Your Pet Loss Stories

'Our Henry'

by Andy Williams

3 years ago my closest friend told us of this poor dog, which we named Henry, who was tied up in a back garden since he was a puppy. By this time he was, we think, about 5.

Neighbours had complained to the RSPCA who, they claim, had visited the 'home' and did nothing. They said that as he had food and shelter, a tiny kennel with a leaking roof and a plastic bed to sleep in which was often in water when it rained, that they could do little.

Henry used to sit on a cold bank, tied up and watched his owners enjoy a family life through the patio windows, year in year out. Several attempts where made to get the owners to part with him but sadly failed.

This went on for over 2 years until enough was enough. With the help of many on the estate, one day luck was on our side and he was 'removed'. What we saw horrified us and the vet.

At first the vet thought he had severe arthritis. His coat was so badly matted he could not stand up. His rear was in so much trauma he had to urinate through his fur. Not until he was bathed and trimmed of this awful coat was he able to walk properly. He was in a dreadful state. So bad was it that he had to learn how to lift his leg.

After several weeks of re-hab Henry started to be free of his awful life and began to shine. We took him out for walks of which he had never experienced, and allowed him to be the companion he was to us. His first experience of playing in the snow, to run free through fields of grass and along the beach. To share the comforts of the sofa and a warm loving environment he could only see through a glass door until he was free.

For him to get excited when we said the word walkies and watch him with his head out of the car window and see his freedom. So many things we experienced with him even to him being our 'page boy' at our civil partnership ceremony last week. We even took him on our honeymoon to Wales and watched his joy of running free through the mountains and playing in the river.

It hurts so much to write this as to our shock and disbelief, Henry, our friend and companion, died of a heart attack last night. We had been privileged to have Henry in our lives for such a short time, only 8 months, but we felt it was a lifetime.

Our only comfort is the knowing he finally was free from his awful previous existence as he lays to rest under our oak tree in his field he used to play.

Henry you will always be in our hearts and thoughts and until we take you for a walk again when we join you one day .......

Andy & Mal

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