Thursday, 18 December 2014

Farewell to Alfie the Dog

Alfie the much loved dog

cat and dog
Minnie with her pal Alfie
Despite his size Alfie was invariable
 gentle and patient when Minnie the cat wanted to play.
I know he is not a cat but I needed someplace to say goodbye.... 
If you are looking for pictures of dogs - let me share a photo gallery with you, a farewell tribute to Alfie, the much loved dog that died last week.
Alfie was 11, a cross breed, a mutt I suppose, but he was a dog with a huge presence. We didn't rightly know which breeds he came from, a bit of Alsation perhaps. He was a handsome dog, all tan and brown and black with a paler, narrow face. He could lay his ears flat to his head and then rotate them erect in an instant as if he was listening and paying attention to everything around him. I didn't own him, he belonged to my friends, but Alfie knew where to go when told to go to Auntie Ann and now - well - there is a big Alfie-shaped hole in Auntie Ann's heart.
dog in the snow
Alfie in the snow Christmas at Kirby Lonsdale

dog carrying dog toy
Play with me Auntie Ann

cross bred dog
In comtemplative mood

Alfie the rescue dog

dog beside radiator
Alfie the crossbred dog
Alfie was a rescue dog brought home by my friends Carol and Geoff when he was about two years old. We didn't really know his history but he was full of life with a very short attention span - a passing wasp or a fluttering tree and he was off. I suspect his previous owners didn't have the patience to cope with such a boisterous dog.
He was one of those dog that flourish on training. Carol and Geoff took him to a dog training class where they taught him obedience and tricks. One year he won the trophy for The Dog with the Waggiest Tail and another The Dog You Would Most Want to Take Home. He learned to roll over and play dead and wind in and out of walking legs. He took part in a dog show with dogs Housekeeping Chores. With Lucy his mate, Alfie carried cups and saucers and a kettle for morning tea.
One of his worse habits though was that he loved to roll in... well anything including horse pooh and fox pooh and then there was the memorable day he rolled in a dead seal. His Mum got quite adept at drenching him in tomato sauce to get rid of the smell. He was quite obliging though and would stand obedient, lifting each leg when asked, while getting showered down with the garden hose.

Alfie's last days

dog on rug
Alfie the Dog taking it easy
but he is keeping an eye
 on the woman with the camera.
At 11 years old Alfie was beginning to get a bit stiff with arthritis, but for the most part he was fine. Then one day he seemed to have a sore neck. We thought it was his arthritis and his mum and dad took him down to see the vet. He seemed to be running a bit of a temp and was in obvious distress when the vet tried to move his head. She gave him an injection of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory and sent him home with some painkillers. A couple of hours later he was no better, in fact he seemed to be having trouble walking - listing to one side. When we phoned the vet, she said he should not have reacted like that to the injections, and to bring him back.
I stayed in the house with Holly while they took him back to the vet. The vet really didn't know what was wrong but she decided to keep him there for observation. By late that afternoon he was showing no improvement so they decided he needed to be transferred to a vet specialist in neurology which was about an hour's drive away.
dog in dog bed
Alfie in his dog bed
Alfie's condition continued to deteriorate during the next two days until, finally all he could move were his eyes and ears. Carol and Geoff went to see him, and he knew they were there, but the vets still didn't know exactly what had happened to him. They thought it might have been some sort of virulent viral infection that attacked his neurological and immune system. He passed away on Friday.

dog and cat
Alfie with Minnie in the background

two dogs
Alfie and Holly


cat washing dog's ear
Minnie the cat whispers in Alfie's ear
 okay - so she was licking it but he didn't mind.

dog portrait
Yin and Yang - Alfie and Holly

dogs playing outside

dogs playing outside
What now Holly asks

dogs playing
Holly and Alfie

dog portrait
Alfie and Holly

1 comment:

  1. Ann I am so sorry for the loss of Alfie, he sounded such a gorgeous dog. I know what it is like to lose a much loved dog. You write such a lovely tribute to him and the photographs are wonderful memories to hold forever. Sending Hugs to you and his family.