I don't know if I've written much on here about our lovely old dog, but he's been part of our lives here for over nine years and was always a central part of our 'family'. Since the start of this year he really started to show signs of his age and back in April we took him up to Paudie our wonderful vet because yet again he had dislocated one of his hips (this was something poor Henry was increasingly prone to) and he noticed that he was standing very bow-legged on his back legs.
It turns out he had a nasty form of arthritis in his spine, which we were told would increasingly affect his strength and mobility in his back legs. The prognosis wasn't good at all but we hoped that the progression of the disease would be gradual and very slow.
Well the months have passed and at the end of last week Peter and myself had a talk about it all and decided that his quality of life wasn't great and it was time to make the hardest decision any pet lover could make. For most of the summer month he lived as an 'outdoors' dog - he just wouldn't come into the house (he had to be dragged in), I think because he was worried about making a mess in the house (he was always a really clean dog like that) but he had a happy life, lazing around in the sunshine on the grass and still able to go for his evening walk.
The local vet came out on Monday (we couldn't get Paudie out as his surgery is too far away and it would have distressed Henry so much to have tried to get him in the car) and Henry had a very peaceful passing. We discovered that there is a pet crematorium up outside CastleIsland so we took him there later that day, and then yesterday Peter went back to collect the casket, which is now in our sitting room.
It feels so so strange now that he isn't here; when I've come home from work all this week I still expect him to be out in the garden, waiting for me to come up to him and give him rubs (ear rubs were his favourite!); I guess that will be easier in time - at the moment it's all very raw and hard to take.
He was with us for over nine years (it would have been ten years this December) - we got him from the amazing HUG (who were known as 'Kerry Greyhound Homefinders' back then I think) -- this is their website homes for unwanted greyhounds - HUG - he was Peter's and my first dog together and we loved him so much. He was a big, gentle clumsy dog with a big heart who was totally bossed around by all of our cats and who lived happily here with our free range chickens too: dispelling a lot of the ignorant 'myths' about greyhounds not being able to live with smaller animals. youtube clip watch this if you don't believe me ;)
I've made a treasury on Etsy as a kind of memorial I guess --- I was always there
We were so lucky to have had him in our lives, and for such a long time too but that doesn't make having to say goodbye any easier to stomach.