I'm returning here to report some sad news. Our lovely dog, Ronan, who has featured in the blog many times, died last week. It was a big shock to the whole family as it happened quite suddenly - just over a week ago he was able to go for a walk with me yet a few days later he was too weak even to go out to the garden. He had probably been ill for a while and was hiding it well, the vet said. After a week of treatment for vomiting and lethargy, they found a mass on his liver so said there was nothing they could do and advised us to end his suffering. It was a very hard day.
It is very quiet at home now. Coming back to the house after being out is worst as we are so used to him greeting us at the door, his tail wagging. We are also missing walking him, something which felt like a chore at times but was part of our normal routine. And it's hard to go for a walk on our usual routes as we see other regular dog walkers we know by sight and say hello to and I can't face telling them. It's hard to make the transition from being a dog owner to not being one: I still find myself closing gates and doors to stop his escape and moving plates with leftovers out of reach unnecessarily.
Back in 2007, I had serious doubts about getting a dog. I'd not had a dog as a child - we always had cats - I knew it would be hard work and a big commitment. It was, but I hadn't realised what joy a dog like Ronan would bring to our lives and what a good companion he would be. He was with us for nearly 12 years and had a good life. Still we will miss him so much.