It has been a year since we said goodbye. Not a single day has passed when I haven’t thought of you & I have wished so many times that I could hold you & bury my face in your sweet, earthy-smelling fur just one more time.
The house is fuller than it has ever been with dogs, yet somehow still feels empty without you here. In the wake of your departure we adopted not one but three more dogs! It took that many to realise we could never replace you – no matter how many dogs I let into my heart, no-one would ever fill the hole that you have left there – it was silly of us to ever think we could.
I wonder what you would make of the new siblings we adopted for your Molly? They have provided comfort & company for her, & for us too, but I know she still misses you, we all do. You were her ‘big brother’, the one who showed her what to do, she learned by your example. She’s ‘in charge’ now, keeping the unruly three in line when they get out of it! They are not always easy dogs, & often hard work, but you have inspired us to persevere in the face of adversity, knowing that the joys that come with sighthound rescue far outweigh the problems. You taught us so much, & now we are building on that knowledge & experience to provide a safe & loving home to dogs who would otherwise not have one.
A whole calendar of events have passed without you being there to share them – Christmas time, our camping holiday, your Gotcha day, our 1st wedding anniversary, the Great British Greyhound Walk, my birthday, can collections, fundraising events & greyhound gatherings – you have been dearly missed at them all, & always will be. Your new brothers are learning the ropes of modelling my silly doggy creations, but will never attain the high standards you did with your cheeky willingness to strike any pose in return for a treat & a cuddle!
I talk about you often, recounting how you made us laugh with your antics & how we learned so much from you about greyhounds & dogs in general. I comfort others who have lost their much loved pets, & reassure them that in time the happy memories will prevail over the sadness. & whenever it all gets a bit too much & I question why I’m doing this – why I put myself through the emotional rollercoaster that is involvement in greyhound rescue & rehoming, why I persist in educating the ignorant & contribute as best I can to the exposure & ultimately demise of the racing industry – I only need think of you & it all becomes clear.
Each print that I make of your image, each card that I write with your photograph on, each dog that I help to rehome, I smile & think of you & the times we shared. & whenever I see a rainbow in the sky I shed a tear because I know that somewhere, somehow, we are still connected & that everything is going to be OK.
Love you forever Max.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
- Dr Seuss