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.