When I fetched both dogs from the kennels the morning I returned from Prague, Trist was noticeably weaker, although his large frame remained deceptively solid. Some evenings my heart leapt when I hugged his sleeping form on the mat in front of my bed; other days, his perky spirit made me feel he would live forever. Then the nodules began to produce large weeping sores which would not heal in spite of medication. I noticed that he seldom wagged his tail. The morning we drove to the vet I did not think about it being his last trip. In the reception area he still glanced suspiciously at a large cat in a crate with a notice: ‘Looking for a home’. But his poor condition was obvious.
“I think it’s time. Or would you prefer to take him home for a few days and think about it?”
And so the decision was made. He died with his head on my lap: “Ouboet (old brother), you’re a good boy. You’re my old chap! Tristy-boy!”
Now it’s just Galahad and me.