What Dougie Taught Us

Where do I start? This wee soul was something special!

Dougie joined our family in November 2011, when my folks, rather spontaneously, paid a visit to a local dog shelter, after humming and haring for some time as to whether or not to take on another dog. They brought him home and from the get go he settled right in. Including being completely accepted by our other rehomed dog, George – a true compliment!

We could tell he’d be happy here.

Like so many of us, I always develop a bond with my companion animals, each one unique; each one teaching me something new. But with Dougie, there was something else.

Something I can’t quite put my finger on, but know that we are forever grateful to have had in our lives.

Dougie and I sharing a moment on the Isle of Iona, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Dougie and I sharing a moment on the Isle of Iona, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

I’d like to share some of our cherished memories of Dougie with you…

When we first got D he didn’t know how to play. This is something our lovely George taught him. From then on, he’d always find an opportunity to bring a cuddly toy your way when you walked in the door, or tackle you with a ball! He loved football, even developing his own footing technique – ‘the Dougie two-step’. And when he ran, he squealed with excitement and joy.

Dougie and his brother George trying to score some peanut butter and Jam on toast for breaky!
Dougie and his brother George trying to score some peanut butter and Jam on toast for breaky!

He absolutely LOVED berries! Blackberries and raspberries were his favourite. Dad would pick them for him when we were out on walks, and he would wait patiently, knowing exactly what Dad was doing.

We referred to D as ‘roadblock’ – He’d get up on the bed and lie horizontally, and you just couldn’t move him!

One day I remember so clearly it’s like it was yesterday… Dougie was on a diet not long after we took him in. One morning he’d been weighed at the vets, part of his monthly health check up. On the way home we called in to the local pet shop. En route, as we walked past a pub, D spotted half a pie… Needless to say in a blink it was gone! We’d often catch him moving in slow motion towards George’s food bowl to finish off his leftovers, when he thought we weren’t looking.

He loved his rain mac, a wee saucer of real ale after a lovely long walk, and walking on tarmac. His favourite spots were in the Wye Valley and Lake District, England. He sure knew how to pick ’em – stunning places. Though his favourite local walk on weekdays was a route around housing estates – so he could pick up all the scraps of food along the way, of course!

D walking on tarmac near his favourite Lake District spot - Ennerdale.
D walking on tarmac near his favourite Lake District spot – Ennerdale.

He was such a wise and gentle soul with a great sense of humour.

Our beautiful boy, Dougie died from cancer. The disease took over his entire body and despite a serious operation to remove the first tumour, which he braved so incredibly well, his body was eventually taken by it. We had to make the hard decision, when enough was enough. I’m not sure we’ll ever forgive ourselves, as we know no matter what; Dougie would have always wanted to keep on going. That was his spirit. But the time we chose was right. Deep down we know this. This boy truly accepted what life threw his way and he was forever grateful for all of the good. A true inspiration.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is – whether dog, cat, pig, cow, or chicken, these animals all have their own individual characters, they all experience life, just like us, and they all offer more than we can ever expect or ask for.

Something I’ve learnt from all of the animals I’ve been so incredibly blessed to spend my life with, is that they appreciate care, affection, nature, and they will never judge you, but are simply pleased to have you as part of their lives.

Dougie and I on his favourite beach, Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland UK.
Dougie and I on his favourite beach, Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland.

Joy, Acceptance and above all, Gratitude. Our lessons learned from Dougie.

Thank You Dougie Boy. For all that you taught us, for all of the love, and for all of the life that you shared with us. You are in our hearts, forever and always.

#rescue #rehome #adoptdontshop

This is a contribution to the Veganuary Community Blog Series. Send us your companion animal stories! The lessons they have taught you, and the cherished memories you hold on to so dearly. We’d love to share them with the world and inspire compassion in the hearts and minds of others. Thank you.

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