An old friend

Over the last few weeks we have watched our old lady age before our eyes.



Her eyesight and hearing fading faster than ever, her body growing thinner and weaker.




It was no surprise when the time came to say goodbye on Sunday.





We had Oakley longer than we had our children.  Fifteen years old, a fine age for an English Setter.  She was our trial run of course, the practise for parenthood.  Our first foray into true adult responsibilty.  

 



And we spoilt her dreadfully.  She slept on our bed for years, in between us, head on pillow and stretched full length.  Eventually we did get her to sleep downstairs but up until the end of her life she still climbed the stairs each morning for her mid-morning nap.




She begged mercilessly at the table and was an enormous help during child weaning years, swift to clean up any high-chair fall out.  




I am afraid she even joined us at the table from time to time.





She loved mud but hated rain.  She wore a constant expression of melancholy and put up with all manner of indignity at the hands of small children.  She was a champion picnic thief and raider of shopping bags.  




She never lay upon the floor if a sofa was available.




She was tuned to our moods, appearing gently by our sides when tears fell but hiding under the table when voices were raised.



We feel incredibly lucky to have had her in our lives for so long, she made us better and we will never forget her gentle soul.

Comments

Oh Rebecca, I'm so sorry to hear this. It's so hard losing a pet especially one you've had so long. These are lovely memories and photos.

xo.
Ali said…
So sad to have to say goodbye, but what a lovely tribute to a clearly loved dog.
Cornflower said…
It is awful, isn't it?
I am so sorry, Rebecca.
Karen
x
Beautiful photos of a beautiful dog. Hope the sadness of losing her will soon be replaced by happy memories.
Gigibird said…
I really do feel for you Rebecca at such a sad time but she had a wonderful life with you and every day would have been a happy one for her.
I know it's considered very cheesy but last year when Harry died I found the poem Rainbow's End very comforting.
blue hands said…
Lovely memories! Clearly a life well lived.
Pomona said…
I am so sorry - it is absolutely heartbreaking when you lose a furry friend and I really feel for you.

Pomona x
Mac n' Janet said…
A beautiful tribute to a loved family member.
...Tabiboo... said…
Oh Rebecca I am so very sorry to hear about your sad news - fond memories and a gentle farewell.

Take care

Nina x
Country Girl said…
Beautiful memories of a wonderful pet. So sorry to hear your sad news. My old lady dog had been under the weather lately but has rallied this time - I dread the day.
xx
anna said…
oh, such sad news. i'm so sorry. that was a beautiful tribute - very moving to read. take care. x
anna said…
oh, such sad news. i'm so sorry. that was a beautiful tribute - very moving to read. take care. x
silverpebble said…
I'm so so sorry to read this, Rebecca. Oakley sounded like a really wonderful dog.
Rachel Lamb said…
So sorry for your loss. A fitting tribute to a well loved member of your family.
marge said…
Heartbreaking - can't stop crying. What a lovely girl and a rich life; well lived and well loved.
Ruth O'Donnell said…
Hi Rebecca
I am so sorry to hear that you have lost Oakley...I remember her long before Dylan came into the world. We lost our beautiful Fizz a month ago after only 2 years...15 years is special but leaves a huge hole in your heart. You are all in our thoughts.

Ruth Aidan & Coxx
ALoadofOldTat said…
I have shed a tear for you & your family.
Peeriemoot said…
I'm so sorry - it's heartbreaking when a pet dies :-(. That's a beautiful tribute to her though - it's clear you'll always remember her with love.
Su said…
Very very sorry for your loss. It's so hard saying goodbye. x
Kari said…
Oh, Rebecca, I'm so sorry.
walter and me said…
I'm so sorry Rebecca. What a beautiful post in tribute - and stunning photos too.
Diana x
(Pebbledash....have changed my blog name)
Frances said…
This is so beautifully written and felt. Your sweet pup must still know the love that you send her.
Magic Cochin said…
You must all miss her so much... sending you my sympathies. She leaves a hole but lots of lovely memories and how lucky you were to know such a special dog.
Celia xx
Victoria said…
I'm so sorry to hear this news Rebecca. Our 20 year old cat past away at the beginning of the year (she too, was our first responsibility). I still miss her. Vic
Marianne said…
Such fabulous photo's and such a tribute to a loved member of your family. It is hard, but good to have such wonderful memories. Hugs to you all, Marianne
Dotty said…
Ahh, I am so sorry. What a beautiful dog and valued member of your family. I'm sure she will be much missed. Sending you hugs x
Elizabeth said…
As you've said before, the hardest thing. It sounds like she had a full well-loved life, though and isn't that what we all hope for?
Gina said…
Thinking of you. As the owner of an old dog I know just how much they become part of the family. G x
skybluepinkish said…
What a beautiful memorial.

Our Springer is 15 and I recognise her in Oakley from the sofa to the table and all the bits in between too :) Gx
Jane said…
So sorry to hear your sad news, Oakley will be greatly missed. I loved the times you blogged about her exploits. Jane x
I don't know you or yours but hope you don't mind me saying that is such a nice/sad tribute to a lovely dog.

We lost our old girl last year..they don't live long enough do they ?
nicole said…
What a beautiful tribute to you sweet dog. My thoughts are with you and your family.

xo
dottycookie said…
I'm so sorry. She looks like the perfect companion. I send virtual hugs to all of you xxx
Else said…
Ah, what a shame - she looks like a lovely old friend. Such happy memories tho', and lovely to read about. I hear via Colin that a certain young lady is looking forward to a new puppy - and a whole new friendship starting... All good wishes, to you and yours.
Twisted Knitter said…
I'm so so sorry, Rebecca. What a lovely soul. I loved reading about her and wish you much warmth and peace in her absence.
rachel said…
A beautiful tribute to a greatly-loved member of your family.
Such a beautiful tribute :) The loss of an old friend is a hard thing to bear x

Run free sweet Oakley x
Andrea said…
How lucky you are to have such wonderful memories of your life shared with your gorgeous dog, and thank you for sharing them. It is hard to say goodbye, we said goodbye to our cat recently she was 18 and we too had had her longer than our children. Gone but never forgotten.
Andrea x
Beautiful post and thoughts and prayers going your way as I know you must be missing her very much (and the kiddies). It never gets any easier...Each one is special and part of the family...We miss them so as each personality leaves something behind...
Thank you for sharing and God bless,
Suzy said…
Oh, I am so sorry...So sad to see a loved one go. She will keep a warm place in your harts and a happy life in your memories.
Susan said…
What gorgeous photos of a much loved dog. My girl Winnie is 14 in January every day I feel lucky that I still have her here. Thinking of you & your family. So sad to say goodbye. Much love & comfort xoxo Susan + Gang
Rachel Tomkow said…
Ive read this a few times on different days & still find it very touching. Im sure you are left with many memories, and what a lovely looking dog she was.
Joanne said…
Just stumbled on your blog. OMG your photographs and and just everything I am so inspired. We also had an English Setter a gorgeous girl called Blue she was just so lovely she went to rainbow bridge 4 years ago at 13 and we miss her like crazy. We are living here in Suffold from Cape Town where are lovely Blue lived and romped too.
Victoria said…
So, so sad. You have brought tears to my eyes. They are such a pleasure to us and then when they get old it is so tragic. Thoughts are with you. x
Dee said…
I read with much gratitude and love for a our furry family...

A beautiful tribute. She was lucky and loved...As were you.

Thinking of you.

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