Today’s blog, I’m afraid is going to be a bit self-indulgent. For that I am making no apologies and if that feels inappropriate to you then please feel free to skip this instalment and revisit us later, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
I have previously said that these blogs pretty much write themselves and today is no exception because for the last week the main thing that has been on my mind is the loss of our pet Dalmatian Chloe.
During our open water swim training last year Chloe took every opportunity to come with me down to the beach and although she wasn’t fond of the water she loved to run on the sand. This picture we took last year wasn’t very comfortable for her and my wetsuit still bears the scars from where she desperately tried to avoid getting wet.
I was really looking forward to getting out with her on my pushbike as being bred as carriage dogs, Dally’s can run for miles, sadly that isn’t going to be.
Chloe was only with us for 7 short years but during that time she was a constant companion and she helped to see us through some of our blackest times. As a very young dog she provided us with a much-needed distraction following the loss of Caroline’s parents and then a few years later she was a real source of comfort to Caroline when I was at my most unwell. She seemed to sense when her needs had to take a back seat but was always just demanding enough to take your mind off of your other troubles. Later on she would sometimes accompany Caroline in to work where she would sit patiently whilst the residents patted and stroked her and she made their elderly faces light up.
We often called her the Pup, because for most of her life she looked and behaved like a puppy, although looking back she certainly aged pretty quickly towards the end.
Her decline and subsequent demise was so quick that I felt I had missed out on an opportunity to spend a last chance with her at her favourite place on the beach. I have since realised that I was wrong about that, because although she loved going to the beach her favourite place was actually wherever her pack was. She was as happy running free on the beach as in the woods, or dozing in front of the fireplace, or even just sat in her bed in the kitchen. So long as she was close to us. In fact so keen was she to be with you that she would always try and jump into the car whenever we went out. Often it wasn’t a very exciting journey, sometimes she wouldn’t even get out of the car on a round trip, but that didn’t matter to her. One of the lessons she taught me was that it’s always about the journey and not necessarily about the destination.
Sleep well, young pup or run free and remember it was a great journey.