My seventeen year journey with my 3 leg Border Collie cross dog and best friend Lady and the pain and grief of losing her.
I had sworn to myself that I would not take in any more pets. I had three stray cats that had moved into my house, two budgies, two goldfish and two rabbits that I had rescued living in hutches in the garden.
One day a little border collie walked into my garden. She only had three legs. One of her back legs had been amputated. I found her owner was one of my neighbours. The neighbour was known for taking animals from the animal homeless shelter and then not looking after them.
Every day for a week this little dog turned up at my door and every day I had to take it home and ask them to find a way of preventing her from escaping the garden. One day she came and would not leave my side. I did not take her home that day because I wanted to see if her owner would come get her. They did not come.
The night she stayed at my house I could see she had some kind of skin infection. I took her to a vet and got her treatment before taking her home again. I did feel sorry for the little dog but I was moving out of the area to a new house, so I knew I could not watch out for her.
I was all packed to move to my new house, the removal van was there and I was moving. The owner of the dog approached me with the little border collie and asked if I would take her as they were fed up of her escaping from the garden and running to my house. She did not have to ask me twice because I knew that I loved that little dog but did not know why I did love her. I took her home with me to the new house and I called her Lady.
Lady was intelligent and she was eager to learn when it came to training her. I trained her to open and shut cupboards for me and to bring things to me that I could not reach when I was ill.
Lady changed my life. I suffered from anxiety and depression and physical disabilities and Lady helped me to deal with what I was experiencing. She was always by my side and I took her everywhere with me. Having Lady meant that I could get out for long walks on my own as I did not have anyone who could walk with me. I felt confident when she was with me.
She was good with my other animals and gentle with my cats. I found out later that two of the cats I had, came from the same house as Lady so they were all like best friends. One of my cats which was called Cat did not entertain Lady and would lash out at her as she passed her. They put up with each other over the years but did not become close like Lady and the other cats.
Lady Gave Birth
When Lady about five years old, my friends dog mounted her. I took Lady to the vet because she only had three legs and I did not think she would handle a pregnancy. The vet said she was ok to go ahead and let her have her pups. One day I nipped out on the school run. When I got back I could see through the window that Lady was laid on the settee. I knew something was wrong.
Lady had given birth to two pups and was struggling to give birth to a third. I could see in her eyes that she was upset of the mess she had made all over my new settee. 'Its alright Lady', I told her. She seemed to relax into my arms at that and let me help her deliver her baby that was stuck. Her last baby did not survive but two healthy puppies did. Lady raised them and played with them and was a good mum. I got her neutered after that.
Death Of Cats
Seventeen years after I got Lady and eighteen years after I got the cats, two of the cats died quite close together and I was devastated. I struggled with the grief of losing my cats but Lady was always there to comfort me. She had her way of communicating with me and I knew she felt for me and my pain.
The year after losing two cats I noticed Lady was not looking well. She was getting old now and the fact that she only had three legs was a problem. Her legs were getting weaker and I knew that soon her time with me would be over.
The remaining cat and Lady seemed to comfort each other after I lost the other two cats. No one would believe they were comforting each other because everyone knew that Cat, did not entertain Lady in any way.
One day I turned around and caught Cat climbing onto Lady's bed with Lady. I took a picture and video to prove to my family that I was not making up Lady and Cat getting close.
Both Lady and Cat had lived in the same house together for over seventeen years and never been close. Seeing them laid side by side made me realise they were comforting each other. They seemed to know the end was near for both of them and I knew it too even though I did not want to believe it.
Two days after taking the photographs and video, Cat laid in my arms and took her last breath while I comforted her. I was totally heartbroken because I loved her. Within days of Cats death, Lady also died.
The pain of loss is still with me today and I am lost without my loves.
I will always be grateful to Lady for her companionship and for making those very difficult years easier to deal with. My heart is breaking now as I remember Lady because I miss her so much.
To deal with my grief I went to Lanzarote where I could take time out and deal with my grief. There I found the feral cats that needed help and I put my energies into them. I am now involved with the feral cats of Playa Blanca.
I would never have another pet in my house because it hurts too much to lose them. To me, losing Lady and Cat was very very difficult. I do not know if anyone else would understand when I say losing them was like losing family members and the grief was horrendous. I felt that my broken heart would never heal. I still miss her and sometimes I feel that she is still with me, especially when I need her the most.
In Memory Of My Beloved Lady
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If you understand the pain of losing a pet please leave a comment below in comment box.
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Lost A Pet You Loved?
Louise Elcross (author) from Preston on October 29, 2019:
Thanks for taking a look Helena. Pets really do bring love and happiness to the home. I miss Lady terribly but I know she not suffering now and I am grateful for that.
Helena Lee on October 29, 2019:
Wonderful story of true friendship & unconditional love. Pets bring so much joy & happiness to any home & i couldn't imagine my life without pets around me.
Louise Elcross (author) from Preston on October 26, 2019:
Thanks for reading Dora.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 25, 2019:
Pets do become family members. Sorry about your loss. Please let the memory of the good times help you heal. Concerning other pets, never say never.
Louise Elcross (author) from Preston on October 24, 2019:
Aw bless. When I wrote it the other day I cried for England. I hope you are ok. I miss her. Thanks Dorothy for reading.
Dorothy Duff on October 24, 2019:
Having a wee cry in my car reading this . Know exactly how you feel . Hope.your grief has eased a little .
Louise Elcross (author) from Preston on October 23, 2019:
That is what I am grateful for that she is not suffering. As she got older it was harder for her with back leg missing from the hip. I could see in her eyes that she was struggling at the end. Thanks for reading Amanda.
Amanda Buck from Rural South Central Indiana on October 23, 2019:
That is a beautiful picture of the two of you! Lady was a beautiful dog! I know many people who feel that their pets are their children and they grieve tremendously when they pass. I know I have, from time to time. Now, I generally am able to accept death as the end of suffering. That works, unless the pet was not suffering and died suddenly of other causes. :\