Norwesties no more

Skirlie went three days ago, after going downhill very fast. At the vet, she slipped away being cuddled in the back seat of the car, where she felt at ease. The last thing she did a moment before falling asleep was put the usual paw on our hands. As I said then, a very bad day. Tablet, her Mum, back of the picture, faded away three years ago.
Skirlie memories. Delivered into the palm of our hands in the middle of the night. First of the litter to try weaner food, primarily by standing in it. Me registering the litter with the Kennel Club, the deb on the phone insisting In best Mayfair accent that Skirlie isn’t a word (it’s the name of a dish in Scotland but, hey ho, we were talking to England). Finally, deaf to explanation, she accepted White Pudding as the official Sunday name. Obedience classes, as much about training the owners as the dogs.
Seventeen years of them trying to drink the sea, of walking cheerfully to heel, of always waiting for us to go through a gate or doorway first, of always heeding the command “WAIT”, even if already airborne. Of delivering both dogs into kennels, if we went away, but always finding them living in the owner’s kitchen when we picked them up. Otherwise, neither dog ever being out of our company. 
All dog owners experience this . Their routine is built round yours, yours round theirs till it becomes symbiotic. It’s why losing them is so hard.
And who will I talk to on my walks? Except she’ll still be there, and not in pain any more.

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