Bosco has been part of my life for around 8 years.
I’m next to him on the sofa with certain knowledge that this will be our last night together.
Around six months ago Bosco developed some small lumps on his leg. I thought that they were nettle stings at first but when they got bigger I took him to the vet. The diagnosis was a tumour of some sort. More information could be gained by general anaesthetic and a bit of scalpel work but the diagnosis would likely be the same if Bosco came through the operation ok.
Soon after this Bosco started peeing blood and slowly became less active. He seemed to go from being a puppy to an old man in a few months.
We are down in the lounge tonight because Bosco can no longer make it up the stairs without considerable effort. So he has half the sofa and I have the other. His bed remains unused on the floor.
Somehow grief has hit me particularly hard. The bond between us and a mutual reliance has become unmeasurably strong and the loss I feel is choking me and forcing me to cry like a child.
Bosco has tumours all over his body and the most irritating one is in his eye socket slowly applying painful and sore pressure on his eyeball. He has been losing his sight for a while now but this is too much for him to cope with.
He always had a muscly bum but this has now wasted to skin and bones. His lack of strength has made walking painful and sprinting has now stopped all together.
We touched all night and in the morning had a short walk which Bosco wanted to be longer. The vet had a free appointment at 09:20 so home for a last breakfast of kibbles and roast beef. He wolfed this down so I quickly cut up some more beef for him. A handful of treats nibbled out of my palm and an adoring look of thanks.
He then had a drink out of the rain water filled celebrations tub in the garden. He preferred this to the bowl of fresh water in the house. Muddy puddles were his all time favourite tipple.
We jumped into the van and set off. I drove slowly and carefully seeing the road ahead through moist eyes. Bosco has always loved riding in the van and quickly settled down in the back.
Usual trips to the vet involve a bit of a struggle getting him through the double doors but today he showed no resistance.
Whilst waiting we hugged and he was calm.
The appointment was relatively quick. A form was signed and injection administered. Right up until the end he cuddled into the crook of my arm.
The effect of injection was fast. Bosco was first asleep and then with all his other dog friends. As he was lying on the floor not breathing but still warm he looked content.. His eyes were still open but the spark had faded and gone.
The drive home was empty and felt pointless. A purpose was needed so all his things were collected and taken to the tip. Remaining food and treats were dropped off at the animal sanctuary.
The hardest to throw away were his toys especially “Mr Quackers” a life sized duck which would be taken downstairs every morning and brought up each evening.
We have kept his collar and tag which he hardly wore but everything else needed to go. It is surprising how much stuff a dog ends up having. No less than four beds and at least four variations of Mr Quackers.
I had a long work to do list but couldn’t bring myself to any form of jovial chit chat. So off to bed and this morning I look to the foot of the bed and there are no adoring brown eyes staring back at me. No persistent nagging for a walk and no purpose. Strangely I have a real need to stroke a head and tickle ears which over the eight years must have become a ritual.
I am considering taking a walk around the village but seeing another dog might just spark my leaky eyes again.
Goodbye dear friend.