We had to say goodbye to our very special friend last night. He was an old man, twelve and a half - a good age for a labrador and he had a good and happy life in a family where he was very much loved, but I never anticipated it would be this hard to say goodbye.
I think for people who have never had a dog it is difficult to imagine what a huge gap they leave. He was always there, a constant presence, a part of our family. If we went out, whether for two minutes, two hours or in some cases two years, he was there when we got home wagging his tail always delighted to see us. I don't want to go out today because I don't want to come home to an empty house... but I don't want to stay home without him here either. He was a calm, gentle giant of a dog who loved everyone. He was my reason to get up in the morning. Whatever the weather, rain or shine he got me up and out of the house for a walk before I did anything else. A time to appreciate the seasons, get my thoughts in order, put the world to rights... and it won't be the same without him. It has hit us all very hard in what has not really been a great year!
Goodbye Barley, our beautiful dog. I never imagined I would miss you this much.