This is a bit of a personal one.
Those of you who know us as a family will already be aware of this but, for those that don’t, I thought that maybe sharing my feelings can help others with theirs.
This is for any children, teens, young adults, older adults who have lost a pet.
I have never had a dog before.
When I was growing up over time we had a guinea pig, a couple of rabbits, a hamster and later on a cat.
But, never a dog.
My husband wanted two. Mulder and Scully #TheXFiles
So, after we had Polly who is now 14, Scully was the next to enter the family and last week we said a very sad goodbye.
Scully was a bit of an extraordinary dog. Everyone who met him loved him.
You’d be looking around wondering where he was on the beach and calling his name to always find him by your feet.
He never went far.
You’d leave food on the side or wander around a market full of delicious smells and he’d have a sniff and walk on by.
He’d take himself off into the woods to do his business so you didn’t have to pick it up.
This photo is one of our favourites from Roz and Kirsty Photography which captures our family the day before the humans headed off travelling for a year feeling really terrible that we were leaving poor Scully behind but, he had a ball staying with friends over the year and they all loved him as much as we did plus he accepted us back when we returned.
No questions asked.
Scully and I have been spending more and more time together over the last 18 months. Maybe it’s because our kids are getting older, maybe it’s because I get up early with him or we had early lockdown walks just the two of us but I feel blessed to have had this time with him.
Getting old is a fact of life for us all.
Pets and family members dying is something we all have to go through and live with at some point, but it is tough.
It’s ok to find it hard. It’s ok to cry.
I wasn’t expecting to find it as hard as I did but I really can’t remember the last time I cried so much even though he fell asleep forever peacefully at home with us after being hand fed raw sausages and slabs of cheese.
Things are already improving with time despite the huge hole and we will all have ups and downs at different times.
We are all making sure we focus on the fact that we were so lucky to have spent 14 years with a complete legend of a dog for us all to remember so fondly.
Over the next few weeks we will keep talking and sharing stories together and will be dipping into some really helpful information from Big Issues for Little People by Jess Childs who has written some heart-warming blogs and a book called Ivy and the Rock. This book is written for younger children but suitable for all to help through losing someone or something.
"This is a beautiful book with a message of love and comfort for children around loss or just a lovely story! It is also beautifully illustrated"
You will never forget the people or animals you lose, you just somehow learn to live with the memories and be grateful that you had that precious time together.
Dr Jo Watkins