I know I haven’t posted in a while, but now seems as good a time as any.

Today, I lost an old friend. He’d been in the family for 16 years; we rescued him at about 18 months old which made him almost 18 years old. That’s pretty good going, even for a mutt.

We all knew he wasn’t well. He couldn’t digest his food without lovingly sprinkling enzymes on there for him, he was incontinent, he couldn’t hear very well (although we’re all pretty sure that was selective), he couldn’t see very well, and, in the end, he couldn’t really remember where he was. We knew it was coming, but it was still pretty gut wrenching when it happened. He’d been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

When I think of Max I think of the first time we took him out for a walk and played fetch up on the quarry top; we watched his little head appear above the tall grass for a split second with each bound; we were so excited to finally have a dog. I think of the mischief he would get up to with Sid when they were both young enough to reach coats, clean washing, and food on the kitchen worktops. I think of so many family holidays in cosy cottages, with long walks in forests and on beaches finished off by curling up in front of a roaring fire. My whole childhood, he was always there.

Max – you were just a small part of our lives, but we were all of yours. We gave you the happiest life we possibly could. We’ll miss you old man.