Yesterday we said goodby to Tess, our Staffordshire bull terrier who acted more like she was human. She was 11 which was a good age for a staffie.
A trip to the vets revealed that she had developed multiple, severe infections which could potentially have been treated with surgery but, at her age, the likelihood of her surviving the process was very low so we decided to do the kind thing and stop her suffering.
We don't see it as a life cut short but as one considerably extended.
We first got Tess when she was about 9 or 10 months old. She was owned by someone who used to keep her locked in a small cage with a Rottweiler which bullied her. She was underweight, a nervous wreck and had sores all over her body - we were told she had eczema.
We knew we had to get her out of that environment so offered some money and drove away with her. We had her checked and discovered that the "eczema" was, in fact, mange and there is no doubt in our minds that she wouldn't have lived much longer had we not rescued her.
Over the next few months we nursed her back to health, at some considerable cost, but it was so worth it. She became the most loving, affectionate member of the family you could ever wish for and was so protective over the kids, especially when they were ill.
We've had some amazing times over the years with such a wonderful friend; saying goodbye was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do.
Rest in peace, Tess.