A Memorial Post – My Dog Finally Ran with me Today – 5 Miles

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 under 5 miles, Easy Runs, Info, News, Slow Runs | No Comment

It’s been a weird few weeks for me – the anniversary of my Mum’s death was April 6th, and it would just so happen that the long drawn out sale of the house my sister and I inherited, was drawing to a close that week. I was on a bit of a high on Good Friday after my 10k PB at Salford and finally getting the sub 50 – over the bank holiday weekend that turned into misery as the trapped nerve in my back became more and more agonising and I could only get the briefest snatches of sleep, unable to lie in my bed and having to sleep on the couch.

At some point over the weekend I noticed the dog was leaving food in her bowl. I thought she was a bit off colour, especially when she refused treats. However, she finally shared some ice cream with me and then went off with one of her chewy bones and had a bit of that. Then she stopped eating again and eventually wouldn’t even touch ice cream, and also I was getting her lead and she just whined and piddled in front of me (normally I would have a crescendo of crazy barking and jumping about, for some reason she went wild if i said “2 bags today?” or the name “George” 🙂 Anyway, at that point, with the Bank hols out of the way, I booked her in at the vets, and had to carry her there, he did some tests and gave her some injections and some antibiotics, and asked me to get a urine sample. She trotted back home with me and seemed Ok, but still didn’t eat. The next day I took her out about 4 times and she wouldn’t wee at all (up till then she had been weeing as soon as we got outside, if not before). Eventually I got some in an empty Vitalite tub and it was this weird bright yellow colour. I dropped it off at the vets.

Becky then started being sick – I was trying to get the antibiotics down her but she kept puking them up. I thought she might be perking up a bit when she went to her water bowl and drank thirstily, but then sooner or later it all came up. She was just lying in her bed looking miserable. I put her outside and she felt stiff and whined, and just stood there, so on Saturday I called the vets again, and they said her urine sample showed bile pigmentation so something could be wrong with her liver. They said she needed to be seen again but they were shut till Monday at that branch. I made an appointment. Then I sat with the dog for a bit and she looked so pathetic. Anyone who owns a dog knows they have “looks”. Sometimes it’s “let’s play”, sometimes it’s “Feed me”, sometimes it’s “Walkies?” – this look she gave me was more like, “Please, please, help me, do something…” So I phoned the vet branch in the next town and asked to go in that afternoon. I had an idea what was going to happen, just a feeling, and a grim acceptance of it. I gathered Becky up and held her on my knee in the taxi, she was just quiet and still. We got to the vets and were told to wait, Becky didn’t even stir at the sight of other dogs, normally she would be hackles up and growling before launching into a ful scale tactical assault, but not now. I looked into her eyes and just saw what I can only describe as peace and gratitude (I know, I know). She licked my hand once, then we were called in…

The vet looked at her and read her notes, and said it didn’t really look very good at all. He said they could start doing tests, and all that – but if I thought she had had a good life and I was ready, they could… I knew what he meant, and agreed, so I took her little collar off and whispered reassurances to her, and stroked and fussed her. As he shaved her foreleg, I said to her “Just like when you go the hairdressers” – and she had only been clipped a few weeks ago. And then I held her while he put the needle in her leg, she didn’t even whine or protest, just fell asleep in seconds and we laid her gently on her side. The vet gave me a few moments alone with her and I kissed one floppy ear and rubbed her skin one final time, then went out to sort out the bill. She was going to be sent to a pet cemetary in Rossendale and cremated…

There were so many memories wrapped up that dog, and she was one of the last major connections with my mum and dad. The house sale had also completed the day before, so it was like all the last ties had suddenly been severed all at once, and exactly a year since my mum died and I was contemplating her funeral etc. Timing felt very, very weird.

So what has this got to do with running? Well, with the nerve, and the dog, and all the other stuff, I hadn’t been running since the Salford 10k, so on Sunday I decided to do a gentle comeback run – minimum of 3 miles, but 5 would be better. I set off, and at 3 miles I was suffering, feeling rusty, but determined to carry on. I had a lot of pent up emotions. I suddenly imagined Becky becks running at the side of me. She was always too old and lazy and small really to come running with me, but now she could – bounding along and matching my speed. It was of comfort to me, and now I figure she can always be there, can even help me along in races, even if she does bugger off to the side of the road and start sniffing like she always would.

Rip my little Becky becks. Looks like Mum wanted you back. Lots of fusses and treats for you, I expect 🙂

A picture from her heydays at Etherow Country Park:

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