I’d like to say sorry to everyone if I haven’t been the most active in replying to comments or just have forgotten to reply. I had originally been planning to do a ‘My Not so Crafty Side’ post today where I’d look at some of the things I’ve read, watched and played over the past few months but due to events of last week there’s a change of topic. Sadly, last Thursday, we had to put my puppy, Victor, to sleep. I say puppy, he was 14 years old but once your puppy, always your puppy! Instead of talking about books then, I’m going to be talking about my puppy.
So this was my puppy, when he was actually a puppy – a full grown one. He’s about two years old in this picture. We got him when he was about 18 months so I can only imagine how cute he was when he was tiny. As you can see, he’s a black labrador. He was actually a reject guide dog – he was training to be a guide dog for the blind but he failed because he was scent sensitive (in other words, he got distracted a lot because he really like to smell everything). We got really lucky. Normally scent sensitive dogs would train to be sniffer dogs for the guards but his trainer has a soft spot for him and wanted him to go to a family. If it had been a few years later, he probably would have gone on to become one of companion/therapy dogs because he had such a relaxed and gentle personality.
2005 – 2007
It was around 2009 when Victor hit that middle age mark and as is typical for labradors (and people alike), weight started to become an issue. Still, he wore it well.
He always did like sitting outside in weather that would make us want to keep the door shut. We lost so much heat during the winter because he’d be lying down outside and we couldn’t close the door on him. He especially liked to ponder when it was raining. He was a philosopher at heart.
Sometimes he’d enjoy spending some time in by the fire, although Ollie (who passed away last August) got first choice for positions in front of the fire.
He loved small dogs but occasionally he’d make friends with someone his own size!
I believe labradors usually quite like water but we had to trick Victor into the water. Usually he’d get excited, run in, get about three feet from the bank, realise he was in water and rush out again. He just didn’t know what to do once he was in it.
Last year his arthritis started getting worse and effecting his mobility. He also become diabetic and at the start of December he lost his sight so he was blind for the past few months.
And this dark picture is the only digital picture I have of him from 2016 – all the rest are polaroids. Here he is asleep in the sitting with one of the cats, Misty. She took a shine to Victor and would occasionally cuddle up into him like this. Sometimes she’d even curl up under his head. It was adorable and hilarious to us but I’m sure it was annoying to him.
And that is my tribute to my puppy – one picture for every year we had him. He saw me finish up in primary school, complete secondary school and get a four year university degree – that’s a huge chunk of my life!
He helped various kids in the neighbourhood learn to walk and helped many people overcome their fear of dogs. Basically, everyone who met him fell in love with him and as a result when we told people last week about having to put him down because he was just struggling to move too much, pretty much everyone was in tears.
Just goes to show, one dog and can have a huge impact on people’s lives.