Today I had to do something I really didn't want to do - I took my good friend Lin and her teenage daughter Dee to the vet's to have their dog Homer put to sleep. I knew this day would come eventually but I didn't know just how upset I would be when it did, and the tears are falling as I write this.
Homer arrived almost two years ago. At twelve years old he was one of the older residents at the animal sanctuary I support and Dee fell in love with him while on a visit there; Lin's application to adopt him was approved and he came home a few days later. Although he was registered to Lin he quickly became Dee's dog and would follow her everywhere - their bond was unbreakable.
Now I don't normally get emotionally attached to other peoples' animals, but even though Homer was healthy when he came from the sanctuary his age has meant that in the last fourteen months liver, spleen and pancreas problems have resulted in many trips to the vet, and as I've provided the transport for these journeys I've gradually become more and more fond of him. His various conditions have been managed quite well with medication but a vet's appointment in December showed that nothing more could be done for him, his organs were failing and it was time to think about letting him go. The gradual deterioration in his health became more noticeable just after New Year and though I was hoping and praying that he would just quietly leave us in his sleep his heart was still strong and he bravely soldiered on, so the final appointment at the vet's was made for today.
This morning I decked out the inside of the van with lots of flowers and a big comfy bed for Homer and he lay quietly as I drove to the vet's for the last time. The last thing he ate was a bacon flavour chew stick taken from my hand while in the waiting room, though I have to admit that when it came to the last few minutes of his life I was a total coward and went to sit in the van. Although I knew things were for the best and the decision wasn't mine to make my inner emotions were screaming "Please don't end his life!" and I didn't want anyone in the vet's to see me crying. Lin and Dee stayed with him and cradled him while he went to sleep for the final time then he was wrapped in his blanket, laid on his bed in the van and we took him to the pet crematorium. Dee chose an individual cremation and a photo memory box for his ashes and we were able to spend some time with him in the chapel of rest before we said our last goodbyes.
Needless to say, both Lin and Dee are understandably very upset, and even though Homer wasn't my dog I feel so sad that he's gone. It's only just two weeks since I lost my own lovely Sam and my emotions are still very raw so Homer's passing is hitting me harder than it would otherwise do. I'm glad about one thing though - Homer didn't end his days in the animal sanctuary. It may not have been for very long but at least he had a proper home where he was very much wanted and loved.
RIP Homer - always loved and always remembered xx
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it