Our poor, old dog, Jonah, didn't wake up this morning.
This was not unexpected, we've been expecting his demise for awhile now. He was heading for his 16th birthday and that's a long time for a labrador.
Jonah used to sleep downstairs in the porch with his best friend Nala, a mangy old moggy, (the by product of our promiscuous Maddy cat, who dropped a litter of kittens before she was old enough to be speyed). Nala was a crochety, wretch of a cat but she and Jonah had a wonderful companionship for their shared 15 years together. During the day they would sit on the front deck, guard the house and observe the world, then at night they would retire to their boudoir. A few weeks ago, Nala just disappeared and since then Jonah has been sleeping on the front lawn. I'm sure he's been looking for her and in the less scientific side of my mind, I like to think he's found her now.
We got Jonah around the same time we got married and in a sense he was a symbol and statement of hope for a relationship that most people (other than Geoff & I) didn't rate a chance to see the year out. What a shame no one was running a book on the odds on the long life of the dog and the marriage; we would have been rich!
We named the dog after the rugby great, Jonah Lomu. If he and Taine had been born the other way around, then I guess the dog's name would have been Taine.
Like most labs, Jonah had a pesky adolescence before becoming a calm, cool and gentle companion. He loved it when we moved to Waggs Lane because he was never chained up and never wandered. He was always happy to see us and liked nothing better than a walk around the block - although in recent years a stroll to the corner was enough to convince him he'd had enough exercise for the day.
We've been fretting about leaving Jonah to go on our annual beach holiday this year. Blessed with helpful friends, he has always been well looked after while we're away but for the past 3 or 4 holiday trips we've been worried he'd cark it while we were gone and he's a big dog. Geoff even thought about pre digging his grave but that seemed a bit presumptuous, even for an ancient creature like Jonah. This morning, he got to perform this last labour of love, with a little help from Taine who learnt a bit more about the cycle of life. It was a fitting tribute for a faithful companion.
In the end, Jonah's timing couldn't have been better. He got the last of the Christmas ham for lunch yesterday and when we got home late last night , his hopeful tail wagging told us he'd forgotten he'd already been fed, so Geoff gave him supper. As always, he waited patiently beside the bowl until he was told he could eat. And then he went back to the lawn to look for Nala.
And now he's gone.
Thanks for all your loving big fella.