When I went down to the kitchen this morning, blurry from a bad sleep, I stared for a moment at the empty second sofa, normally occupied by a brindle beige dog shape. Of course, the reason for the bad sleep . . . dog no longer, dog now buried in the garden; our lovely old dog Gala, passed on.
Gala has been with us for about nine years, adopted from a Spanish Greyhound association whose members valiantly spend their waking hours trying to save these elegant and loving creatures from their living-death lives as hunting dogs. She bore the marks of a hunter's contempt, knife scars, a damaged back, and perpetual haunting fear of men. Over the years this gradually faded although it was always still present, a branded terror on her brain circuitry.
She was a model greyhound: happy to walk for hours to then collapse onto her favourite sofa; a gourmand - hogging the food, top dog to Bali who would wait around to lick the bowls after Gala had deemed to have finished. A later love of her life was water in any form: streams, sea, lakes . . . she would stride forth into the wetness while Bali would stand watching and quaking at such an insane idea. She also learned to play at an advanced stage of life, as if the natural playfulness had never been experienced as a younger dog, not surprising if one happens to visit one of the Galgos sites to learn more of these dogs . . .
How I miss her doe eyes, her silent smiles, her down-soft coat.
A tree will be bought today to mark the spot where she now rests.
Goodbye our special friend.