, although we miss him just as much, it wasn’t so bad with Eric. He had been sick for a little while and, indeed, died in front of our eyes on the living room floor.
But while he wasn’t old for a Samoyed, he was 11, Penny wasn’t even six. And she’d have a rotten four months.
I’m saying things to myself like “I don’t understand.”
And I don’t. Why does a poor little mutt who has no idea what’s going on or why, have to suffer like that and have a life half as long as it should be?
Yes, I know it seems ridiculous to ask these questions about a pet when people are dying of Covid and God knows what else.
But, well, I think we feel responsibility.
Or maybe it’s just loss.
Maybe I’m just selfish because I miss my little dog cuddling up to me on the couch.
But right now, it’s not getting better…