I wrote quite a lot about Billie when I visited Melbourne nearly two years ago. I told my friend Vicki to warn Billie I’d be relying on her for canine comfort as I’d be missing MasterB. She’s not a cuddlesome dog, said Vicki. But in the wayward manner of pets who like to prove their owners wrong, Billie decided immediately I was someone she’d like to cuddle her, and our bond was established. She was elderly then, her gait a bit wobbly, and made me think of a refined lady who’d had a bit too much Sherry but was still game for a knees up.
Yesterday I got an email message from Vicki with the same words in the subject line I have used as a title of this post. Billie is no more. Vicki will no longer have a dog shadowing her every move, looking at her with adoring, though somewhat unfocused eyes. Today’s email spelled out the hurt, the feeling that she could have done more for her dog.
I think that’s something most of us feel when our loved pets die. Yet Vicki loved and cared for Billie, had taken her in when she needed a new home, and perhaps the hardest thing, knew when the time came to let her go.
That doesn’t make it easier. How it hurts when we lose someone we love.
RIP Billie. You were a great dog. I’m glad I met you.