Renae ‘one in a million’
After a sudden, short and devastating illness, Renae died on Christmas Eve. Sadness consumes Michel and I as we struggle to accept our incomprehnesible loss. But accept we must and for the sake of the others I cling to shreds of self-control.
For eleven years Renae has been our wonderful friend. She grew from the sweetest eight week old puppy into a confident, loving companion. Not only for us but for the five canine siblings she welcomed into our home, guided, taught and loved.
Eleven years ago when we lost our first dog Jasmine, Renae (named in Jasmine’s memory, it means ‘reborn’), began a new family for us. I promised she would have everything that makes a dog’s life happy. Above all, time together. I committed to living my life around her, to making sure she had our company, and we hers, as much as possible. During the past couple of weeks as we faced time running out, it’s been a comfort of sorts knowing that the greatest majority of Renae’s time on earth has been in our physical, and emotional company. How thankful I am that we could do this.
Death always thinks of us eventually. The trick is to find the joy in the interim, and make good use of the days we have.Ann Patchett, These Precious Days
From eight weeks old Renae has been in the centre of my life, never on the edges or just tagging along, never once an inconvenience. She was a happy, lively puppy and young dog and brought endless joys with her every day of her life. Maturing into a ponderer, a master purveyor of smells, Renae was not a dog to rush, or hurry along. She was confident, reliable, tactile. So tactile. With a visceral pain we badly miss her cuddles and demands for attention. As her health slid away with fearsome speed during the last two weeks, her love of a good neck massage never waned. Her beautiful, velvety ears trembling with appreciation, her deep, snuffling sounds confirming she was still the same Renae who loved a good cuddle, even as cancer was rapidly taking her away.
Renae has been snatched away in the prime of her life. Or so we assumed. Her life has been healthy, mercifully free of ailments or problems. If I ever allowed my mind to wander into dark speculative thoughts of how her life might end, it was always as an old and delightfully doddery dog whose determination to take her time on walks was by necessity rather than design. Having her go within a couple of weeks of any symptoms appearing is a terrible cruelty, for us, but for her, who can say? There really is no better or worse way for a dog to die, it’s always bloody awful.
It was a cold, snowy day in early January 2011, when Renae came to live with us. Within a few months my biological family began a toxic descent into a chaotic and damaging period. Througout it Renae kept me company and made me smile. Out of the grief of losing Jasmine, and a fall into familial craziness, Renae, a puppy who needed – and deserved – my fullest attention was always there.
She was a lodestar for a new canine family and world I drew around me. I thank Renae for helping me to become the person I am supposed to be. Of course I guided her in her youth, but she guided me too. I learnt to trust that Renae understood other dogs far better than I would ever do. My friend who first met her when Renae was a few months old described her well,
Renae has been such an amazing dog for you, the way she taught Susie-Belle, Twinkle, Cerise, Angel & Albert how to be good dogs & the brilliant way she read other dogs and situations and knew when to step in or let things slide. She was one in a million
Without Renae, there would have been no Susie-Belle, Twinkle, Cerise, Angel or Albert Claude. The dogs are adjusting to what’s happened. Renae has been in the thick of everything over the past 11 years and was the family organiser. It’s going to take time and strength for us all to adjust to the immense loss of our beautiful friend.