I have written about our dog Annabelle.
She is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was born on the 1 January 2001. The amazing thing about her is that she went missing for nearly two years – and then showed up at a Vet on the other side of the peninsula.
She was fitted with a pet ID tag, and she had appeared at the Bergvliet Vet and they had called me to tell me they had my dog. As I had just left my home, and my “new” dog Dexter, I was a bit perplexed to understand how it was possible he had turned up in Bergvliet.
The vet receptionist then used a tone of voice that one often uses when speaking to a very young child, or a person with diminished mental capacity and explained that my dog Annabelle was at the vet and I should collect her.
I tried to explain that Annabelle was dead and went missing nearly two years before in Parow — and that the dog could not possibly be Annabelle.
Speaking in single syllable words the receptionist told me to get my shit together, and my red and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier was standing in her reception, and that I needed to fetch her.
I dutifully drove through and cripes there she was. Fatter, older, greyer – the both of us.
I put her in the car and she came home, and sauntered in like she had never been gone.
Dexter who was the new dog, was a bit confused.
It was very much like a scene from The Bold and the Beautiful where the woman has just remarried, and on the first day of her honeymoon, her dead husband, who had died in a plane crash in Sierra Leone, shows up at the door, and there is that awkward moment when you are not quite sure what to serve for dinner – or who will sit at the head of the table.
The last few months Annabelle has got really old. Her joints are swollen and she struggles to get up and down our stairs. She has also lost all bowel control, and messes in the house – which for her is very unusual, she has always been a very well trained dog.
Even for short periods in the house she would wee or poo – and it became a bit of a challenge to have her inside.
Eventually we kept her outside and that was also not fair. Crappy to have one dog allowed in, and the other not.
I thought maybe it was because the weather was colder, but even as it got warmer, she looked like she was in permanent discomfort. Her joints were swollen, and we also could not have her inside without her weeing or pooing within the first 5 minutes.
At the end of the last week I decided it was time to “let her go” – I did not want her as outside dog.
I was concerned that she was getting so crouchy and snapping at Dexter, and my concern was that because she was becoming moody and erratic it was a matter of time before she snapped at the kids.
The final thing that tipped the scale, was that if she could not be in the house with us, then what was her quality of life?
I asked Kennith to take her to the vet on Saturday morning at 09h00.
I did not want to be there – I know she would not have been in pain, or scared, and she would have just gone to sleep. I knew it was more an emotional issue than thinking she would be traumatised.
The house is a little bit emptier without her, and when the back door is open, I still expect her to come sauntering in …. ‘night ‘night Annabelle …..