Listening to the Call

The urge to adopt another dog began to grow.

He lived for 15 years and was my sixth child in many ways. Over the last few years he became tired as old men do, and lay, like a breathing door mat, in the centre of our kitchen. He watched us come and go and occasionally smiled when dinners became raucous and filled with hysterical laughter. For three years he sat under my desk as I wrote  my first book and sometimes I even rested my feet on his big soft furry tummy.

One night after everyone had gone to bed I was turning out the lights when I realised he just couldn’t get up anymore. I brought down a towel and placed it under him and then went upstairs to bed. I knew it was probably going to be his last night. But instead of going to bed I slipped off my blankets and dragged down my pillow and curled up next to him on the kitchen floor. And we talked. I told him that for fifteen years he had been the most loyal and beautiful dog possible. I told him that I would miss his big brown eyes watching us all and I would miss his smile when something funny happened.

In the morning my husband came into the kitchen and found PK and I sleeping. PK couldn’t stand up and was upset that he was wet so I changed the towel and made sure everything was fresh. We woke all our children and phoned our eldest who was living overseas. She stayed on the phone for the next hour, on loud speaker. It was time to say our farewells to our beloved dog. Each child told him how much they loved him and a story they remembered about his life. How he had run away every day when he was younger and no matter how we built and re-build the fence it could never hold him in, until we all sat down with him and told him we could not continue this was and if he wanted to stay he would have to pull his socks up. He did. He stopped running away after that.

I called the vet and told him that PK was ready to pass over and may need a little help. He came right over. As the vet filled the syringe we asked PK if he was really ready. He looked at each one of us. Slowly turning his head and looking into our eyes and then he nodded.

We placed our hands on PK some on the head, others on the shoulders and back  and tummy. He put his head down and waited. The vet  sat on the floor with us and told  us what to expect and took PK’s paw. PK turned lifted his head and silently smiled at each of us and by the time he had finished he gently put his head down and died.

The boys including my husband dug a hole in the garden and my daughter and I watched over his body. We buried him under the huge mandarin tree. It was a privilege to know PK. He made us all better people for having known him.

The thought of having another dog was impossible. Until about two months ago.

Every dog I saw touched me. I could be crossing the road to the dentist and if I saw a dog I would climb my dentist’s stairs smiling.  (Previously unheard of! )

Eventually my husband and I had exhausted every possible reason why having a dog at our time of life was not a good idea. After all we travel a great deal, we don’t want to go through toilet training again. We would have to stay at home for the first few weeks  to ease it into family life. And yet on the 20th July we decided  not withstanding all the reasons in the world why we shouldn’t get another dog, the truth was we wanted one.

We went to the pound and looked for the dog that would steal out hearts. He wasn’t there.

We decided if we were going to have a new member of our family them perhaps it needed to be a baby. After all five children and PK had arrived as babies.

I wanted a Cavoodle. I know. I know. It’s a designer dog but hey, I am over having my home strewn with dog fur and Cavoodles, well they are so gorgeous.

We paid the deposit to a reputable breeder.

Then a little miracle occurred. Oren went to look at the photo of PK on the fridge. Sort of a letting him know that we are getting a new puppy. He turned the photo over and read the date. July 20. 2007. Four years to the day that PK died. To us it seemed PK was telling us not only is it time to have a new dog but that he gives us his blessings.

I am so excited to meet our new puppy.

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