Blue The Dog was only a small bundle of fluff with a raggedy string for a tail and legs which didn’t quite know what their purpose in life was yet, when I sat in the back of my Dad’s car, holding on her my lap, as we drove home from the breeder’s house where we’d bought her. I was eleven, and the idea of getting a puppy was one of the most exciting, thrilling things I’d ever experienced.
From the moment we got her, Blue was fun to be around, inquisitive and characterful, and above all, totally loving - she would play with me when I was happy, and she was the perfect furry shoulder to cry on in times of sadness. I grew up with Blue around, and she was a part of family life for me for the majority of my life.
Sadly, Blue left us around nine o’clock this morning.
This is probably not a ‘normal’ Blog post (there are no jokes, no silly stories, no mentions of sandwiches or Pirelli tyres), but I wanted to put down a few lines about Blue, so those who knew her can remember what a lovely dog she was, and so those who didn’t know her can learn a little bit about what made her so special. (I’ve never written about anyone who’s died before, so please forgive me if this piece comes over as clumsy or inexpressive.)
Blue was the sort of dog whom everybody loved. She was friendly and lively, and loved to meet new people - but not so overpowering that she would knock you over and drool all over you when you met her. She never had an ounce of malice or aggression in her - just a huge amount of love for everyone she met.
As a puppy, she was inquisitive and playful, and though she mellowed a little as she grew older, she never fully lost that curiosity. As a border collie, she had the sharp mind of her breed, and she was always keen to explore new areas, and make new friends, everywhere she went. I remember how she sneezed the first time she ever saw snow, and it was unexpectedly all cold and wet on her paws, and up her nose - what a surprise!
When she was still very young, Blue had a job offer - to work as a therapy dog, helping to bring comfort and affection to the elderly, sick and infirm. In many ways, this was her true calling, for she loved people, and affection truly was her middle name, but we (as a family) never had the time or resources to commit to this. She remained perfect therapy dog material her entire life, though… Only weeks before she died, the mother of a piano student coming to our house for a lesson remarked how her daughter had recently had a bad experience being bitten by a dog, and was now very nervous of dogs and didn’t like them at all - after spending a little time with Blue, the student said ‘oh, but I like this dog, though!’ If any proof were needed of Blue’s inimitably gentle and loving nature, this is it.
It’s difficult to write coherently about Blue at this time (so I may have another crack at this a little further down the line), but I am grateful that she did not have to suffer prolonged pain or invasive surgery at the end; she is at peace now, and while I miss her terribly (and that isn’t going to change any time soon), I can at least look back on many happy memories of times shared with her - at the beach, on family holidays, at Christmas time, at the village pub, on the river, and really anywhere that we went.
In some small act of tribute, I have changed the desktop background on my laptop to a picture I took of Blue last June. I am hoping to get a printed and framed copy soon, but these gestures are just small tokens of thanks for the years of love, affection and companionship Blue gave me.
I am working a lot today, and over the coming weekend, but I hope that at some point in the not-too-distant future I will find time to raise a glass to a small collie dog who meant the world to me. If you’re also not too busy, wherever you are, then maybe you’ll join me? I know Blue would’ve loved you.