Tuesday 9 October 2018

Robbie (2003-2018)

We lost a very dear pet this week. Robbie’s health had failed considerably over the past several months. We knew it was his time and that we had to give him relief from his daily struggles. He died very peacefully in my arms at the vet clinic on 7 October 2018.

Losing a pet is not the same as losing a parent, sibling or child. Nonetheless they become very important members of our families and I think they also deserve eulogies. Pets give us great joy and companionship. The fact that we elect euthanasia to end their stress or sickness does not take away our pain or sense of loss.

Robbie was born 29 November 2003. His registered name was Brynmill Billy Barkwell: sire, Brynmill Bobbie Burns; mother, Banffshire Chloe. That did not mean much to us, really. He was just Robbie! We brought him home on 24 January 2004.

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. And while it has turned out to be a very sad time, we are thankful for having had Robbie in our lives for so many years.

Robbie was a very good dog for us. He was gentle; he loved people, especially children; the kennel where he used to visit put him in with the puppies staying there because he was so friendly and liked to play with them. He was also a curious dog, and his adventuresome nature occasionally got him into trouble when he was able to get through an open gate into the wide open neighbourhood. He did not bark much, in spite of his name, except when unauthorized cats or rabbits invaded his yard. He also had a thing about cube vans and made a scene until they drove away.

As one gets older I think the loss of a pet becomes somewhat more distressing, perhaps because we see the end of their life span in terms more relative to our own. In people years, Robbie was just a little older than me – a septuagenarian – so in that respect we can say he lived a full life.

Robbie captivated our hearts. And those hearts have broken a little with him now gone. He will always be in our memories, aided by the dozens if pictures we have of him in our family albums.

The last comment the attending veterinarian said to us was that she thought we had given him a very good life. My response was “and vice versa!” He gave us a great deal of happiness in return.