It was around this time 14 years ago that we acquired a bundle of blonde energy.
Ben used to scoot through the cat door until he got too big, then he just put his head through as if to say ” how come this shrunk?”
Lots of happy memories, lots of tears as we took him down to the vet. The kids & I held him as he went, a last big sigh as his soul left and his big strong heart continued to beat for another moment or so….
As the vet said, Ben was a well loved dog, but the time had come with his diabetes, the blindness and arthritis to let him go. Releasing him was always going to be difficult.
I don’t think a labrador ever loses its appetite, and Ben looked forward to meal times each day and let us know when he was hungry.
He also used to let me know if I had forgotten his insulin – as his main form of communication in the past few months was to bark and wait for a response.
Home for the last 3 and a half weeks due to an adverse reaction to a whooping cough vaccination, Ben spent as much time as he could sitting either on my feet or as close as possible.
An exchange of energy perhaps, as Ben was the subject that I practiced on when I became a Reiki Master Teacher. After he had been attuned to level 1, he liked to sit next to people and would often just casually put his paws on their feet. A few clients who came to my home clinic would ask for him to stay in the room as they enjoyed his company.
Looking back at the photos, it was possible to see a rapid decline as the diabetes, although well controlled, impacted on him.
First his eyesight began to go, but being a quick learner ( & as long as we
didn’t move any furniture) he was able to get around quite well.
The stairs were a problem as peripheral neuropathy affected his hind legs, but he adapted well to that and learned to come up the stairs backwards…. feeling further up his legs to find the stairs.
Gradually he moved his bed from laundry downstairs to upstairs in the lounge (& many nights on the lounge suite) until in recent months he moved into my home office which was closer to the front door, which suited us all as he needed to go outside more frequently during the night….
Last night seemed strange as I returned home…. no dog barking behind the front door or waiting on the front lawn as he had taken to doing. Even if I varied the time I came home, he knew when I was about to arrive, letting other family members know.
Ben didn’t take up much room in the house, but he certainly took up a big space in our hearts.
We will pick up his ashes later next week and plant a rose over them to remind us of him.
Probably a “Blue Moon” .. as a dog like this doesn’t come around very often.