Friday, 20 January 2017

A long time dead

Well, I must tell you that I've battled this week with  a story that I want to tell, but in the telling it upsets me beyond measure. Once before I tried to write it down but found the whole exercise too traumatic. So here goes.....

When I was born there was already another youngster in the family - a collie dog just three months old.

Laddie slept near me, ate with me , played with me. I dressed him in my clothes. We shared biscuits and lollipops.We cuddled for comfort and warmth. He was my brother. I had no siblings. If I was in trouble he too would skulk off with me to my bedroom. Leaving for school he watched me from the window and on my return ran eagerly to the door his face alight with pleasure and love. We were inseparable. Friends called round to see if Laddie was coming out to play. He'd join us in our home made concerts by performing 'sit', 'stay','lie down', 'give me a paw' - those sort of tricks. Indoors we'd always play "Hide and seek ". Me invariably hiding behind the shower curtain and he under the bed. We always knew where the other was but it didn't spoil our enjoyment.

The years passed and Laddie came with us on hiking and camping trips - and then he grew tired and my father would put him in a rucksack and carry him back. Sores appeared on his back and a growth on his lower lip. I saw, but didn't see (if you get my meaning). I thought a vet and medicines would cure him. After all we were invincible, inseparable, chums, bound together for all time (and  I'm weeping already, can hardly see the keypad).

I returned from school. Opened the door. No Laddie. I called his name , expecting to see him bounding in, all waggy tail, lolling tongue, face bright with love....but no. Thinking he was playing "Hide and seek " I searched all his favourite hiding places. Meanwhile my parents are trying to explain to me, but I'm not listening, I'm searching and calling frantically for my brother.

Laddie was 14. I was 14. My life fell apart....

My life is still apart where he is concerned. I never held him one more time. Never told him that I loved him, one more time. I was ...I still am bereft. I'm weeping buckets now and it is still so raw, so painful.

As a result I was ill and off school for many weeks suffering from grief. But that made it worse as I had no warm body to nuzzle into. No  Laddie to sit beside me as I read. To be my companion. My brother.....

Many years passed before I got a dog of my own. He was my son's companion . The two would get up to all kinds of mischief. When Yogi's time came we all went with him to the vets and hugged him, stroked him and thanked him for his company and love. That way it softened the blow for us.

The loss of a pet is devastating, but we have the option of providing that final release with dignity and avoiding suffering. It's what must be done. I've had cats for the past twenty five + years and ensured that they've departed with company and love.

 

The photo isn't of Laddie..I don't have one...but he looked like this one
 
Thanks for reading and sorry I can't write a poem about it...I can't stop crying! Kath
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