Those once bright conker coloured eyes that shone so brightly are now dim embers, the firm muscular frame has shrunk and withered, his handsome glossy black face now hollowed and grey.
I hold that noble head in my hands and run my thumbs along and down the curves of his cheeks, my forehead on his and my nose resting between his eyes listening to his breathing for the last time
Moving my head away I look at him and feel the silky soft of his ears as I twiddle them between my fingers
His breathing slows and shallows and his head begins to fall into my waiting palms.
The embers finally die and he is gone.
For so many times have I dreaded this moment but like sunrises and sunsets, inevitably they come.
I'm glad I am with him at the end , to hold and to ensure the dignity in his final moments that he so deserves.
So farewell Havoc , my mate , my lad , my constant shadow, my rescued boy , my "try my hardest " fella,
My tolerant little man that never once bared his teeth or hackled up even with the most annoying dogs or people
Whose fur absorbed tears , who listened , with cocked head and pricked ears when I ranted, shouted and talked nonsense, allowing me to finish before running off to retrieve a sock , hat, shoe or slipper as if to say , " that's all very interesting but you know what dad this smelly sock is the centre of the universe right now and you WILL play and you will play now"
Whose otter tail whirl constantly , like a rotor blade bruising anybody's shins it came into contact.
Whose enthusiasm dragged me out in the foulest of weather after the crappiest of night shifts
Havoc , who in my darkest hours competed with the 'other' black dog and never once allowed the imposter to take control.
Havoc , who never once lived up to his name.
So my special friend , thank you for being a dog without equal, for teaching me about so many things and making so many memories that even now allow me to smile through the pain .
Tomorrow there will be a empty space in the dog bed , and empty hook on which your collar hung , an empty space in my heart, a heart that wants to break but can't because of the golden threads of love and loyalty you wove around it in the oh too short years you were with us
Run free across the bridge you'll be in good company
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