Our beloved Bobby (3rd October 2015)
I write with sad news about my lovely Bobby who you kindly let me have in 2012 when he was then 12 years old. Originally named ‘Robbie’, he had come from a challenging background having been living with a family with a child with Aspergers syndrome, and he was later rehomed with the grandmother of that family when they could no longer cope; and when this lady died at the end of 2011 poor Bobby was with the body for three days until her family arrived and sent him to CTRF for rehoming again.
Bobby was first taken from CTRF by a couple living in Scotland, but after just 36 hours he was returned to CTRF when he had snapped at his new owner when she tried to groom him, her husband saying he was a dangerous dog. It is a sad fact that there are good hearted people who want to help by giving a dog a good home, but they have a poor understanding of dog behaviour which is so important particularly with rescued dogs who may have had a number of homes in their short little life. These dogs need time, respect and their own space to settle in, and of course lots of love.
I had previously taken on ‘Elsa’ via Chris Roberts in 2010 and at the approximate age of 4 Elsa had been in 5 previous home environments, and I was home No. 6 – her now forever home. I visited Chris at her home to meet Bobby in December 2011, taking Elsa along, and we walked Bobby along the canal path with Elsa to see how they got on, happily all went well. As we stood by my car I opened the back passenger door for Elsa to jump in, but Bobby leapt in and settled himself on the warm rug along the back seat, Elsa followed and they lay contentedly beside one another for the journey home – not a sound from either of them.
Bobby made himself very much at home with us as both Cairns were treated in the same way regarding walks, feeding and, as we were to discover, bathing! Elsa and Bobby both enjoyed a splash in the muckiest water they could find along our favourite walks in Delamere Forest. In the bath Bobby was a dream to shampoo and shower. When it came to brushing and trimming Bobby we found a sausage of the highest quality diced into tiny pieces and offered at regular intervals during the course of the brush and trim worked absolute wonders! Bobby had clearly been through some troubled times as he would growl and snap at me if I stroked too far down his back or touched his shoulders, legs or paws, however, over the (almost) 3 years with me he got used to me using canine massage strokes on his whole body and he would lay for half an hour or more totally relaxed.
I discovered gentle Bobby had some lovely traits, he was a happy dog on waking in the morning – vocalising and rubbing the top of his head into the carpet as he pushed himself along to get going, he was always first to welcome me home, his tail wagging, smiling face and tap dance….awaiting a treat from the kitchen. Bobby enjoyed meeting people both on our numerous walks, especially around picnic tables in case a spare sandwich was available, and in to our home. Bobby was well travelled as has been on lots of holidays with me and Elsa, staying in log cabins, caravans and cottages all over the country from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Wight…which we only returned from two weeks ago.
At nearly 15 years, and although his spirit was very much a lively and all-embracing one, Bobby’s health had deteriorated particularly since July this year, he had lost weight despite his voracious appetite, he had slowed down considerably on his walks, he was quite deaf and his eyesight failing, and he had episodes of confusion. A visit to the Vet gave confirmation that he had terminal cancer and canine dementia. The hardest decision in the world had to be made and I took Bobby home for two more days with him to do his favourite walks for his last time, at quiet times of the day, before the last and terribly difficult journey to see the Vet, who was kind and considerate and had known Bobby for the time I had him. I held Bobby snugly in my arms as he slipped quietly away.
I always believe that every dog comes into your life to teach you something. Bobby taught me more than I believed I could learn in such a short time. I shall miss him so very much. God bless you Bobby.