A Season of Lasts

It’s a season of lasts here.

On Easter Saturday we had our last meal at our favourite restaurant.  My husband had his last fishing trip (and caught nothing).  I am having my last lie-in in my most favourite place in the world. Last night was our last night in our holiday house.  Of course it wasn’t our last night here forever, or at least I hope it isn’t, but it was our last night here before we move to Singapore.  Today we will pack and tidy and tomorrow the most stressful few weeks of our lives will begin.

Yesterday was our last trip to the beach at the end of our street.  We’d forgotten to bring swimmers, but the Big Missy scrounged around and found an old pair of bikini bottoms whilst the Little Missy launched herself into the water bare as the day she was born (minus the blood & muck).

We will do these things again, just not for a while.

But it really was the last beach visit for our almost-14 year old Cavalier King Charles, Pebbles.  She almost died 10 days ago from a bout of gastro, and it’s highly doubtful that when we return to Australia for a visit next year she’ll be here to greet us.

Pebbles spends most of her days sleeping like most 98-year-old women (which is the human equivalent of her dog

Pebbsy Dog

years).  She is incontinent (although it’s controlled by medicine),  she dislikes being patted, is scared of pretty much everyone, she is deaf as a post (maybe even deafer), she has mitral valve heart disease, her rear right leg no longer bends after she had a knee reconstruction after snapping her cruciate, her other legs struggle to hold her weight on smooth surfaces and send her crashing to the ground where she adopts an air of “What? I totally meant to lay down here!”.

When I put her collar and lead on her yesterday and headed up the street to the beach all of her woes were cast off.  Her tail started wagging and her usual arthritic walk became the galloping of a puppy.  She strained on the lead all the way there and even broke into a jog at times.  It was as if the puppy she had once been, the one who would spend hours charging up the beach terrorising seagulls, had re-emerged.

She spent an hour at the beach rolling in the sand, dipping in and out of the water (although the long swims she used to love were beyond her), she fetched sticks and trotted after strangers up the beach.  Like she has done her whole life she refused to leave the beach like a recalcitrant toddler.  We headed for the exit whilst she stood her ground at the high tide mark, staring us down.  I’m not coming home! You can’t make me! I’m staying here where I can be young and carefree FOREVER!

Eventually we carolled her and snapped her lead back on. With that simple click the old lady returned to her body and my husband had to carry her home.

She’s moving a bit gingerly this morning but I like to imagine her heaven as a beach, where she will spend her days on a beach – chasing seagulls, fetching sticks, swimming, rolling in the sand and being a puppy for eternity.

I’m so glad we gave her this last.

10 thoughts on “A Season of Lasts

  1. Oh I just loved this post. Beautifully written and I might be able to relate, just a bit. And although our pooch is still in her infancy (or human years, teens) I am sure her heaven would look exactly like your old ladies.
    You will survive the next 3 weeks – and then the good life awaits you! xx

  2. Well done for saying your goodbyes and for expressing it so well in this post. Saying good goodbyes is an important part of the transition process – you can’t move forward if you leave loose ends behind.

  3. We had several Cavvies that lived to ripe old ages. All went deaf and lost their mobility. Ours too, always, no matter how sick, had a grand time at the beach reliving their youth.

    The lasts make way for new beginnings which are exciting. Hope the next few weeks go smoothly. xo

  4. Aaw, that was beautiful, *sniff*. What a beautiful time for you all to have had, to one day remember her by.

    Our old girl (15) only gets walked once or twice a week but the smells of the park get her going so that she almost bounces again. I have to remind her not to overdo it or she spends the rest of the evening licking her aching joints, poor thing.

  5. That was so beautiful. The “lasts” list.
    I wasn’t aware just how much you’d all been through with your much loved doggie. So, to read of the youth, energy & joy recaptured at your favourite place was tear-inducing.
    All of these “lasts” brings it all forward in your mind about what you are doing now doesn’t it?
    I know I’ll be a mess just knowing you’ve packed & left.. And we haven’t even met …. But I know there’ll be a post of “firsts” …
    My experience about the “lasts” is that we don’t always know they’re the last.. And perhaps don’t give them any credence. But you knew them & you all experienced them.
    Much love.. D xx

  6. Oh this is the exciting and terrifying stage! We had many lasts this past long weekend too. It really puts it in perspective, about how happy Australia makes us and hoping Singapore brings the same joy, but on a different level.

    Wishing it all goes well and I’ll see you on the flip side!


    PS: Much love to your pooch… she sounds adorable and like she has lived a most happy life as part of your family. xox

  7. Oh I remember those lasts so well. Without the lasts, though, we don’t have firsts. 🙂

    We had to leave our dog in Texas with my sister when we moved over here because she was just too old to make the trip. She died last November. We have fostered puppies for the SPCA and that has worked out really well for us.

    When we’re back in a place where we’re more settled in and not travelling so much, we are definitely getting a Cavalier King Charles. Such a beautiful dog.

    • True. And I am very much looking to all the firsts!

      Cavaliers are not an easy dog, in my experience, but I am nursing a sore index finger from where I got chomped trying to give Pebbles her tablets so I am little biased 😉 . They LOVE company and will get up to mischief if left alone, and I’m pretty sure they are the most neurotic of all breeds (must be their royal connections!). But they are probably the most beautiful of all dogs to look at.

      Pebbs will move to my in-laws where she will be very happy, although I do feel guilty that my in-laws will have responsibility for her at the end. 😦

      • I understand about the guilt. My sister is very tender hearted and loves animals so she was the perfect one to have our Bella and love her to the end. We helped out financially and gave her permission to do whatever she felt best no matter the cost.

        I haven’t heard that about the breed so will need to do more research, I suppose. 🙂 They are not a cheap dog! We have friends who have them and we got to keep their puppies once and our hearts were turned to mush. They were so precious!

        Take care and have a safe trip over!!

  8. It’s hard isn’t it? All the lasts. Your heart tugs, and then finally, you want to just go so you don’t have to do them anymore.
    Loved hearing about Pebbles – we have a 16yr old beagle cross. He doesn’t get out much anymore (doesn’t really enjoy it) but he can still chase the cat (it’s all about priorities I suppose).
    Hope you enjoy the last of your lasts. xx

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