Victoria Hawkin's week: Crying shame

Human emotion is a funny old thing. One minute you're on an adrenalin high and couldn't be more ecstatic - like a couple of weeks back when my big boy announced he's going to become a dad and I went though the first few days gloriously savouring the news over and over again with a stupid Cheshire Cat grin plastered across my face.

Human emotion is a funny old thing. One minute you're on an adrenalin high and couldn't be more ecstatic - like a couple of weeks back when my big boy announced he's going to become a dad and I went though the first few days gloriously savouring the news over and over again with a stupid Cheshire Cat grin plastered across my face.

Then exactly a week later and Mr H and I both found ourselves in such a distressed state we could barely talk and my face ached from the effort of trying not to cry constantly. Only we have just lost our lovely 12-year-old black flatcoat Martha, not just a mere dog but a true companion and in her time a champion swimmer and diver, maniacal heath marathon runner, tunnel digger, rabbiter and friend, and, let's not forget, also the mum of eight fine pups.

She never did have much of a brain, she suffered (or we did) from selective hearing and she wasn't exactly over-obedient but we loved her dearly. Nor did she demand anything from us, she never went upstairs, she ate horrid dried food as decreed by her master and only once got me when she refused to eat - for five days (on holiday in Cornwall) - when I caved in and bought her a Cornish pastie.

Lovely Martha didn't get so much ill as broken. About four months ago -probably having caught her back leg in a rabbit hole on one of her famous mad runs - she tore a cruciate ligament in her back leg and despite all best offices, from painkillers to fish oils, and hydrotherapy through to joint easers and anti-inflammatories, she just wasn't improving.


You may also want to watch:


At first she had been getting better, very slowly, and then it suddenly went pear-shaped again and she couldn't put her weight on her leg and she was in constant discomfort.

So one week exactly after having been going about grinning with baby joy, you found the old chap and myself hunched on the floor at the vet's feeling totally wretched, holding her head and talking to her as she was put to sleep.

Most Read

It was ghastly. For her it was mercifully swift as she slowly slumped and let go, found peace and slipped off to Doggy Heaven. For us it will take an age and we will miss her indescribably.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter