The lady of the house entered the living room. "Hello, you must be Tristan. Please come this way", she said. Tristan and I walked up the stairs. The sounds of one month old little puppies could be clearly heard through a closed bedroom door. "Buzzin'!", Tristan said, with all the boundless enthusiasm of a twelve year old boy.
The door was gently opened. Before us, a wonder to behold. Several Parsons Jack Russell pups were frolicking along the bedroom floor. "Tristan, you can choose one of the puppies", I stated, with a huge smile on my face. For I knew how much my son loved dogs. Now was his chance to have a one of those little puppies become a huge part of his life, of my life.
Tristan and this one particular puppy made eye contact. Penny, as she would be later named, chose my son as he chose her. Three weeks later, Penny came to live with us.
And their adventures began. They went everywhere together. A boy and his beloved dog, running free in open fields. Indeed, a love so profound that there was a time when my son was near the edge of a hill and Penny put her teeth in the bottom of his trousers to pull him back.
The years rolled by. The puppy became a fully grown dog. The young boy became a young man.
The visits to the vets increased. September, 2012, a vet checked out some lumps on her body and declared that she had some cancerous growths. The vet stated it was a high risk operation and she maybe had a year to live. The diagnosis didn't seem thorough enough and thus, we consulted with another vet. It transpired that Penny, after a biopsy, had some fatty tissues. The fatty tissues were removed and all was well with Penny.
September, 2017. Penny seemed a bit poorly. I took her to the vets that, after I moved home, was only a couple minutes walk away. Upon examining her, the vet informed me that Penny had a tumour on her womb and a heart murmur. She said that Penny, most likely, had just a few weeks to live. I was devastated. I walked her back home. The tears streamed down my face. I sobbed uncontrollably.
Yet, Penny lived on. Yes, at times, she seemed rather lethargic. Her eyesight was fading and walks with her were becoming more difficult. In between, were those wondrous, playful times where she seemed perfectly fine. I truly believe that her love for us and our love for her, made her determined to share as much time with us as she possibly could.
Tuesday evening, October 23, 2018. It was about seven in the evening. I took Penny out for a walk. Then, just like most nights, I headed off to the supermarket. Upon my return, about eight in the evening, I realised something was very wrong with Penny. I thought that taking her out for another walk might make her feel better. Oh, how wrong I was. I carried her back into my apartment. I phoned my son. I drove over to his place but noticed him waiting on a street corner. We drove back to my apartment.
Tristan could now see that Penny was really struggling. I phoned the veterinary clinic. I got put through to the emergency vet but there was a fault in the line and she couldn't hear me. My son phoned back and once again, the vet couldn't hear him either. Tristan picked up Penny and carried her in his arms as we took the short walk to the vets. Tristan banged on the front door of the closed veterinary clinic. I went around the back and thankfully, there was a gentleman who worked there at night. He managed to get through to the emergency vet.
The gentleman led us into a back room with a table for Penny to be placed on. We comforted her as best we could. Ten minutes later, the emergency vet arrived. She examined Penny. She looked at us, explained what had happened, which I wont detail here. "It's time", the vet gently said to us.
Tristan and I lovingly caressed her as she went to sleep. It was the suddenness of it all. Less than two hours had gone by since I first realised that something was so very wrong with our little angel.