Three days ago I said goodbye to my little dog Tess.
She was 15 years old and in pain. It was the hardest decision and the worst day I have ever been through.
Tess had been fading for some time. She was deaf and blind, arthritic in her hips and, from time to time, showing signs of disorientation. Her world was small and getting smaller.
But while she was still active with a good appetite and a strong sense of smell, I was happy to let her keep on keeping on.
She loved her morning Schmacko, her afternoon chewy treat and a back rub whenever I could spare the time.
But the tipping point came with an eye condition that would inevitably spread to her other eye and give her constant pain.
The end was quick and horribly, heart-breakingly final. But she was peaceful. No more pain. No more fear and a lifetime of love behind her.
Grief is a strange thing. I still find myself in tears every now and then, but in the past three days it’s the memories of her more active years that have come to be a great consolation. Long walks by the river, chasing sticks, leaping through long grass like a Springbok. Her chestnut face, gorgeous dark eyes, expressive ears and that waggy tail.
We gave her a home but she gave us so much more.
She is missed, everyday, and will be for a very long time. Such a little dog who made such a big impression.