An eulogy for a dog. It's not really the done thing and those that you do hear or read are usually too sentimental or too anthropomorphic or too glorifying. I just couldn't let the week go by with saying or doing something.
Saturday was a bad day for Babe (a 15 year old dachshund cross). Having lost most of her sight and hearing and battling numerous medical complaints and helping to make our vet a rich lady, her kidneys were packing it in. She was in great pain. She never complained or whined, but she flinched at the most gentle pat and then she would give you a loving, but pleading look. By the end of the day she could hardly walk. I made her as comfortable as I could, but knew when I went to bed on Saturday night that on Sunday we would have to face the inevitable.
So after 15 years of being an important, rarely naughty and too often overlooked member of the family Babe has gone. For the first time in 30 years I had no one who was dependant on me to feed (and water) and put to bed and to reassure. It was a strange feeling. When the children left home I still had Babe, so I didn't experience any empty nest then and I didn't even realise the role Babe was playing in easing the transition.
When Mummy McTavish has her new baby in a few months I will miss Babe again. Babe seemed to think of herself as the nanny and appeared to have no faith in humans to look after their own babies. New babies were her particular concern and although she was rarely allowed very close to them, she hovered nearby and paced with anxiety when they cried. She would give us a look that seemed to say, "Why aren't you looking after that baby? If you would only let me I could care for her/him so much better. A good lick always settles them."
Security wasn't high on Babe's list of talents. A few years ago someone broke into the house while we slept. The route the burglar(s) took was through the back door, laundry, rumpus room and lounge. In the process they wrecked a screen, ripped a sliding door off it's runner bending and breaking the runners and door lock. They opened every filing cabinet and desk drawer. Our laptop computer was found slightly damaged in the middle of the living room. They stole the only can of coke in the fridge, bypassing the beer, wine and spirits. That was all.
Where was Babe? The laundry was her sleeping quarters. She couldn't have not noticed the noise and someone stepping over her. They even turned a light on. Maybe Babe did bark in the end, but we didn't hear. If so she would probably have barked to let them know they should be giving her a pat. At least they left. So we forgave her.
To cap the week off, today I went to a funeral for a lovely man who died very suddenly from prostate cancer. The end had always seemed so far off and then suddenly it was all over.
The week is not over yet.