On saturday night she jumped in mums water feature and came out limping. She was very arthritic in her back legs and I was sure she'd just pulled a muscle. But on closer examination I found a fracture in her tibia and called the vet. It was late by then so I strapped and splinted her leg until we could go to our vet the next morning.
X-rays showed not only a fracture but a bone that was riddled with cancer. In true Rik form, I had no idea cos she was constantly happy, being her clever self and always wanting to play ball. Even on her last day doped up on morphine.
For those of you that knew Rik, you'd know that she was voice command trained. I stood infront of her and said "last one rik". She caught the ball and took it to her bed and that's where she stayed.
I knew she was getting old and had already looked into cremation and had it all organised cos I knew I wouldn't be able to think when the day came.
The vet and I agreed that because of her already arthritic back end, she wouldn't cope with the amputation. It was a decision I had no choice in, and for that I'm thankful. Having to decide the precise moment to let them go is the hardest part. I asked Rik "darlin, do you want me to let you go ?" and she lifetd her weary head and licked my eye.
I spent the night with her on my bed (for 14 years she's slept on her own bed at the base of mine) but she was incontinant, so I spent the night catching drips as she couldn't even turn to lick herself. It was the longest night of my life.
The next morning I carried her out to her bed in the loungeroom and that's where she stayed. chewing on her ball, playing with millie and winking at me at incredibly poinient times. She was so brave. Though she was in pain, she smiled and played with millie as only Rik would. Unable to move, but playing with her mouth, letting millie lie next to her and do the same.
Millie was the sister she had always been. Loyal to her best mate, not leaving her side. She knew and I know Rik knew aswell.
The vet came, I lit a candle and held her as she went to sleep. Mum came to be with me during this, the hardest moment of my life.
I brushed her one last time and wrapped her in her favourite blanket, millie watching, sniffing and even tried to get into the blanket with her. It was then that my heart broke and I haven't stopped crying since. I have never been so sad!
I was 20 when I got Rik, I'll be 35 this year. She has stood by me through the toughest of times. Through my alcoholism, through my constant house moving, always coming back to be with me to play and lick my tears when I was down. We had a great life together. We travelled around Australia fruit-picking, we went on too many bushwalks to count, we swam at beaches ignoring 'no dog' rules, we did it all Rik and I. My best mate, my constant, my partner in a life of ups and downs. I couldn't have asked for a better friend.
Now Millie and I are mourning, I'm trying to be strong for her, knowing that she lost her best mate too.
I know time will get me out of bed and back to life, but for now I just hurt. I hurt more than I could have imagined. I'm single, having had a couple of go's at love, but Rik was it for me. She was my girl. I'll forever miss her!
Knowing I would never have kids, riks Granny (mum) always said she's happy to have granddogs