Vale our heavenly Hugstar

Posted: July 21, 2021 in Family, Intruder, Writing
Tags: , ,

I never wanted a dog. The kids begged for years but I held firm.

Dogs were too needy, too smelly, too sheddy. They were shameless about bodily functions in public. And had an unrealistic optimism about how much others enjoyed having their crotches sniffed, faces licked and legs dry-humped.

It took an intruder in my house, in my eleven-year-old daughter’s bedroom at midnight, to change my mind.

Then I wanted a dog. I wanted Cerberus, the three-headed monster that guarded the gates of Hell. I wanted a killer that would defend our children with his life, strike fear into the heart of any would-be intruder, then rip off his arms and legs, disembowel him, and eat the evidence.

That’s the dog we needed.

This is the dog we got…

Something so fearsome we named him Huggy.

Something so brave he lived in fear of the cat.

Something that smelled so bad (even for a dog), that I eventually asked the vet if there was something wrong with him. (Delicacy prevents me from going into his anal gland problem, but considering that his Daddy is a gastroenterologist, he was one faulty unit).

Yet he won me over. Greeting each day with unbridled enthusiasm. Pushing me aside to clean up the cat vomit (I’d scream in disgust, then point out if he’d missed a bit). Making me laugh a hundred times a day.

His antics inspired the character of Hercules in my novel Intruder (the best dog character ever if I don’t say so myself).

For ten years he slept on our front verandah and his ballsy baritone bark could be heard in Biloela if anyone dared to open the front gate.

Two years ago, I moved him inside at night, gave him a bed in my office (or should I say our office, because he had a fulltime job that he took very seriously – staring at me 24/7.

I got him for the kids, but it was my bed he’d jump onto every morning (but only on Daddy’s side, because they both tended to shed). We’d lie in companionable silence, then go for a morning walk, have breakfast and retire to the office and our respective jobs.

I didn’t want a dog. But for the last twelve-and-a-half years, I’ve had the best dog ever. And I’ve always felt sorry for my former clueless dogless self.

Then a week ago, Huggy refused to go for a walk. He wouldn’t take a treat. And when he lost interest in bacon, I knew.

The vet hospital said his liver was failing, and we would have to make a hard decision if he got any worse.

Instead Huggy took that decision out of our hands.

Yesterday, he took a walk in the garden. Lay on the grass, climbed the front steps, and got onto his bed. A few minutes later his big beautiful heart stopped pumping.

He spared us the pain of a slow dreadful decline. But there’s pain in spades now that our beautiful boy is gone.

We are all so grateful for all that he has given us. And to Wilston Vet for granting him precious extra time with us after his thyroid failed four-and-a-half years ago.

Our Huggy Bear died at home, surrounded by all that he loved. And he really was the best boy, right up till the end.

Comments
  1. Karen Brooks says:

    Oh, Chris. This is heart-breaking. They weave their way into our hearts and claim us. I am so, so sorry. Vale beautiful boy. Love and huge, huge hugs to you and the family. Xxxx

  2. Dimity Powell says:

    No words. Just yards and yards, (the big-sunny-full-of-interesting-things-to-sniff-and-preside-over type of yards) of love and compassion. Huggy sounds like one heck of a dog (sounds because they never quite stop living in your heart). My deepest sympathies to you all. Dim xxx

  3. louisesavage28 says:

    Hi Chris, So very sad for you all on losing the beautiful Huggy. It leaves such a hole in your heart but that’s because he gave you so much love in his life. Treasure those memories❣️

  4. Ali Stegert says:

    So very sad for you and your family.

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