In January this year I had to say goodbye to my precious dachshund Sasha. We had spent 16½ happy years together. Sasha had led a long and full life but saying goodbye, as any pet owner will know, is never easy.
However large or small in stature the loss of a pet leaves a large hole in your heart. It can take a long time to adjust – you imagine you can still hear them and see them. You find yourself looking for them, may be even calling to them out of habit and then you remember and the tears flow once more.
I am a writer and one of Sasha’s favourite spots was in my study either on her rug or her chair – yes her chair, I rarely got a look in! She would settle down and snooze while I worked. Many is the time I happily wrote accompanied by the sound of contented snoring.
Sasha was a gorgeous dog. A bit of a diva and a tyrant who ruled me with an iron paw. There aren’t many dogs who given their night time treat go and hide it and then expect their human to find it nor many humans daft enough to take part. If I tried to spin the game out by deliberately looking in the wrong place, she would quickly grow exasperated with me and point with her nose to the correct hiding place. It was probably just as well that she couldn’t talk although she’d often give it a very good try.
It has taken me several months to begin to heal. I still miss her, of course. I always will, as I do all my Dachsies – I have been blessed to share my life with four of them over the years.
Slowly my thoughts began to turn to the future and whether or not I should get a new pet. The decision to get a pet should never be rushed. It is a huge commitment. Pets need a lot of care and attention and dogs, being pack animals, need the interaction of humans or other dogs around them. And the decision to take on a new pet gets harder as you get older because there is always the fear niggling at the back of your mind about what might happen to your furry friend should the worst ever happen to you. Charities like The Cinnamon Trust can take some of this worry away from you. If you are unfamiliar with the wonderful work the Trust does do check them out http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/cinnamon-trust/ and if you are able to volunteer for them, all the better.
For my own part, I wasn’t sure my battered heart could take any more heartache but with time I came to realise that whilst it is devastating when you lose your little companion, the joy they give you and you give them throughout their lives makes the pain worthwhile.
So I have decided to do it all again. Willow joined me last weekend to start our new journey together.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a puppy in the house so I expect to spend the rest of this year delighted and exhausted in equal measure.
Hopefully, once playtime is over she will settle down and soon I’ll be writing away to the sound of contented snores once again and all will be right with my little corner of the world. Wish me luck!