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I have been updating my Twitter and Facebook status feeds a bit more frequently lately. Yesterday, Gaby replied to my message about my blog update, asking why I was blogging about Fayth. She suggested that remembering would hurt.

Well, yes, it did. Monday was hard. Especially when the memories first hit. I cried while sitting in the psychologist’s office. I cried again on the way home and even more in bed that night. I would love to have her back. She was more than just a dog or a pet to me. We were together constantly for almost ten years. A companion. My best friend. There was very little that we did not do together. We understood each other on every level and anything she wanted, I willingly gave her. We all did. She was not just a working dog. Not in anybody’s eyes.

It was not all honey and roses, though. I already had a dog when my name came up on the SAGA waiting list. Jesse was my baby in every way. A staffordshire bull terrier who went for walks with me and played together. When Fayth came home for the first time, her nose was seriously put out of joint. How could she be knocked off her pedestal as top dog in her own home?

The bond between Fayth and I was already quite strong, so to get these two ladies to like each other was not an easy task. Having them greet on neutral territory did not work and they just wanted to tear each other’s throats out. For the first day or two, we had to keep them separated and allow one into the garden at a time.

Fayth’s trainer arrived from Johannesburg the next day and we told her what had happened. We put both dogs on leash again and brought them face to face. As soon as there was any sign of aggression, I reprimanded Fayth and Gillian, who had Jesse on leash, promptly yanked the dog off her feet. Cruel to be kind, you could say, but after that, they accepted each other and became friends.

Jesse was put down due to arthritis a few years later. Before I met Marc. She was in a terrible state the day we took her to the vet. Each movement was agony. Fayth took one look at her that morning and laid her ears back, as if I had yelled at her. I knew then that there was a definite problem and it would not end well.

Now, both of my dogs are gone and I have just fond memories of both. I have Pumba and TJ and I love them to bits too. It is just a pity that a dog’s life is so short.

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