There’s something special about the relationship with a dog who chooses you as his own. From the moment Pluto strolled into our house as a rescue dog, he had decided that I was his. And that’s how it has always been, for nine happy years.
I couldn’t change your beginning
It’s hard to say what Pluto went through in the early years, but he wasn’t a happy dog. When our local rescue found him, he had been beaten and starved. There was wood embedded into his chest, requiring an operation to remove it. And it was many months after we got him that we suddenly noticed his tail start to wag.
A huge, out of control tail. Wagging was still reserved for special occasions, but we could see that he was finally happy. Realising he’d been through so much always made me sad. And whilst I couldn’t change his beginning, I could go some way to make up for it by giving him a good life and being there until the end.
My loyal companion
Pluto was loyal to a fault, never wanting to be anywhere but by my side. And that was just fine with me. For most of his life, he was quietly in the background with a lively staffy for company. First Soxa, then Bubbles. And while they made friends with everyone we met he hung back, preferring to stick close to me.
Others would walk with us and hold his lead. He even let the girls walk him, ever the gentle boy he never once pulled on the lead while the children had him. But there was a condition, he had to walk next to me. His terms, not mine.
Pluto had so many adventures with us, I don’t know where to begin. Scottish Lochs, the Isle of Wight, Lindisfarne island and he’s even been in Eastnor Castle. There were steam trains, canal boats, camper vans and ferries. Wherever I went, he was there. Trotting along by my side, where he was happiest.
We never really knew how old Pluto was, but we think around 15 or 16. He was in great condition and walking well. Within the past fortnight he has been to Devil’s Bridge, Witley Court, Pembrey and on the Malvern Hills.
Yesterday morning, he woke up unable to use his back legs properly. We took him to the vets and they tried medication but he deteriorated overnight. This morning, we knew we had to do what was right for him and let him go.
And as I’d always promised him, I couldn’t change his beginning but I was there until the end. He was put to sleep at the vets, lying on his favourite bed with his head on my lap. He was in no pain and knew he was loved.
It will take a while to sink in that he is gone, the one who was always there. The one who loved me. Goodbye and thank you to my best friend.