Dogs give us so much as companions - unconditional love, comfort, an acceptance of our failings- and, naturally we all avoid thinking about them dying and are seldom prepared for the loss when it comes.
I am told less than 25% of dogs die peacefully in their sleep of "old age" or "natural causes".
I didn`t think I could bear the pain of losing another dog and yet, once again I have had to part with one I have loved for so long.
Dominoe was a rescue dog - half wild, completely untrained and not particularly friendly when we took him 13 years ago. He was certainly out of puppyhood and not the most handsome of sheep dogs! It took a lot of time and patience to change his way of thinking and settle him into our home . All those years and I never really noticed him getting older. There was never really anything wrong with his health so that fateful weekend when we lost him was all rather a shock. On the Saturday he pottered around as usual and went to bed as usual.
On the Sunday morning I found him dead in his usual place in the lounge.
I am told we have been very fortunate to miss the gradual decline and agonising decision most pet owners face at the end of their pets life - and, I know the time of pain is very short compared to the years of love he gave.
It just doesn`t seem like it yet....