Sunday 17 June 2012
night-night Pud Pud
Today a space the size and shape of a small Labrador has opened up beside me. An empty space that weighs as heavy as my whole world, so heavy I don't think I can bear it.
Though black with just a splodge of white, for nearly thirteen years Holly coloured my life in rainbows, but now summers colour has seeped away, the garden is drained to grey, laughter has been sucked from my throat and sadness bars my way.
As those glorious 13 years we shared open up to me, they block all that went before and cloud all that is yet to come. A constant companion, a confident and a friend, she decided my decisions and lifted my spirits, a dependent that I depended on, a smile when all else failed. Oh how I need her now.
Holly stuck by us in our Gypsy lifestyle (we moved 7 times in London during her life, 8 counting the extended stays at 'grandmas'). The loading of the cars, the long motorway journey's, all done without a hint of bother, however, no matter how short the stay, how brief the visit, three has been the magic number, she made every house our home and no more so than the last 9 years in Belleau.
The cottage has always been hers, no room barred to her, no bed beyond her, never overly cloying she always took herself upstairs to bed in the evening, though in her later years she needed a little help from us. She would stand at the bottom stair and look over her shoulder at us until we carried her up. This summer she had discovered her voice sitting on the bed and barking at the cows in the meadow opposite from as soon as you put her down to as soon as it got light.
This all makes the hurt so much harder, everywhere I look I catch a glimpse of her. She was a creature of habit, though like a bank contract these were always hers to change. The new morning routine was meet me at the treat cupboard pre fuss, wait till we had cooked our breakfast before joining us outside for her share.
Holly was always with us wherever we went and hit with whoever we met, she didn't dislike anyone, especially if they had food, not keen on children but amiable enough.
She wasn't a working dog, but she had a role to play in our life. Not a guide dog but she taught us to see rather than just to look, whichever way she went we gladly followed. She didn't hunt but did love a chase, foxes were her favourite but I realised thankfully that she wasn't a hunter quite early on. I remember walking her in London when she suddenly got the scent of something, my imagination ran wild, what was this creature she was stalking? She traced her quarry to some bushes, before diving in for the kill. A struggle commenced but her yelps made me come running to her aid, I tore back the foliage to beat off this fearsome prey only to find her unable to get her head back through the railings as she refused to drop the half pizza she had tracked and captured.
As a puppy Holly did have a stint as a model, she kept her looks till the end by the way, she starred in a photo-shoot for Home Choice, never one to be won over by the bright lights but always professional, she got the shot done and then proceeded to pee all over the bed.
This has all come so quickly, a week ago today she took us on the longest walk we had been on for a very long time, showing us a way through the wood at a pace we couldn't keep up with, maybe she was rewarding us with a memory. What a difference a week makes not able to stand, or sit, a broken machine still with a puppy's face.
She was always my first good morning and my last goodnight and unlike her a habit I will find hard to break.