this old dog

December 22, 2017

family life

Two days ago, we lost this old dog. He was 14 years and 7 months old.

the wildlife menace

the dog of small brain but big heart

the tenacious and plucky

the loyal, sit by the back door dog

the dog with the ear piercing yip, the most cheerful disposition, and the waggiest tail

the dog that was affectionately known by other names – Houdini (escapologist), Humphrey (funny old fella), and Handbag (because we picked him up and carried him around a lot this past year)

We thought we were going to lose him at Christmas last year when he ate two poisoned rodents. But true to form Fergus recovered.

He had developed a heart murmur. He slept a bit more than usual. He didn’t eat so much. He was living a quieter life.

This time it came on suddenly. We had a few 45 degree (celsius) days. He looked a bit quieter than usual. One day he could not open his jaw to eat or drink. It was locked shut. What?

I took him to the vet. Onto a drip he went and blood analysed. Severely anaemic, infection somewhere, elevated temperature, kidneys struggling, liver struggling, dehydrated, We hadn’t noticed that he had lost a kilo since May. And there was the lockjaw.

He was at the vet on a drip and receiving antibiotics and pain medication for 2 days, and he didn’t pick up. There was no life left in him. He wagged his tail when he recognised me but the sparkle had gone. The vet suspected that he had a tumour somewhere. There was no explanation for the locked jaw without further exploration (anaesthetic, x-ray, operation).

People who know and love Fergus just as much as we do said it was time. It was time.

I was there at the end. It was so peaceful and kind.

Bella (beagle cross) is moping around. She looks for him. Juno (pug) hasn’t even noticed that he’s missing.

He has left a foxie-shaped hole in our lives.












this wee dog





About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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