Our springer spaniel Charlie died of heart failure in December 2017.

We rescued him after a few months of dating and he had been our first baby. He helped raise our daughters. He was the sweetest, most gentlest boy.

He had terrible separation anxiety after being passed from pillar to post. But after 10 years, he finally settled and knew we would never leave him.

He started coughing after dinner and we immediately knew something was wrong. We rushed him to the vet and they believed medication could save him so set up an appointment for first thing the next day. I stayed up with him all night as I knew. I’d seen dying animals before. All the signs were there.

The next day we were told that putting him to sleep would be best as it was the left side of his heart that was affected.

All of our family gathered for his last afternoon. My Mum, Grandma, Aunties, In-laws, cousins, siblings. We all sat in a circle in our living room and he approached each and every one for some cuddles.

Finally, the time came and he left this world so peacefully while my husband and I held him.

This was just before Christmas, we were absolutely heartbroken. Our daughter’s inconsolable. Christmas just wasn’t Christmas that year.

A few weeks later, my husband was working night shift. I had gone to bed with our golden retriever who at the time wasn’t coping well with losing him. She would whine and whimper for him.

I got her settled on the floor, then climbed into bed and turned the lights out. After a few minutes, I heard his collar beside the door. When you have more than one dog, you learn to identity their collars different sounds. This was his collar, not our retriever’s. His name tag was heavier. Our retriever was sound asleep, snoring.

Next, the mattress dipped behind me, exactly where he used to sneak up and lay between my husband and I once we were sleeping. I felt him against my thigh.

I told him I loved him and that he was the best good boy ever.

This was the most precious gift, a visit, so we knew he was okay.

I’m so deeply sorry Jon, for your loss of Jake.

Sending love to you,

Tiff

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