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27 October 2015

Man's Best Friend

I was very close to not writing this blog post. It's one of those things some people just get, and others won't at all. And despite thinking it's too soppy or a little bit lame for Alice's Antics, writing is my outlet, and I think I could type and type and type about this. On Tuesday 20th October, our family made the decision to put down Lenny, our family dog of nearly 15 years.


We first bought Lenny home when I was 5. I can't actually remember a life before having a dog, but I know myself and my younger sister begged and begged for one. Until one day we were taken on a mysterious trip by our parents, to a house around the corner from my Uncles, where a dog had given birth to a litter of puppies. There were so many puppies. And me and my sister chose the one with the curliest coat of all the Labrador cross Irish Water Spaniel's, and he turned out to be Lenny. 

If you're unfortunate enough to have never experienced having a dog, imagine having a toddler. That kind of constant dependency, who loves you unconditionally but doesn't scream (may bark), and is a bit furrier.  Lenny is essentially said toddler of the Dodd family. And although he got older and greyer and a little bit less bouncy, he stayed loyal and dependent and mischievous. Even at 13 he ate my beautiful handmade 18th birthday cake from off of the table- candles included. In fact, he'd eat anything, even lettuce if the guinea-pigs were getting some.

(around his mouth is a halte not a muzzle, these are designed to prevent the dog from pulling 
 I've grown up for the last 15 years with a dog who has character. Who forces you into stroking him and nudges my bedroom door open in the morning if I'm still not up after 10. The only person not to have been pulled over by him at the sight of ducks is my 6'3 dad, and there have been countless times we've taken him to lakes or rivers, and seriously wondered if he'd ever get out of the water after a solid 3 hours of swimming. He hardly ever came back when you wanted him to and never fully grasped the concept of the returning part of fetch, but he was the most loyal companion our family could ever have wished for and growing up with him, I've never had any doubt in my mind how lucky I've been. How lucky we've been as a family.

It's so important to me this post isn't a depressing one. Animals bring so much joy into your life, it's almost impossible for me to think of a world without my dog in it, a house where we are a cat family instead of a dog one (don't get me wrong, we also love our cat..). And despite being absolutely distraught at having to say goodbye to Lenny,  we all knew it was time. I'm a hundred percent sure a lot of humans would prefer to die peacefully at home in their sleep, and knowing Lenny was able to do this surrounded by family eases everything that little bit more.



Having spent the rest of the week at home, I can safely say life isn't going to be the same for a long time. Even going to the beach brings back memories of not being able to get Lenny out of the water as he was half water spaniel- aka half fish. The amount of times he ran over to a group of children for affection, accidentally knocking over beautifully made sand castles, eating families picnics, or worse, peeing all over them.

When you bring home a dog, there's no way to prepare for how attached you'll grow. So many people have dogs, and yet your one is personal to you. They have their own character, their own quirks. It's so hard to put into words what it's like losing a pet to non-animal people so I do apologise if this is you. Despite this happening almost a week ago, none of us have particularly grasped what's happened. We all still go to save scraps of food and look into the living room where his bed would be when we come in. And right now everything hurts a lot, walking through the park, still finding balls around the house.  But there is not a single part of me that regrets any part of Lenny's life or death, and we are so lucky to have had a family dog follow us through everything for the last 15 years.

Lenny, furry canine member of the Dodd family Apr 2001-October 2015

Ciao for Now
x


Disclosure: Starting from 1st November, I will be posting every single Sunday and Wednesday without fail.

4 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry Alice :( We had to put my dog down last summer and it's devastating. You never really get over the loss of a pet, even after a year, I still expect her to come running through the door every time I come home from school. But knowing they're not suffering and in a better place, is some comfort. Sending you lots of hugs xx

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  2. This was so beautifully written Alice, honestly he'll always be with you at heart and maybe you'll see him in your dreams, I always see mine. Fun fact, we got our dogs the same year! How cute :) I think it's comforting knowing you'll see him again!
    :) xxxxxxxx

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  3. I've never owned a pet (aside from a goldfish for a few months aged 7) but this post was wonderfully written, and I felt like I understand your pain. I hope you all feel better soon, and at least you have many happy memories.

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

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  4. I'm so sorry for you loss Alice and reading this almost made me cry. You wrote this so beautifully and the way you described it, was exactly how it felt when our family dog died. It's a funny thing really, you know it's time and I at least was glad the struggle with cancer was over for her, but even a year later we all miss her very dearly. Like you said that, you still want to give secretly give scraps underneath the table or expect her to be there when you open the front door. to your dog, I still have that a year later.
    However they are mostly fond memories now, the hurt will mostly pass.

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