Farewell our friend.
With the happiness that having known each other brought and the sorrow that is the eternal buddy of loss, we say farewell to our friend B.
When B arrived at the hospice, cancer threatened to end her life within just two weeks. Successfully treated and held at bay, B spent two and a half years enjoying adventures, potterings, helping me see to the needs of the Sanctuary, afternoon naps, exploring new places, sweeties, exciting dinner times ("What's for dinner tonight, lady?", as she bounded back to the Hospice through the long grass, like an arctic fox leaping across the frozen tundra, to see if it was sausage casserole or rice and veg and blueberries and raspberries, or boiled eggs or maybe just maybe tonight might be special night and it will be scrambled eggs on toast - that was the biz!), road trips, ice cream on the beach, hanging out with us and the sheep and cockerel lads, friendship, bossiness, and SNIFFS!!!
We called B The Cheerful One. She was ever-cheerful; she was steady, calm, assured, certain, kind, dignified, independent, adventurous, and she was no-nonsense kind of person. She was the only one of us Charles has any respect for and when her pal Benny worked himself up into a frenzy on walks shouting "I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND!!!!" at other dogs in a way that really did not sound like an offer of friendship, B would calmly put her paw on his head and firmly push him to the ground. "Enough." One warning from B was all you needed; sometimes just "The Look" was enough to let you know that her tolerance for your nonsense was just about up.
We were always greeted with a gentle lick on the hand, B's way of saying, "Hey pal". It was always met with an equal token of affection. I smile when I think of these gentle, steadfast reminders of our friendship.
The cancer kept bay for 2 and. half years but in November 2018, it showed us that it had returned, and it threatened to take the quality from our friend's life. It had spread through her lymphatic system to her lungs and a blocked lymph node - almost certainly blocked by cancerous cells - was causing swelling in her leg and loss of movement and independence. Her condition was not going to improve.
B was fiercely independent and although our pal could have lived with intensive care for longer, B did not want to be unable, incapable. It upset her.
We take responsibility for making the decisions that we believe to be the best for our friends, so with compassion and to maintain the dignity that we know meant so much to her, with her family by her side we ended B's life at 10am on Tuesday 6th November.
With cheer, our friend; farewell.