Around 15 years ago friends of ours who owned Brittany Spaniels had a dog who had a litter. We had just lost my old dog Chai who at 17 had a long and great life and so felt ready to find another companion for our other old dog Jess.
So we went around and chose a little Black and White puppy who we called Connie after Constance the Duchess of Brittany in the 12 century. When we went around to pick her up there was one puppy left who no one wanted. The runt of the litter with a shortened pallet he wasn't deemed to be in good enough shape to be worthy of breeding. And so we ended up with two wonderful little dogs, Gambit and his sister Connie.
When my then wife and I split up almost five years ago the dogs stayed with her and apart from a few visits when my daughters walked them around to the unit where I lived I didn't see a lot of them. For the past few years they have lived with my ex and her new partner and on occasion have come up to the gate of the property to greet me. Getting slower and struggling up the hill I know that they both still knew who I was because their tails wagged and he gave a funny little groan that he always gave when I scratched his ear.
On Thursday my youngest daughter and her Mum took Gambit to the vet and he had to be put down. He had struggled to get up for the last week and it was no longer fair to watch him begin to waste away. My ex was always much braver than me in being able to make that decision.
Even though I hadn't had the chance to have much to do with either of the dogs for a few years they were still a part of my family and I'll miss him.