I’ve been quiet. Understandable under the circumstances. My faithful hound for the last eleven years, is no longer by my side. Trying to get used to a new normal. Routines become a stark reminder of what has gone.

She always walked with me. If I stopped, it was a devil of a job to get her to walk with anyone else. Even for a photo.

She was always the one looking round at me. I think she was convinced I’d disappear, if she didn’t keep an eye on me at all times. I do have a lot of photos of her. Partly as she was always there, a willing model, when I wanted to try out a new camera setting. Partly as she was the most beautiful deerhound (and well behaved) I have ever seen.She was up for any adventure. So long as she was with her pack. She went everywhere with us. Climbing mountains even at the age of 10, because no one told her she couldn’t.

Happy as long as she was with her family. Head ready for scruffling and comfort given to all. She loved children.

When she went away, her preference was to stay in hotels, but she also put up with camping. So long as she was with us. As we packed up the car, she would dance around, waiting to be told to jump on in the back. If we took too long, she would skulk in the house, determined that she had been forgotten. As if! Holidays and outings were her thing. We never left her behind, if we could help it.

Each evening, where ever we were, she lay at my feet, or on the sofa, where she could still see me.

We knew she was slowing up, but she was still doing 2 to 3 miles a day, almost till the last day. She saw it as one of her duties to watch my back as I took photos, or lagged behind to catch my breath drink in the view. Often leaning gently against my back, as I crouched down to take a photo of a bug or a flower, to let me know she was there.

People, usually knowledgeable about horses and dressage, would comment about her elegant movement as she walked and trotted. Right up to the last week.

A week before she was still playing football with her favourite ball. Not bad for an eleven year old deerhound.

She had a good and long life, and I do feel tremendously blessed that she was our hound.

She was the best time keeper, hot water bottle and personal trainer anyone could wish for. She saved me from ever eating a whole muffin by myself. Gave me extra exercise by stretching out in the middle of the kitchen, so I’d need to step over or walk round her while I cooked. She cleaned the tables, without once being asked.

Her skill at keeping the sofa from floating away, was second to none.

Her long neck has supported the cuddle of many a sad moment, from not just me. Picking up signs long before. She made each member of the family feel special. And we made her feel special too.

She would walk miles and miles with me. Never minding if I stood and took photos, or tried to spot a bird high up in the tree canopy.

What more could you want from a friend?

I’m going to miss those deep, brown eyes. A once in a life time hound. Sleep well, my Gwin. A well deserved rest.

(closing comments for a while)


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