So, it happened. We called time on our darling boy and it happened. It was awful; it still is. It has taken me a while to be at peace with the decision we made, because the shock of actually losing him left me with an immense guilt. Did we do the right thing? Could we have kept him going longer? Did we cheat him of time? He showed willing – should we have shown more compassion? The questions go round and round in your head and the guilt eats at you. But I know deep down we did the right thing. To have kept him going for another week, another month, another year would have been selfish. He was in pain. He had been in pain, albeit well managed, for a long time. I am sure he was tired of being in pain.

Nothing can prepare you for that moment. That last hour, that last moment when he is still there. Nobody told us how quick it would be. How one minute he would be there and the next he would be gone. They should tell you, hell they should offer some kind of counselling beforehand, because it was the most awful experience of my life.

It seemed so cold in the veterinary surgery. They were kind, but it should be better. A better environment, a special room, something. It wouldn’t take away from the awfulness of the event, but it would have been better than feeling like a routine visit to the vet.

It is certain that we will never forget our old man. There is a hole in my heart where he should be and I don’t know if that will ever leave me. I stupidly thought we would be ok, after all we still have Poppy, we still have a dog, but it doesn’t work like that. Harvey leaves an empty space on the sofa, a missing rumbling with joy noise when I come home. I miss not having him creep onto my lap, I still turn around on walks to see if he is keeping up, I physically feel the space that he has left in our lives.

Never let anyone tell you that they were ‘just a dog’. I have never felt as bereft as I do now and I have lost people that I love dearly. Harvey was mine, my first child, my loyal companion, a part of me.. and I miss him.