(Listening to - Birds Singing, Lawnmowers Mowing.)
Up until yesterday, I had two brothers. One, Rick, is 28 and slightly daft, the other, Oliver, was 12, four legged and covered in fur.
We got Ollie at the age of five. The most beautiful pedigree Welsh Border Collie. He'd not had the best life up to the point, and it always boggled my mind why anyone wouldn't shower him in love 24/7.
Throughout our time together (barring two snaps and a sock bite in the early days), he'd been nothing but loving. All he wanted to do was play and snuggle, in equal quantities.
Seven years, we had together, and I loved every single day.
A few days ago, Ollie started to feel ill. He was dopey, and had issues with his back legs. We saw the vet, and he started to improve. Yesterday morning though, his legs failed completely. I sat with him for hours, keeping him company while we waited for a vet appointment. Then he had a seizure. A big one. We rushed him to the vet and grudgingly left him for tests.
Two hours later they called, suspecting a tumour on his pancreas. They had him on a drip, and would call again later when they'd run more tests.
The later call brought bad news. He wasn't responding to the drip, and had had another seizure. If he didn't start picking up soon, we would have to discuss putting him to sleep, as the tumour was inoperable, and chemotherapy treatments would be both cruel and pointless.
I'm sure Ollie tried his hardest to come through, but it was no good. He still wasn't responding to the drip.
The last moments of his life were spent in a vet cage, barely aware of his surroundings (a blessing in disguise, since he always hated vets). He let out a soft howl as the vet injected the lethal cocktail into his drip. He'd never howled before. Not once.
We stroked and watched his breathing shallow, and his movements lessen, and then he was gone.
My Ollie, who everyone loved to pieces.
Rest in peace, boy. I'll see you again.