Sunday, 26 August 2012


It is 1.52am.

I am sitting on my own with a glass of Southern Comfort with Pear and Elderflower water an odd combination deemed necessary due to my lack of shopping skills, I forgot the lemonade.

Flute and Tips sleep restlessly in their beds and I have just returned from the vet.  I wonder how many people are facing the same emotional journey right at this minute yet no matter how many share your journey you are on your own.

Shy is dying.  Tonight made that crystal clear to me and I am not ready.  Yet what am I fighting against?  After an afternoon of some restlessness he still didn't settle, endless pacing lying down only to jump up that lovely smelly mouth tight with pain his whiskers that always seem to tickle my face or hand tight pushed forward.  His eyes are wide and ears are high on his head a pose once reserved for bunny hunting.

Is now the time?  I look back on my day with him he has eaten his meals with his usual relish, wandered like a drunken man down to the green and even wandered off to take in all those delicious smells.  He supervised our outside jobs before getting bored and heading back indoors.

We even had a nice family portrait where all I could see was my once strong lurcher looking tired and a little forlorn.

Teatime came around with that look he gives me ' surely it is time for tea by now'.  I cooked them all some fish and brown rice with some carrots thrown in for good measure.  Not sure he noticed mind as it is always gone so fast.  But the restlessness is there.  An awful uncomfortable endless time of movement.  The short spells of rest are quickly broken by a sharp jolt and up he gets struggling to his feet only to wander some more panting.

I wait for his painkillers to kick in and when they don't I give him some more.  I walk with him whilst he toddles down the road up the village so he can sniff once more who has been past.  I feed him a little more and wait.

He gets more restless and I feel panic rising.

Soon enough it is midnight and he still hasn't managed to sleep for longer than ten minutes.  I phone the vet knowing we can't pace all night when a whole night is an eternity in his world.

We wait whilst the vet heads to the surgery and we drive there.  He can't pace and just has to focus on keeping his balance but won't lie down.  I drive slowly and try not to think.  I hate getting to the vet yet feel relieved knowing it might at least help.

It is now 2.09am and I sit in the dark and wonder if I did the right thing.  Was the two injections more for me or for Shy?  Nature is cruel and I could leave him to nature although I took over mother natures job many years ago when I took him on.  So I just hope I did the right thing knowing that it is going to be a short reprieve though how short I don't know yet.  She said he has an infection and that his heart is soon beyond help so I brought him home.

He stands here with me panting, crying something I haven't heard for so long.  Maybe I wasn't brave enough but I can't take it back if I am too hasty.  it is possible to be too hasty at this stage?

I will sit with him until the morphine takes some of it away, if it does.

Then I will face it all again tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day if we get there.  I will soon smile that the midnight dash to the vet had my old boy trying to chase the bunnies in the carpark.

It is now nearly midday and Shy is no longer with us.  After the vets visit he continued to be uncomfortable and restless.  Soon he managed to sleep and it was obvious his heart was no longer able to keep going.  He was quietly PTS and thankfully quickly slipped away with a good dose of liver pate to see him through for Bunny hunting in the happy hunting ground.  That is if Swift and Buck let him join in the fun.  

Thank you as ever to Davy who is my very own personal gravedigger and Alex as I have no doubts she helped.  Thank yo to Brucey Babes for being man enough to show what Shy meant to him and for helping when I needed it.

Shyboy, Bob, Shybob will always be my one and only Blue Eyed Boy.


  1. Oh Caroline, poor you and poor, poor Shy xxx Hope he managed to eventually settle and has a few restful days (or at least restful hours) You rescued him from a terrible start in life and taught him he could feel safe & trust you. You know that boy so well and only you will know when the time is right (but you will know!) Hopefully he will enjoy a few tasty treats & cuddles from Mam before he has to go chasing bunnies with Swiftly & Buck. Sending love & hugs to you both xxxx