We’ve been together a long time, me and my boy. He’s changed so much – from the bedraggled puppy found in a car park to the stately old gentleman he is today. And I’ve changed too, I’m a real old lady now.
What fun we’ve had, Rex. All those years of travels, adventures, excitements.
That time you fell off the cliff and I saw you way down there looking up at me as if to say, “What exactly am I doing here?” Unharmed, untouched. The old ladies of the village said that angels must have borne you up, that you were a miracle dog.
And so you were. You survived so much. But mostly because, my love, of the miracle of love you brought into our lives. Both my friends conceived babies they’d been struggling to have for years. You made them feel maternal, they said, you opened up their hearts. As you did for me, opened up my sad, scarred heart.
The price of great love is great pain, and here we are now, my love, at the end of our road together. We’ve exhausted every avenue of healing: the oils, the reiki, the massage, the swimming. You’re blind, deaf, demented; your creaky old joints are full of pain.
We both know you have to go, even though the prospect of it overwhelms me with agony. I know you don’t want to go, I know you’ll struggle to stay with me, my brave and loyal friend. But I have to do this appalling thing, from love and mercy.
And so you’ll go to join your old mates who have gone before. In a place where you can run freely without pain, with your clear eyes and perky tail and so much, so much joy.
But darling boy, how will I live without you?
The day after Rex died, I published our poetry book, Rex my love on Amazon. I hope it helps others who are grieving.