Losing a member of your family is never easy, but when that member is of the four-legged variety, the sadness invades places you never expected it to.
He wasn’t ill, and we didn’t see it coming. One day he just, suddenly wasn’t there. When you have a dog for any length of time, you start to shape your life around them, holidays, routines, plans. The immediate sadness of saying goodbye to a beloved family pet has gradually been trumped by something we didn’t really expect; the loss of a reason to be outside and adventuring. Although as a family we have always been walkers, campers and general outdoor folk, having Harvey seemed to give purpose and a greater satisfaction to doing those things. It was like we were treating our dog to the life and room to run that he deserved. Everything became a little better because of him, and now as we try and walk on the beach or plan a holiday, something feels lost. We have no ‘bacon tongue’ lollopping towards us, and no floppy ears pinned back by the wind to laugh at, he somehow managed to fill wide open spaces with an innocent playfulness that took us all along for the ride.
I’ll admit I was a sceptic! I thought dogs were a novelty but a bit of a pain for life in general. No planes/Dog friendly campsites/cottages/pubs a constant round of ‘how can we bring harvey?’ every time I went home. The cold-hearted part of me used to get quite annoyed at times, but damn, he was just too cute and happy and perfect to stay annoyed at.
It’s hard, because you still want to do these things, you still want to walk on the beach and run through the woods and camp in strange little campsites, you just have to face the fact that the one who enjoyed it most is no longer there to share it with.
I’m not sure you’ll understand unless you have a dog, I definitely wouldn’t. I just wasn’t prepared for places to feel so empty without one little four-legged creature.