Our 8 birthday celebrations in lockdown have added some joy whilst shielding here in the Clarke family household. We had plenty of Zooms, too much home made birthday cake, a couple of bottles of cheap wine, lots of amazon deliveries (hard to be ultra-ethical when we can’t go shopping) and the sharing of a lot of love with family in Israel, Scotland, China, my son in Thailand, my daughter in London and parents in Harrogate.
In between this we had two trips (expensive ones) to the vets with the older of our two beloved and loyal dogs. Kiera was over 14 yrs old and so has been around more than half the lifetime of all our 6 children. In the early days she hated the car, ate any food we accidentally left out, growled at the postman and any parcel delivery people, and ignored most of our commands! She became used to our chaos, the extra traffic of people in our house, our extended family, our large BBQ summer parties, the long walks we dragged her on, and was a patient, laid back, loyal member of our household.
Over last weekend her health deteriorated. This time our Zooms with our kids were tearful ones. Trying to say goodbye remotely was not easy. On Sunday night she had basically collapsed. Did we opt for taking her to the emergency vet to be put down which was a 20 minute drive away and hand her over in the car park to the vet wearing their PPE or did we wait for our local vet down the road to open at 9am on Monday morning? We agreed to wait for the local vet to open. On Monday we came downstairs early to find her semi-conscious. We spoke to the kids on Zoom, we cried, we stroked her, and together we saw her take her last breath and she disappeared out of our lives leaving us with many memories and stories of how she made our lives richer.
I posted on facebook at 1130pm on Monday night some photos of her and our family together. By the next day there were nearly 200 comments! I hadn’t wanted to make a big deal out of the death of our dog due to the suffering so many others are experiencing and yet our family were bowled over and amazed by the beautiful kindness and messages of love, understanding and support. It gave us relief and smiles to read them all during our Covid 19 lockdown.