Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dear Alfie - Remembering a Silly Old Bear

It's taken me a few weeks to write this post, but I kept thinking so many people are losing their dogs, or their cats, horses, or ferrets (I don't know, do people even have ferrets anymore?) that I felt a need to publish it.

It's something people say, it's always sudden. Whether it's a long term illness or a sudden deterioration, or just the old age of a canine gentleman, the grief is always sudden. It doesn't matter how it happened, or when it happened. Only that it did. Few people can understand the loss one feels when a dog dies. I won't call him a pet, because he didn't sit in a cage waiting to be fed and he didn't swim around in a bowl, he was the energy in our home. To call a dog a 'pet' doesn't give the animal justice, they're an integral force in the family household. Alfie was naughty, leggy, and too scared to jump off the bed. But he was ours. That dog was there from when I was 13, that's nine and a half years. He was there for the little girl I was and loved me through the growing pains, he was there for a family.

An animal will love you unconditionally, whether you look perfect or whether you have eyeliner smeared half way down your cheeks. Alfie was a true incarnation of happiness and he hated seeing anybody cry, as if it pained him to see anyone not feeling his own unlimited joy at life. He would climb on you and kiss you until your laughter masked your tears, and do it even more because he knew you thought it was funny. He knew the custard cream themed biscuit tin was meant for him only. He also hid Christmas shaped squeaky toys under the sofa, and every November would pry them out again with his paws.

He's no longer racing across the living room whenever the door knocks, the floorboards are void of the sound of his 'tippy tappy dancing' and we only have to buy one Jumbone now. He wouldn't want to see us cry, so like I told my sister - he's somewhere playing with a ball that never loses it's squeak.

Many people don't trust an animal with their child, but an animal can protect the child, when the parent does not. Thanks to this big oaf known to us as Alfie Bear, we've been shown how to find a spark of joy through the pain, and where to find the hidden squeaky toys.

Side Note: We still have you, Baby Jack. Just don't eat the custard creams, my grumpy little sod. :)