Our beloved King Charles Cavalier spaniel, Barney, passed away last night. You’ll have to forgive me and just plain ignore this post if you want to just read the usual film/book stuff on this blog. Right now movies and my usual musings here seem utterly pointless and trivial to be honest, and I can’t even imagine watching any films or commenting on them. All that seems some other life, some other world. Death is a crushing reality and everything else seems like fantasy.
Claire and I don’t have children, and I guess its fair to say Barney was our kid, the central part of our family unit. He would have been thirteen years old next month, so he was a good age. A Grumpy Old Bugger, I used to call him, the last year or two, but to be honest he still behaved like the lively, full-of-beans puppy he always did- just a bit slower, and he slept more than he used to. His death came as such a shock- it likely shouldn’t have done, he had been diagnosed with heart problems for the last six months, but until Sunday night when he suddenly took a turn for the worse, we could have imagined (denial is such comfort), that he had years left in him. Our loss seems sudden and cruel.
I suppose you have to be as dog-lover, or have one as part of the family, to really understand any of this. I can well imagine many thinking/saying, “its only a dog, get over it”. But Barney passing feels like losing a child, breaking our hearts. He was such a beautiful, warm and loving little guy, such a central part of our lives for near thirteen years. No matter how bad a day at work I had, I could always come home and have him eagerly greet me with a big smile and a waging tail, leading me from the front door to the kitchen for his customary treat. He won’t ever be waiting for me anymore, and its genuinely heartbreaking right now.
But anyway, I just wanted to write something about him here. I think it helps me a little, somehow. We buried him out the back garden today, and it was about the hardest thing I ever had to do. That either says something about how little I’ve lived or how much he meant to us, I’ll let you take your pick. We try to concentrate on the thought he had a good life, he lived like a little prince, was loved very much and lived to nearly see his thirteenth birthday, which is a good age for his breed and he had his health pretty much to the end. But most of all, well, he was a good boy, our Barney.