Farewell my friend

Gus a very gentle loving Staffie Gus was 8 years old when he arrived at my door, he was supposed to meet a new owner but they refused to let him in when they discovered he was a Staffie. The lady from the South Coast Staffie Rescue had gone to a lot of trouble so I invited them in for a cup of tea, this dog sat up on his back legs and begged with his front paws and never left.

Staffie are gentle dogs

I hadn’t lived alone since I was 18, when he came into my life I was so lonely, but his gentle playfulness brought me out of myself. Working from home I rarely left my flat until he came along, he was so good at getting me out every day. They don’t deserve the reputation – as the vet told me this week – Staffies are very low down the list of incidents with Golden Retrievers being the highest. Gus was the gentlest dog I had ever known and if you are considering a dog please give them a chance.

He had a passion for football, and would enjoy playing with the ball unfortunately the balls would not last long. Once he heard the noise of a ball he would be off like a rocket. I once had to apologise to two very lovely rugby players when Gus took their ball and ripped it to shreds in front of them, thinking he was playing the game. He loved Christmas or Birthdays, helping people unwrap presents gave him enormous pleasure.

Gus - Staffie
Gus two weeks ago

He had a lot of strength, and would often try and pick up the longest heaviest log he could find! He really liked to play fetch – we kept our local Pet Shop in business because frisbees and balls did not have a long life.

Gus began to struggle to go to the loo recently,  I took him to the vets, they gave him some antibiotics and probotic fibre to help him. However things did not improve so he had X-rays and ultrasound under anasthetic on Thursday. Unfortunately the results showed his prostrate was misshapen and huge and the neck of the bladder was also affected – there wasn’t anything they could do to improve things. The vet said he was incredibly heathy apart from this one area.

Walking the dog,

I took him home and we spent the evening and the night together, I told him how grateful I was for him being in my life. I knew things weren’t right when he wasn’t interested in playing fetch – which was his favourite game.

As much as I wanted him around  I had to do what was right for him. The next day I took him back to the vets, it was a beautiful sunny day so we drove with the roof of the car down, he sat up straight with a big grin enjoying the sunshine on his face and the wind blowing through the car. I stayed with him to the end, cradling his head and looking into his eyes telling him how much I loved him. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I am beside myself with grief – I have lost a loyal, gentle soul and life won’t be the same without him.

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12 thoughts on “Farewell my friend

  1. I am crying with you for Gus. Know that your decision to make sure he wouldn’t suffer was the kindest and most loving of gestures for Gus. I had to do the same two years ago when I lost my wonderful Kova, another rescue dog.

    It sounds like you gave Gus a wonderful life! I really chuckled at the tale of the rugby ball!

    Hold on to the thought that Gus is fully healed and bears you no ill will. He’s out there and he’s waiting. Cherish the memories.

    xxx

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  2. Oh no I am so so sad for you.I know exactly how you feel.Almost a year before we had Hugo our beautiful Jake had to be put to sleep.We absolutely made the right desision but the grief and guilt was so strong, it was quite unbearable. It really does get better with time and you were very brave.You did give him a wonderful last few years and he gave you so much happiness too.I can tell Gus had the very best happy doggy life with you.xxxxxxxxx

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  3. Oh my lovely, I’m so sorry to hear this. Dogs are so wonderful and I know how much I love my own boy, I’m not surprised you’re beside yourself with grief. They bring so much joy and are so open hearted and their lives are far too short. Take it gently my love. Huge virtual hugs to you. I’ll be thinking of you xx

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  4. So sad reading this 😢 You were both lucky to find each other and have the time you had together and you provided excellent care for him every step of the way. Every dog rehomed from rescue frees up spaces along the line; so many dogs will have benefitted because of you 💙

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss – you and Gus will be in my thoughts. Today, I am facing the same decision with regards to my 21 year old cat who I got from the Humane Society when she was 6 and a half years old. It is a tough decision deciding when is the right time to let go so that they don’t suffer unnecessarily. “As much as I wanted him around, I had to do what was right for him” – the words I needed to hear and remember. I thank you for this post. Take good care of yourself during this difficult time. xo

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    • Thank you for your kind words, I am so sorry that you are facing the same decision – I wish you courage because it is not easy. A few days have passed and it is a small comfort to know he is pain free. Bless you xx sending lots of love.

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      • Thanks for the support. I finally made the decision last Thursday, and it was very sad. You are right, though, there comes a moment when you have to accept that is what is best for your pet, even if you wish it could be different. Hope you are feeling better and slowly healing from the loss. Take care.

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      • Oh I am sorry for your loss, the passing of a pet is dreadful, even now and then I catch myself, but I comfort myself that it was the kindest thing to do. I feel for you I really do. We just picked up a new rescue – while it would never be the same dog, there are many dogs and cats out there in need of loving homes. Its been a comfort, as I missed the routines we had with regular walks. I know other people want to take more time. I send you lots of love and thank you for your kind words x

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  6. Catching up on my reading, here, and sorry to see that I missed your post about Gus’s death. We have lost three of our dogs to illness or old age since we married in 1992. It is never easy, whether one wakes up at night to find that they’ve just died or when one brings them to the vet’s and then makes preparations for cremation. After 8, 14 or more years together, it’s hard to say good-bye, but always renewing when a new dog comes to stay and becomes a friend for life. And tears of mourning and memories become a mixture of sadness, exasperation, laughter and joy.

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    • Thank you Liz for taking the time to write those words of comfort, it was kind of you to post. It is one of bittersweet things about love isn’t it, that we love knowing that we eventually have to say goodbye. We have a new little dog desperately in need of a home so it is at least easier because there is no emptiness around routines and walks anymore – although he is a very different little dog he is already made inroads to our hearts.

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  7. I am glad to hear that you picked up a new rescue dog. You are so right, there are so many animals in need of a good home, and I am sure this new dog will bring you joy and companionship. Like you said, it will not be the same dog, but what a beautiful way to honour the memory by giving another homeless dog a home. Thank you again, I so appreciate all your kind words. Lots of love to you across the miles. XO

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  8. This is the first blog post in my life that made my cry. I am sorry for your loss. I have a dog too, German Shepherd, and she will be 7 years old in November. I am terrified of losing her. I just hope that when the time comes, I won’t have to put her to sleep. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to do that.

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