Paw Prints mourns

Patricia Feinberg Stoner is a British writer: a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist. After graduating from Trinity College Dublin she joined a local newspaper, The Liverpool Daily Post, as a trainee. Quickly discovering she was a terrible reporter, she switched to feature writing and since then her career has revolved around the written word.

In the space of one hour on Sunday 21st January 2018, life as we knew it came to an end.

At six o’clock I got up and began to make the usual morning preparations. I went into the bathroom and Purdey, my constant shadow, tried to follow me. She couldn’t – she had lost the use of her back legs. We cuddled her, we coaxed her, hoping against hope that this was just the morning aches and pains of an old dog. Then we called the emergency vet.

We took her to the surgery, not our usual one but an affiliate. The vet was kind, but a stranger to us. She stroked Purdey, listened to her heart, did a few tests. Her face told us the story. Yes, we could have prolonged the agony, given Purdey a few extra hours or a day, but the outcome would have been the same and we would have had to watch her struggle.

At seven o’clock we left the surgery without her. She was just three months shy of her 16th birthday, and she had been in our lives for fourteen and a half years. In that time se had turned our whole way of life upside down.

We now live in Sussex because of her. Because of her I embraced caravan holidays – a thing I swore I’d never do. She starred in a You-tube video (Rosemary and Angela thought they were the stars – they were wrong). She inspired me to write a book.

It’s too soon for happy memories, yet. Instead we have those micro-milliseconds of forgetting: checking for poo bags in my left-hand pocket; making sure that the dustbin is secure and that food is pushed back out of ‘furry nose range’; walking round her cushion, which is no