Pete just took my dear old Freddy dog to the vet for the last time. I couldn't do it.
Freddy is 17 years old and we got him from a box outside the local farm supplies shop which said "free to good home". He was just 5 weeks old and an orphan as his mum had been hit by a car a week earlier and died. His mum was a pure bred poodle and his dad was unknown. He was so tiny he could fit in the palm of one hand and a tiny black and white ball of fluff. He grew up to be a fluffy black and white ball of mischief who was our peter pan because we used to say of him that he was the original puppy who never grew up. He was always full of love, bounce and childlike enthusiasm for life. He really loved water and would whinge to have the sprinkler on the top of the fishpond fountain switched on so he could run around madly and try to catch the water. My kids found this endlessly amusing and loved to show off his antics to anyone new they bought home to play. He also loved to chase a ball or a stick and bring it back to you, which he would repeat until you or he was exhausted. It was usually you who tired of the fetch game first and he was really good at catching the ball in mid air. He loved to go to the river but he was a bit naughty to any other dogs around as he would try to protect me from them and get himself in trouble in the process. He had big brown eyes that would look at you lovingly and you couldn't be annoyed at him for long when he looked at you like that.
I know it is time for him to go as he is now blind and incontinent. He also has dementia and is wobbly on his feet. He wanders around at night and gets lost in the backyard that he has lived in for most of his life.
It still feels like the ultimate betrayal. Those big brown trusting loving eyes.