We would very much like to remember pets who have passed, whether recent or many years ago (because as we all know, they never leave us). Please email words and photos and I will do my best to honour them over time in our posts.
So I am going to start with my lovely collie Bob, who came to us along with his equally wonderful sister Zak, from the Cinnamon Trust in November 2016 at the grand old age of 11 & 3/4 years. They should have lived out their dotage at The Trust but Zak had attitude and a bit of a vendetta going on towards another pet resident and so we were lucky enough to be able to offer them a home. Thanks to the wonderful lady who went against the grain in making that decision because, as we all now know, it turned out to be right.
My son was nearly six years old. He didn’t know we were getting the dogs and he didn’t know they were ours for the first few weeks. He bought my untruths about how we were looking after them for a friend whilst I waited to see how they settled in (I know, you should never lie to kids). When he realised they were staying for good he was delighted. Bob was his dog and Zak was mine on George’s say so. Bob was goofy and gentle and he became my son’s sidekick. He had the usual collie ball addiction and, even when he lost his sight and his mobility was declining, he could still tackle a football with aplomb. It was a true bromance.
As the saying goes, ‘Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one.’
Bob and his sister were the best walking companions, over the moors and along the coast. I felt safe walking solo anywhere with them. I miss that part of what we had so much.
They accompanied us on camping trips although Bob developed a particular aversion to travelling in my van-possibly as he spent one trip down to the tip of Cornwall wedged unnoticed on top of the camping loo. We did wonder why he didn’t exit the van when we arrived! After that the more practical van had to be put aside for travelling in the car, with the dogs more than comfortable inside and everything else strapped precariously (and with much blood, sweat and tears) on the roof.
Neither Bob nor Zak were water lovers but, regardless, Bob seemed to be magnetically drawn to filthy ditch water and had to be rescued from several bogs and ponds. He was particularly adept at getting his head wedged, submerged, under banks. He never panicked, just waited patiently for me to haul him out! I thought I’d cracked it with survival style bodysuits to keep him pristine-but he’d just run at speed, get his legs knotted up and faceplant spectacularly.
We sadly lost Zak to cancer in October 2018 but Bob carried on his happy self. His mobility declined from Christmas 2019. We kept him comfortable with palliative care. Especial thanks to Shona at Dovetree Veterinary Care for acupuncture and assistance with Bob’s pain management.
He continued to love his morning frankfurters and his Bacon Sizzlers. He could still do the odd ‘flozzle’ on the grass outside and he quite enjoyed being included in the home schooling efforts as the pandemic unfolded. It was good to be at home more for him as by now he had lost his sight fully through diabetes and his once acute hearing had left him. His walks became purely pavement sniffing affairs.
As summer wore on we decided it was time to say goodbye.
We let Bob go one sunny August evening whilst he was dozing outside in the garden, with his best friend George by his side. I was very proud of George. It was lovely and peaceful and comforting. Bob is buried next to his sister in our garden.
Bob and Zak were a blessing to my family. The people who made it all happen at the Cinnamon Trust and who cared for the dogs in their previous life know how grateful I will always be to them for affording us the few very treasured years that we had with our ‘little team’. They were adored.