On life with Ogden

In 2015 I adopted a rescue dog from Spain. He hadn’t had a walk in three years and so arrived in a bad way both physically and psychologically.

The first time I let him off the lead he ran with a sense of freedom but gradually settled into sedate walks to places with a high point so he could sit and watch at whatever interested him.

He didn’t like many people and went crazy when there was a knock at the door. He like fewer dogs and the smaller they were the less he tolerated them. He nipped at a few people who got too close to me and I began to worry about his behaviour. It has taken me two years to admit this but he was not an even tempered dog and his capacity to attack increased. His vet was his friend until the examinations began and then he would try to bite both of us.

On February 21st 2018 we were taking our early morning walk when he lunged at a man and bit him with some force. He then sat down beside me as though he’d done nothing wrong. 

At that moment he’d crossed the line from a dog I had to watch closely to a one that had become dangerous. We walked the remaining way home and my heart began to break.

I rang the vet and we arranged for him to go to the surgery so he could be put to sleep. I rang the friend who looked after him when I was away and he agreed to come with me.

I gave Ogden the best last morning of his life; treats, a ride in a taxi and a walk in a green space.

The vet took us to a quiet room and Ogden was given a whole tub of treats. I sat on the floor with him and held him. I told him that I loved him, that I would always love him and that I could never forget him. He then received his sedation and slid silently to the floor. I cried as he died, stroking him and telling him he was a good boy. The grief overwhelmed me.

A few nights after he died I dreamed that I could hear him barking and running up behind me. He was with a group of dogs and as he ran past he looked back at me. He was happy, playful and relaxed.

The unconditional love I gave him wasn’t enough to repair his mind but we had two years and eight months together. We became soul mates in a second and remain soul mates.

I used to sing to him and he would wag his tail. Always the same song, always the same reaction, always the same smiles. Listen if you’d like to.

 

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