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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, 2 August 2011: Goodbye to an old friend

My faithful companion of 14 years, Tristram, handsome black Labrador, was put to sleep last Monday. His aging had become increasingly apparent since the beginning of this year. His back legs sagged, his eyes and his hearing was dulled and nodules appeared on the leg from which a melanoma was removed last August. But still he nudged me for impatient attention, had the occasional back roll while he grinned happily and constantly begged for his favourite treat, a slice of fresh brown bread. The pace of our early morning walks had grown slower and slower and he sometimes stumbled and fell, leaving me apprehensive as to how I was to get him and Galahad home in the pre-dawn darkness.

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.


Gaelyn said...

Eleanore, I am so sorry about you loosing Tristan. He so reminded me of my Carson. I am sure they are playing labby games beyond the rainbow bridge.

Anonymous said...

Ten spyte dat ek geweet het, het die trane nou geloop terwyl ek jou woorde lees. Ons viervoetige kinders are family.