While skimming through some old posts earlier I realised that back in September last years I wrote Pet Life: Part One and never got around to writing Part Two. So, here it is.
I finished up the last blog with saying goodbyes to Reb. Then there’s always that part of you that says you won’t get another dog. It’s too much heartbreak when you have to say goodbye. When anyone asks you say you won’t be getting another one and then the reason why.
That’s until you start meeting other dogs. You can’t avoid them. You meet them in the park, walking down the street and they’re adorable. They come up to you and want their ears tickled or want petted. They cuddle in, they wag their tails. They are generally cute.
In this case we were definitely not getting another dog. As much as we missed Reb and there was a big hole in our lives, no. For my sister and I it had almost been like losing a brother as we’d grown up with him.
Then Glen came along. A Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab. Light red wheaten in colour, he wasn’t the traditional size of a Ridgeback because the Lab filled him out. He was big and wide. Glen was living with a family on the other side of the park but his owner was moving to New Zealand.
Glen had found peace with this owner having suffered at the hands of two previous owners. We never did know the full history but we understand he was beaten up, kicked and even stabbed. You’d have expected him to have behaviour issues but he was entirely the opposite. He was a gentle giant. He even earned the nickname The Gentleman.
Glen took to us right away so, of course, how could we say no? He became part of the family almost immediately. He became my best buddy. I’ve written about that before and I will mention it again in a moment.
The trouble with Glen was that he didn’t understand how heavy he was. He wasn’t fat, just big and he liked to comfort. One afternoon I got sent home from work with some sort of virus and I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. Crawl into bed I did feeling absolutely miserable.
I stretched out and closed my eyes and a moment later I felt Glen climb onto the bed. Seconds later and he spread out right across my already sore legs. Now, you could just move Glen with a nudge of your legs. Oh no. When Glen got comfy he was there for as long as he wanted. Not my most comfortable ill afternoon but he was just trying to look after me.
I called Glen “my big puppy dog” probably because he was anything but a puppy. He was wise, gentlemanly and and certainly not the size of a puppy. He was my saviour in many ways. When I had a very poor year with my mental health – let’s call it was was, a breakdown – I really suffered. I became a recluse, I lived in my pyjamas, I did online shopping only. I stopped taking care of myself. I was off work for months. Nothing was going right. My one constant was Glen.
One afternoon I had to post my sickline into work and normally I would have had someone else go to the post box for me. There are two very close to where I lived, no distance at all. By this point I was actually sick of myself, sick of the person I had become. I never used to be home at all, always out at work, or some social event. Or the pub…
Basically, under the premise that Glen needed a walk and I needed to post a letter, I left the house with Glen and my mum. We left the house for a maximum of ten minutes only but it was a start and my big puppy dog became my companion from then on. I cried into his fur, cuddled into him and he was always there. I truly believe he helped me recover.
Then came the day that is always inevitable. He was crying out in pain. He had been to the vet for injections to try and help and he came back home. They didn’t work and I spent a long time with him, cuddle in, trying to soothe him and already greiving for him. It still makes me well up thinking about him. Saying goodbye to my buddy. When you hear a dog crying in pain like that you can’t let it go on. After spending a few more minutes with him, thanking him and saying goodbye, he went off to the vet and peacefully slipped away.
I still miss him.
There will be a part three…Marly is going to get him own blog.