Life's stories, shared

Remembering Pets

How many of us have pets? I expect quite a few, and I suppose more than ever before, pets are a big part of the family. Far fewer dogs for example are working dogs nowadays and most are there just to be loved, pampered and to encourage us to get out and exercise. I do have a cat because I live in the country and need a mouser, but my dog has the life of Riley, knowing he is simply loved and he, like most pets, will return that love tenfold.

Oscar (our current dog) is a rescue Labrador. He came to us from the wonderful in Biddulph, who do a grand job rescuing and rehoming any animals that need them. He was around the 8 years mark when we got him, and we are his third home, but it is through no fault of his own. He has settled in marvelously and we all love him. When he arrived he was overweight and lazy. But after a strict diet and exercise plan, he is now looking fabulous, although he still sticks to the sofa like glue when given the chance!

When he arrived around 18 months ago, we had another Labrador, Megan. We had her since she was a puppy and was our only dog for many years. Megan was there when my boys were babiesl and has grown with them, being a wonderful playmate, protector and comforter to us all. She made us laugh and even when we were busy, she was always by our side, never needy but just quietly happy just be with us. Megan accepted Oscar when he joined our house (as I knew she would) and they enjoyed going on walks together. Oscar would swim and chase sticks, but Megan was more ladylike and would only go in water up to her ankles and in her latter years would NEVER chase after anything we threw for her.

Sadly, in March of this year, Megan finally succumbed to cancer. The tumour was in her lungs and the symptoms were kept at bay by steroids for quite a few months. Right up until the last day, she would still go for a walk, albeit a slow and short one towards the end. We knew it was coming, but it was still so hard to let her go when the time came. We called the vet out and she passed peacefully at home with her family nearby.

But, like most people, we don't forget our beloved pets. We remember the funny things they did, watch film of them running around in happier, younger times, and smile at the hundreds of photographs we take of them. Well, I know I do. How wonderful it would be to put all these things together in book form, and this is where Book of You comes in. Just as in the way you can create a wonderful memorial for a grandparent or friend, you can do the same now for your pet. Tell the story of your dog, cat or indeed any pet, and include your favourite pictures to illustrate their life. And remember to save your best shot for the front cover!