Goodbye for now

It’s with a heavy heart that I write our beloved pet dog and family member Skip, has passed away.

Amazingly compassionate with a wisdom most humans would crave, Skip was a dog like no other. Born in a Welsh farmhouse 13 years ago, none of us predicted how much he would change our lives and now as I sit here, I can barely believe he’s gone.

The loss of a pet is nothing you can prepare for, even though I’ve not lived at home for a long time, Skip was always so important to me.

At the moment, the loss is brutal and raw. I can’t accept the fact we’ll never get another moment together where I give him a hug, play a biting game (a pretend game that involves a lot of tooth flashing and teasing) or slipping him a bit of something under the table.

The only condolence is that he went out on a high. He had a lovely day with mum, dad and my brothers and then he laid down and went to sleep. I wouldn’t have wanted him to suffer and he wouldn’t have wanted it either.

Perfect and loving, everyone deserves to meet a dog like Skip just once in their lives. I think if everyone got the privilege of meeting an animal as loving and genuine, cruelty towards animals would be a thing of the past.

It hurts so much and makes me feel indescribably sad to think we’ll never share another memory, but I’m lucky, I got to grow up with this flawless example of a dog and make enough memories to last a lifetime.

From watching him herd sheep, to chatting up the female dogs down Kirkstall Abbey (they would’ve been fools to have turned him down); I have some amazing moments I can treasure forever.

It might also be the key time to mention to mum that it wasn’t just Ruby that ripped out the massive bush in the garden when you went on holiday and left me in the house on my own…

Skip has left behind a family including our other dog Ruby, but it’ll never feel like he’s truly left us. Everytime I see a border collie, I’ll think of him, every dog I’ll meet I’ll know they would never meet his high standards. I’ll probably never stop thinking of him if I’m honest – he was ‘the one in a million’.

My only comfort is knowing that in heaven, he’ll be his youthful self. Energetically herding sheep and leaping over Dads wooden fencing with his glossy black coat and chocolate brown eyes. It’ll be a fair few years before I’m in heaven myself (unless I don’t sort my brakes out soon) but it comforts me knowing he’ll be patiently waiting.

In short, loss and grief are two of the worst emotions I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The only positive I can draw is that I have realised the true value of here and now. I’m going to work harder to make the most of what’s happening in the present rather than wishing for the next big thing.

Thank you Skip for everything, I’ll love you forever.