He was 5 months old, sitting in his cage at the RSPCA here in Canberra just staring at me while the rest of the dogs around him were barking. His little name tag said “George- black lab x”
They let him out of the cage, he looked at me, wagged his tail and won my heart.
I had gone to find a cute teeny puppy and came home with a nearly full grown dog. A dog who who didn’t meet any of my criteria for a new dog.
He was given up by his owners because he did not work out as a companion for their dog, he barked a lot and hated cats. He was a black Labrador x Belgium shepherd. So he came home and met our cat.
This guy was my constant companion. He would shadow Mr. M or I wherever we went. Lie under our desks when we worked. Follow us around when we wandered about and lay down next to us when we sat on the floor.
He was clever
He could dance
Speak on demand
Give high 5’s
Weave around my legs
Walk to heel without a lead
Stop if we asked him too, even when other dogs were around
Respectful- he never walked through a doorway before me. Always waited.
George got me though the darkest times. He would sit and lean on me in the middle of the night after every negative pregnancy test.
He would cry when I cried. When I didn’t want to get out of bed, he would convince me to get up and walk him. It took wet nose’s in my face, paw pokes and persistent talking to me.
When I lived alone, he would lie next to my bed on the floor. We got up every day at 6am and walked together. At night we sat on the couch and hang out. You gave me a purpose everyday and I loved you with all my heart.
You featured in many of my early video attempts and other personal photo projects.
He even had his own Instagram hashtag #georgefiles
We said goodbye to our George on Dec 8th.
You made us laugh so much when we went out walking. You took any opportunity to jump in the water and loved to run. You never strayed too far and always looked back to see where we were. If you couldn’t see us- you always raced back to find us.
Every morning we had a ritual. I would sit on the floor, you would lean your head into my lap and we would sit for a few quiet moments and hug. It was the sweetest way to start the day and gave meaning to being in the moment.
Our a-hole of a cat bonded with you before he did with us. He is lost without you.
When you started hobbling around with arthritis in all your joints and feeling unwell because your kidneys were slowing down, you rarely complained. Your tail still wagged, you still tried to gallop to your breakfast bowl each morning.
We hobbled around the block twice a day to help keep your muscle strength up. Then when that was too much- we walked with you to the end of the street. We picked you up when you fell over and lifted you into car when you could no longer jump in yourself.
When the bone cancer got too much- you only told us on that last day, It was heartbreaking to see you hurting and we knew that it was time to ease your pain. Holding you as you slipped into your last sleep was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever had to do.
Now you are gone and we feel a huge emptiness and incredible sadness that hurts so much. Your missing presence at home is deafening even in it’s silence. I still reach down as I walk through the house to touch your silky head and you’re not there by my side.
This Grief is the hardest emotion I have had to grapple with. You can’t hide it, or repress it. It hits you in the chest suddenly and sits there like a heavy lump of misery. It grabs your throat and swells into a huge lump so you can’t breathe. It makes you cry like you did when you were a kid with loud sobs like the world is ending.
I woke up this morning and when I remembered your weren’t there, a raw grief opened up in my chest. I know that one day the grief will fade and we will start to look back at our memories of you and they will make us smile.
You were the gentlest, sweetest and most respectable friend I have ever had.
We are missing you like a phantom limb. We have gone from a family of 4 to a family of 3. You are going to be sadly missed.
His contribution to the veggie patch.
Other Georgie links that make us smile
Special thanks to Brudine Veterinary Hospital for the care and attention they have given George over the past 14 years. The space they held for us on that last day allowed us to say goodbye in a tender and caring way. In particular Deb who had incredible patience in the early years. He was described as the most paranoid and neurotic dog to start with. Apparently it comes with the Belgium shepherd breed. But after lots of love and care, he grew into the beautiful personality that was George.
An extra special hug for my folks who sat on the floor and cried with us. For all the times my dad dog-napped George to keep him company when Mike and I use to do the 9-5 thing. And when they dog-sat and spoilt him as much as we did. He even got a heated doggy bed for winter from them.
My special sister who without fail always had a wrapped present under the Christmas tree for him.