Today I was told the sudden and unexpected news that one of my family’s pets, Sage, had been put to sleep. Unbeknown to us, his body was being ravaged by a cancerous tumour so aggressive, that it only made itself visible last weekend. He had days to live.
Growing up with animals, such news is a recurring theme. Sometimes you have time to prepare yourself, but often it’s a quick turn of events that catches you out, leaving only a painful reminder that every moment you have with them is valuable.
I’ve lived away from home for many of the ten years in which we’ve owned Sage. Yet the impact of his passing is just as great as any other. Whilst he was certainly entering his twilight years, he was still full of energy — particularly when it came to chasing the newest addition to our family, Teazle, around the living room sofa.
Sage was the first, and probably only Doberman we’ve owned; many of our previous pets have been of the gentler Afghan Hound variety. Yet Sage had a soft temperament atypical of his breed. Incredibly loving, his only concern in life was ensuring he had a ball in his mouth.
He really was one of a kind, and will be sorely, sorely missed.