We've known for several months that Dylan was seriously ill with untreatable cancer, and felt that he was living on borrowed time since the diagnosis. Late last week things took an awful turn for the worse and the vet could do nothing to save him.
He came to us nine years ago from the council dog wardens after a period of living rough on the streets; so thin that his ribs almost showed through his fur despite a week of feeding up by the dog shelter.
Obviously we had no idea how he'd found himself living wild. He was never the sort of dog to run away when let off the lead, and had been trained to sit, roll over, and shake paws, so presumably cared for properly. After a chaotic week or so, he settled in here, got over his fear of my husband (probably linked to his previous experiences with men), put on weight and grew a long shaggy collie-style coat, but we never solved the riddle of what breeds may have formed part of his DNA.
He was an excellent boy, fond of walks, exploring new places and re-visiting old ones (he certainly seemed to recognise a place on second or third visits) He loved cuddles on the sofa and comfy naps, but not going out in the rain, or getting wet.
Here he is up to some of his favourite things, out on adventures, and chilling out at home.
A photo taken not long after we 'adopted' him, when his fur was shorter and thinner. He 'd already been trained to sit, roll over and shake paws by his previous owner.
|a day at the seaside|
Off in the car to Curious Arts Festival - we went twice, and the second year he definitely remembered his first visit, recognising the walk outside the camping area, down to the sea.
He always seemed strangely at home in the tent, perhaps accepting it as a temporary home because we were there, and was happy to sit and watch the world pass by while he sat on his rug (or the bed)
Among the bluebells at Bow Wood
At Chatsworth - another place he recognised on return visits; approaching in the car, he'd always bark when he first saw the house.
The world seems so empty right now, and life won't be the same without him.