The house seems so quiet. I hear a noise and instinctively listen for the patter of paws on the wooden floor that will usually follow and look out for those large brown eyes staring at me hoping for either a cuddle or some food. But there is silence.

The grief and deep sense of loss well up inside me again as I remind myself that she is gone. My beautiful brown eyed girl who entered my life at the tender age of 10 weeks old. Cute as a button, stubborn as an ox, and playful as a kitten.

That was over 13 years ago. Along with her brother Oli, my constant companion. Always there for me during life’s ups and downs, as I was for her. A cherished part of my family who last Monday 16 November 2015 very suddenly and unexpectedly was taken away from me.

For those of you who know my family and are familiar with what we do at Both Ends Of The Lead, you will know that Pippin was the last remaining member of our canine family of four, following the loss of our other three during the past three years. She was my comfort when my precious boy, Oli, passed away from cancer in April last year. Dependable, loyal, steadfast and unconditionally loving.

My special and remarkable girl who defied the odds so many times during her life on the health front with major spinal surgery at five years of age which she almost died from had we not rushed her into emergency surgery when we did, a relapse several years later from which she made a miraculous recovery due to Tim’s skills and knowledge (to whom I will be forever grateful), her periodic mobility and skin issues due to her mixed Dachshund heritage, and then more recently this year the discovery of a large tumour in her spleen.

We thought she would be the first to go of the four. Yet not only did she hang on for as long as she did and have a wonderful quality of life, but she fought an incredible and courageous battle and right up until 48 hours before her passing, she was still going for her daily walks, had a hearty appetite for her food putting a significant amount of weight back on in the last several months despite her tumour diagnosis, and showed us the playful side of her personality almost as if she was a puppy again.

She seemed to be doing so well and the last thing we expected was to lose her within the space of an hour. Because that’s how quick it was.

But I’m not here to tell you about what happened or how it happened. As my wish and sole intention and purpose is to focus on all the wonderful times we had with her and to share with you my memories of a remarkable and amazing girl – my beautiful Pippin.

Her trademark lifting of her left paw to place on my arm to say thank you after a groom or play.

Her insatiable appetite for food as she followed me into the kitchen with her tail wagging hopefully.

Her ability to intuitively know as soon as I was awake in the morning so that she was waiting at the bottom of the office steps, or sitting upright in her bed peering around the corner to catch a glimpse of me. It didn’t matter how quiet I was, she always knew.

Her absolute passion for chasing a ball.

How she would find my slippers or bag left on the floor, paw at them as if in an attempt to make it more comfortable for her and then curl up on them.

The incredibly stoicism she showed during her health scares, and her amazing resilience and ability to bounce back.

The love she had for the outdoors and sitting in the sunshine.

Her silent and comforting presence as she curled up next to me.

The implicit trust that I would always protect her and keep her safe.

The steadfast loyalty, and unconditional love and affection she showed me, to help and support me particularly during the more challenging times.

Her contentment to just be with me.

The unspoken bond and connection between us.

I am incredibly blessed to have had her in my life. And it wasn’t until she was no longer in my life that I fully appreciated the soul connection between us.

She has given me so much and taught me a great deal. She has helped me to open up my heart and learn how to be strong, brave, resilient, patient and unconditionally loving and accepting of self. To live and love in the moment and cherish the now. To live from the heart.

Like my special boy, Oli, before her.

I am so grateful to have had these two precious souls in my life for the past 14 years. This gratitude however comes with a deep and abiding sadness and grief that they are no longer with me and my family. But I wouldn’t change a thing apart from wishing that they were still here.

To my beautiful brown eyed girl, Pippin. My eternal love and gratitude. There are no words to describe how much you are missed.

Run happy and free now. Until we meet again. May your light always shine.

All my love.

Pippin 2015