My Dearest Tetley
(or to give you your fullest of full titles The Very Honourable Tetley Wetley Woo Woo Bear Windridge-France)
You came into my life at a time when you needed love and attention, support and care and I did too. I gave you my all and you reciprocated tenfold.
You became my constant companion, my confidente, my friend, my stress-reliever (Oh, those velvet ears – that very nearly wore thread-bare … not to mention that velvet muzzle…I so miss kissing that velvet muzzle), my pal, my saviour, my little black shadow.
You were there during my darkest of hours (of which there were many), you allowed my tears to dampen your fur or you licked them from my face. You sat by my side for many a long night or we spooned on the sofa.
Indeed you helped to raise and nurture my children. You taught them respect and responsibility, you taught them that when you need to go out you need to go out and that they will not dissolve in the rain. You taught them the joys of dog-walking in all weathers.
I will remain eternally indebted to you for saving my young son’s life. At a time of weakness and great vulnerability you were there by our side to protect him and to remain loyal. You refused to give in (proving to be a stalwart member of our family – upholding our family motto ‘Never Give Up, Never Give In).’ It almost cost you dearly. I will never forget your sacrifice.
Neither will I forget those moments that you were gentle, loving and thoughtful. Those long arduous months when Archie was learning to sit independently and we knew we had to take the cushions away, but still, on occasion, he would falter. Rather than you see him come to harm you would run behind him and break his fall – such an intuitive animal.
Whilst you would tire of patience as Jem and Scarlett pestered you for hours on end with heavy petting and sometimes childish cruelty and you would teach them of their wrongs with a snarl or a testy nip, with Archie you had a different regime. Your understanding held no bounds, you knew what he, what we, endured, and you were mindful of that, you made allowances. In turn, you taught my children an ingrained and everlasting love of all things furry. Indeed you taught them to care and respect, to nurture and to take responsibility. You taught them to love you. You were their constant playmate, their guardian, their friend. Where you taught the imps, you loved and conceded to the heavy, fumbling hands of your soulmate and remained his protector. I love you so very much for your intuition and the time and care you spared him. No three children could have adored you more.
I loved, so very much, the years of pounding the streets, the moors, the glen, the beaches, the woods … urging us to blow the cobwebs away and demanding us to exercise ourselves and you each and every day, indeed on all those days that we least wanted to leave the safety and confines of our warm home. You were always right and we’re so glad that you were there with us.
You were a VID in your own right, appearing at exclusive festivals (AAA), photo shoots (I don’t care what they say – you were THE perfect model). You were hounded by the paparazzi, featuring in several tabloid newspapers. You were summoned to ITV studios by telegram, no less, to grace the sofa (although you loved their rug more) of Phil Schofield (the silver fox) and Lorraine Kelly on This Morning … who instantly fell in love with you. They too were charmed by your dark, soulful eyes and your little velvet head, not to mention your selflessness and bravado ‘For such a small dog!’ Phillip Schofield remarked … I swear your chest rose and your white flash bristled all the more in recognition. Their resident vet Dr Scott (Miller) could not commend your instinct and courage highly enough – you became a national hero. You will ALWAYS be a hero in our eyes.
Eighteen long, loving and lecanoscopic years … (you always knew that you could melt me with your eyes, that I would buckle and fall under your spell; that walk on the iciest of days, that piece of bacon from the edge of my plate, the remaining gravy left in the jug, that piece of cucumber from my Pimms in the summertime).
I cannot begin to tell you just HOW much I will miss you, miss sharing, and miss caring.
I know you won’t be far, and that Granny Sue will be stroking your velvet muzzle and rubbing your velvet ears as I type. I know too that you will be understanding of the fact that your love, the love that we all have for you, holds no bounds and will need a new focus to channel our energies on, possibly sooner rather than later. So, we know that you will understand when we visit the Dogs Trust and find ourselves another charge, a waif, a stray, in need of the love and attention, the care and compassion that we will have to bestow, just as we did on you.
Thank you for being my constant … my friend … always there, my Bear.
GOODBYE & GOD BLESS to my gorgeous furry friend, 18+ years of loyal service, love, companionship, protection and velvet ears! xx #gonebutNEVERforgotten #whowillItalktonow