Saying goodbye to the love of a lifetime

Kim Treasure 8 February 2021 34
Indie the dog standing on patio.

At 16, Indie has reached his final stretch of life. Photo: Supplied.

It’s not often you can pinpoint the exact moment a 16-year love affair begins to die.

The signs are there, everyone else knows it’s coming, but you stick your head in the sand and soldier on regardless, trying to defy the inevitable by not giving it any oxygen.

Then it hits you like a ton of bricks: the end is a matter of weeks away.

It happened to me this week when preparations for a minor operation revealed my dear old dog has leukaemia.

Some of you may groan and say, ‘Oh, it’s just a dog,’ but all those dog lovers out there know exactly what I mean. We flippantly describe our canine companions as man’s best friend, but they are so much more than that.


READ ALSO: The dogs who ‘Called Home Along a Beautiful Path’


Indie was never meant to be my dog. In fact, I actively resisted him coming into our world. I already had three kids, countless pets and a couple of jobs to juggle. What did we need with a dog?

But my teenage daughter was a relentless nag and I bemoaned that fact to my then boss. Ever the pragmatist, she had a few sage words on the subject.

“She’s 13, for God’s sake, do you want her cuddling boys or cuddling a dog?” she said. “Get the girl a dog!”

Needless to say, Indie made his arrival shortly after. He wasn’t the tiny cocker spaniel puppy we expected and his heritage has been constantly queried throughout the years, but it was love at first sight.

We bonded the first night on the laundry floor after the neighbour complained about his constant barking. If I sat on the floor, shut all the doors and held him tight, he would stop the racket.

Indie was always meant to be the kids’ dog. They all chipped in their savings to buy him, signed a document swearing to look after him and take him for walks twice daily, and lavished him with love and attention.

But Indie ended up being mine.

Like many parents of my vintage, I found when the kids fly the nest, the family pet stays put.

Indie has been the one constant in my life for more than 16 years. He was there through my divorce. He was there as, one by one, the kids took flight. We’ve been through four house moves, a couple of jobs, bushfires and floods.

He hasn’t been the best-behaved dog – think a pint-sized Marley and Me.

Indie never really got the idea of coming when he was called. He’d run at you as fast as he could and then sidestep at the last second in the hope that a game of chasies would ensue. Ditto with fetch. He loved to get the ball but wasn’t so keen on giving it back.

Indie also has a shoe fetish – thongs to be precise. If there was ever a thong left unattended, it would be quickly swooped up and disappear, never to be seen again. It was always just one thong so the mate would kick around for months in the vain hope we might find its partner. It never happened.

He also loved a good picnic, especially someone else’s. He buried the cob bread one Christmas, got into the Easter chocolates, and stole any piece of food that wasn’t nailed down.

He also lived through his share of misadventure. Twice he was rushed to emergency – always on a weekend, of course – after being bitten by a paralysis tick. He had his stomach pumped after eating rat poison, which turned out to be fish food, was bowled over by a car, lost an eye to a tumour, and wandered off deaf and half-blind into the charred forest after the Black Summer bushfires.


READ ALSO: Old dogs, children and watermelon wine


But he never stopped smiling, and never went for a walk without someone stopping to admire his odd gait, surfie-style hair and wagging tail.

When he finally aged – just a couple of years ago – he became the quintessential grumpy old man, barking at people to get off his grass.

Now he’s pretty much a smelly rug, sleeping most of the time as the clock runs out. I hold his ear when dementia makes him anxious, listen to his soft snores to go to sleep, and mop up the bodily fluids that aren’t as well contained as they once were.

Knowing our time together is rapidly running out, these things are more precious than I ever imagined.

I’m not sure what I’ll do when Indie finally takes his last breath. I do know, for me, there will never be another love like him.

Original Article published by Kim Treasure on About Regional.


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34 Responses to Saying goodbye to the love of a lifetime
Jenny Dennis Jenny Dennis 5:50 pm 09 Mar 21

Thinking of you and your family Kim. Sounds like Indie had a wonderful life.

Dianne May Dianne May 2:42 pm 09 Mar 21

Xxxx xxx

Kim Treasure Kim Treasure 7:58 am 09 Mar 21

Thank you to everyone for your lovely thoughts. Indie died yesterday surrounded by people who loved him. He will live on in our hearts

Wendeborg Wendeborg 5:19 pm 18 Feb 21

I feel for you, Kim. We have recently gone through this with our two terriers, aged 18 and 20. It’s hard, but luckily for them when it becomes time there’s a gentle, humane way out.
If only the same were available for us!

Christia Christia 4:43 pm 18 Feb 21

I look at my baby girl she’s 10 and I can’t imagine how hard it is going to be to say goodbye when the day comes. My heart goes out to you ?

Paulius Vinde Paulius Vinde 12:55 pm 17 Feb 21

Sad but you have to let your animals go when it's time. I see this Dog has had cancer and also his Hips are gone with Arthritis .Best to have him put down. I had my bestest mate put down as it was time. He was an Alsatian and lived until 16 years. His name was Dog and we had many many good times. he used to talk with his Eyebrows. :)

Kay Holland Kay Holland 3:16 pm 16 Feb 21

Lost my fur baby three weeks ago aged thirteen and a half my heart is broken l loved him so much

Wendy Brewer Wendy Brewer 1:56 pm 15 Feb 21

Ohhhh he is gorgeous. When I met me husband at age 40, I welcomed his cat into my family even though I was petrified of him to start with, never having had pets. When horri passed we cried together and held him tight. Then we decided to get a puppy which eventually led to a second puppy. My husband turned me into a pet lover and especially a dog lover even though I was so scared of dogs my whole life . Now I know what I missed out on for so many years. I worry all the time about our pups, I know I won’t cope if something happens and they pass. Hold him tight, take lots of pics and love him like you have, they are like our partners . Sorry rambling.

Mabel Sansom Mabel Sansom 6:39 am 15 Feb 21

Our fur babies are so very special

Jacqueline Spittel Jacqueline Spittel 6:01 am 15 Feb 21

I just cried reading this and remembered my Red ❤️🙏

Shirley A Drower Shirley A Drower 9:02 pm 14 Feb 21

Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

Shan Weereratne Shan Weereratne 9:00 pm 14 Feb 21

The legacy of great memories will last forever.

Sandra Ellims Sandra Ellims 7:23 pm 14 Feb 21

Lovely story and some good hints. X

Linda Charnock Linda Charnock 5:15 pm 14 Feb 21

Indie sounds like an absolute gift💖 May he live on in your heart and memories💖xo

Emma Cook Emma Cook 4:43 pm 14 Feb 21

Just having to face this decision in the coming weeks for our 13 year old Lab, she has melanoma. It's soul crushing to watch her fade and think of facing the days without her there.

But we'll let her go with grace before her creaky old body suffers any more 😞💔

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 3:51 pm 14 Feb 21

It is so hard to say goodbye- even 🌧when we know it is time. He will forever be in your heart & memories🌟💜💚💙🌞🌛🌈🌈

Katherine Grant Katherine Grant 3:00 pm 14 Feb 21

This is so beautiful, what a lucky boy to have you 😢❤😘

    Belinda Banfield Belinda Banfield 5:00 pm 14 Feb 21

    Katherine Grant that brought me to tears 😭

    Katherine Grant Katherine Grant 2:47 pm 15 Feb 21

    Belinda Banfield me too!!! I love people who love their pets like this ❤❤❤❤

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell 1:32 pm 14 Feb 21

Keep him in your heart and never let him go!

Catherine Connor Catherine Connor 1:15 pm 14 Feb 21

My Lachie made it to 15, despite a heart condition and dodgy kidneys. He loved the home cooked kidney diet I made him. He is waiting beside the rainbow bridge with Zeek and Ewok. Still miss him.

Karin Attenborough Karin Attenborough 12:32 pm 14 Feb 21

There are no words or actions that can reduce the pain of losing a family member. Love to you and him. Enjoy your time together X

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