Monday I had to put our dog Becket to sleep. A black lab blue tick hound cross, he lived for twelve years, four months, and 13 days, which is the equivalent of his being a 95-year-old man. A good, long life for man or beast.
You may think I am a bit strange, always praising God for things, but I must praise Him for my beloved Becket. Our vet and his wife came out to our home, and whilst sitting on the cool, green grass in the autumn sunshine, Becket peacefully fell asleep in my arms as I stroked his head and told him how much I loved him. Our builder Dave helped me dig his grave under the maple trees after which we carefully laid him in his final resting place. My three friends, I cannot thank you enough for helping me in my time of need. I indeed call you blessed amongst men and women!
I don’t write this to make you sad. I write this because I wanted to share some of my memories of a most treasured and loved pet. One whom God put in my path. One of God’s beloved creatures who not only enriched my life, but also taught me responsibility and caring for others, and knowing when it is time to let that beloved pet go in a compassionate manner.
Becket was born on 22 May 2003, exactly two years to the day after my Appendix Quarter horse mare Annabelle was born. Uncanny for two different species in the same household to have the same birthdate. He was supposed to have been a new pup for my husband David, after the loss of our lab Bullet five years previous, but Becket soon became my buddy through and through.
When I brought him home, this roly-poly pup promptly galloped into the barn and then disappeared down the hay chute ten feet below. I thought I had killed our new baby before we had had him an hour! Two minutes later, while David and I were voicing whether we should take him to hospital, he was barreling along in the grass! I took him to the College I worked for and he slept for hours in my student’s jacket, while she studied–he instantly charmed everyone who met him. His “big” sister Coco (a lhasa-terrier) taught him how to squat to go potty, and he quickly went from a pup a quarter her size to towering over and outweighing her by nearly 100 pounds!
He was easily potty trained, never having an accident in the house (I wish I could say the same for his little “sister” Eithne Louise), and his only foibles were his great fear of thunder, absolute unwillingness to have his nails trimmed, and his playful and often painful habit of nipping me behind the knees and then bounding out of reach of a reprimanding hand–taunting me to try and catch him (thankfully he outgrew that one)! Oh, and he was petrified of our cows (Innesfree, our red angus alpha cow was the responsible party I am sure) and the horses worried him, too as he got older. He didn’t start out that way. He would bounce under the horses’ feet as my farrier came out to trim and shoe them. Becket gave him the willies with his antics, so I finally had to tie him up. The only horse he completely trusted after he matured though was my thoroughbred Pixie. One hot, sunny day I had been riding her in one of our fields. Becket was out with us, and when we stopped, he promptly walked under her and laid down! Pixie was his shade, and she stood perfectly still (what a good girl) whilst he had a little lie down!
We had puppy and Mummy day every week when we would go to doggy obedience for TWO six-week classes! We went to the Hunt Cup races in the fall, multiple horse shows, and road trips, including one long one to Pennsylvania! He would jump into bed and snuggle with me when his Daddy got up early to fly on a trip. He would pad around in the fields when David would take the horses out to plow. And like his “Daddy” David, he was always a gentlemen. He didn’t jump on company or sniff inappropriately, but would usually lie quietly on the floor when friends came over and always appreciated a pat on the head and a tidbit from the table (although that was usually frowned upon)!
So, Becket my love, you were a most saintly canine. You were much loved and will be sorely missed, but will live on in our hearts. Adieu my gentle sweetheart! Blessings, Lorraine