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.