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3 May 2019

the dog's shaking

A few days after we found out what had happened, I took the dog for a walk. The house was full of sadness and it was all we could do to help each other out by stepping up.

We stood, the dog and I, on the street both looking at the open boot of my car blankly. I tried to shuffle him in to this new space he’d never been in before. I could feel his fear in my bones. ‘It’s okay,’ I said. ‘It’s different but it will be okay.’ I picked him up, held him in my arms and put him in. He began to shake - a steady tremble that took over his whole body. He whimpered and began padding, trying to find his place. Trying to find somewhere safe in this unsteady unknown. ‘It will be okay,’ I said. ‘It has to be.’ I stroked his nose and eventually, he settled, the tremors becoming less and less.

We said a final farewell to you this week – on your birthday. As we pulled up in the black car, following in a procession after you in front covered in sunflowers, we slowly began to see the mass of people that had shown up for you. Everyone wore bright colours that shone in the sunshine that had come out for you. We walked into the room to the sound of T.Rex, filed into seats, into positions along the walls, and spilling out into the foyer. Hundreds of people here for you; hundreds of bodies shaking.

You couldn’t shake that old dog out of you. It hung over you, clouded you and shrouded you with its darkness. We’re so sorry we couldn’t do more for you, that we couldn’t make you see how much of a star you were to us all.

God, I wish I'd seen you more.

We can’t make sense of it - this world it has changed forever, without you. All we can do is keep your memory alive in us as long as we burn, and try to make this time and this place less uncertain, less scary, and less dark for each other.

Rest in peace, sweet stepbrother. Sweet friend of mine.



  1. If you rattle its leash, it will waken from a dead sleep and circle, pant and bark at the thought of going for a nail grinder

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