Funny how just when you think you are accepting of the fact your much loved pet has gone, something unexpected reminds you of them, and the pain of losing our four legged friend wells up as fresh as a daisy and stabs at your heart like it happened only yesterday.
This happened to me today, but more upsettingly, to my four-year-old daughter too.
We were on the field half way through our usual walk with the hounds and having a lovely time splashing in our wellies and watching the dogs run around. I happened to be looking directly at my daughters face when I saw it light up. She was looking past me – her eyes shone and a huge grin spread across her face.
“MUMMY IT’S FIZZ! FIZZ IS BACK!” And she runs with all her heart to the belgian shepherd that has appeared a few meters away from us, and happens to be the spitting image of our lovely lad Fizz who we sadly lost last December, aged 14.
The resemblance is so uncanny I hear myself gasp out loud before I run after her as she calls his name.
I catch her up as we arrive at the dog – a lovely bitch Groenendael Belgian – and I stop her just before she tries to give it a hug. I explain as gently as I can that it isn’t Fizz. That this dog is a girl not a boy, that she doesn’t have a broken ear like Fizz did, and that she has a white spot on her chest. The lovely lady who owns her tells my daughter the dog’s name and is very kind, but my poor little girls runs off in floods of tears.
I find myself fighting a few tears back myself.
We sit together under a tree till the tears have run dry and the impossible questions about death that only a child can ask are answered as best I can. She astounds me by showing better understanding than I give her credit for: “Maybe Fizz has gone to the stars because he knew it was Annabel’s turn.”
Fizz was our daughter’s first introduction to how a dog should be. He was a gentleman. His tolerance of her as she grew up was unwavering, and he taught her a healthy respect and a deep love for dogs.
I may have my hands full with our current beautiful hounds – but I still miss him
Today just reminded me how much.
You can read about how we explained the loss of Fizz here .