The Very Best Boy, Our Dude

15 August, 2017

To the very best boy, our Dude,

Our Doodlebum. Our Dudley. Our Google. Our Dudey-boy. Last week, after twelve years of being a part of our family, we finally had to say goodnight to you. You had your entire family beside you as you drifted off, just like you had you had your entire soon-to-be family pick you up from the rescue home all those years ago when you were just a lanky pup. I remember it well as we walked into a kennel full of noisy, excited, barking dogs and then there was you, quiet as anything, standing on your hind legs right at the end peering at us curiously. That was the day we took you home. Last week, we were laying beside you on the ground, we smothered you with kisses and whispered just how utterly and ridiculously loved you were as you drifted off into a slumber. Although it was one of the hardest things we've ever had to face as a family, we couldn't have asked for anything more in those final moments we shared.

There was no long and drawn out suffering in the final chapter of your life. Just a few days beforehand you were bouncing round the garden, barking cheekily and ready to play. Even at thirteen years old, you still had that pup mentality and no sickness took that spirit away from you and that I am thankful for.

I've not known how to deal with the loss of you, so I've done the only thing that's come natural to me, and that is to write.

Although we rescued you, you also rescued us. You came into our broken family after many, many dark years. You were the saving grace for us and although everything hasn't been perfect, it was a heck of a lot better after you trotted into our lives. You were the most gentle and pure creature who would even get upset at the though of hurting a fly; there wasn't one bad or hurtful bone in your body. I would laugh, but I would also feel incredibly sad that strangers would be scared of you simply because of their prejudice and stereotyping towards your breed. Then again, they had never seen you cuddling up lovingly to the pet rabbit, nor had they seen how you'd become the best big foster brother to the many dogs we brought into our home over the years. You absolutely cared for each and every rescue dog that stopped off in our home before they found themselves a permanent loving family.

You were an absolute angel and you were my best friend. You've been in my life since I was fourteen years old, which meant you saw me through every high school crush, been beside me when I thought drinking cider down the park as a youth was acceptable and watched as I moved away from the family home. I can remember feeling so scared after I moved for university that you wouldn't remember me when I visited home, but how wrong I was. You would come trotting over, tail wagging to greet me at the door every single time.

My favourite memory has to be the time I was intentionally walking you to spy on my ultimate high school crush on the track field *stalker alert*, and you bolted towards him so that I lost the grip of your lead. You bounded across the track having the time of your life, whilst I stumbled after you with my trousers falling down, losing a shoe in the process and pretty much all of my dignity in one fell swoop. People around were screaming and running away from you as you ran straight into the sand pit, tail wagging and barking merrily. As the calamity unfolded, I finally managed to wrestle you to the ground whilst the entire track stared at me, including the guy I fancied. It was potentially the most embarrassing moment of my teens, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I'll also miss the days when I'd return home tipsy from a night at the pub with my friends, and would crawl into the cramped dog bed beside you for a nap. I'll miss the way you used to 'tell us off' if your dinner was running a little late. I'll miss the way you truly believed that you were a lap dog, and you'd clumsily plant yourself on our laps despite your size. I'll miss the way you used to have this strange habit of sticking your head through handbag straps and then proudly walk into the room with a handbag dangling around your neck like you were ready to hit the town. Bloody hell, I just miss you so much already, Dude.

Now, I'm scared to sleep. I'm scared to sleep because I fear that brief moment when I first wake up and I forget. I forget that you're gone. I forget that I can't cuddle you when I'm feeling down. I forget that you won't be there to steal the food from my plate when I look the other way. I forget that you won't be there to greet me at the door with your tail wagging. I blink and then I remember. I remember that you're gone and there is nothing that I can do to fucking change that. It's in that exact moment, it hits you like a ton of bricks right in the stomach and it's like lying on the vet's surgery floor as we lose you all over again.

It's these moments when I briefly forget that are the worst. The habits we've picked up because of your presence around the home, and it's when we perform these habits, such as keeping our food just out of reach of your nose or going to tuck you in at night, to then realise that you're not there.

Dogs really are too darn good for this world, and to me you were the best darn dog. Dogs are there throughout key moments in your life and they never stray from you; they're there through every tough challenge you may face to every joyous moment and achievement. Although I don't think I've ever felt a heartbreak like losing you, I am so thankful that you were a part of my life for so long. We were so blessed that fate brought you into our family and I'll be forever grateful for those twelve heckin' great years that we got so spend with you. We are so, so lucky.


P.S. Also, I just want to say a huge thank you to the PDSA who helped Dude throughout his lifetime and at the very end.


  1. This is such a beautiful and touching post lovely, I'm so sorry for your loss. Totally understand how you feel and those memories are amazing, what a beautiful beautiful boy!

    M x

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss lovely, pets are such a huge part of the family. Sending you love

  3. Tearing up a bit at this, so sorry for your loss Leigh. Dogs are just incredible, loving creatures, and it sounds like Dude was a very special one indeed <3

  4. Sending so much love to you, it's so hard to lose a much loved pet.

  5. Wow this was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes..I'm so sorry for your loss. You can really tell how much you love him by the way you talk about him, it reminds me a lot of me and my dogs. He really does sound like an angel, and you're right that you're so incredibly lucky to have experienced the love of a dog like that. Stay strong <3


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