I hope we meet again, Cheko
How do you let a loved pet go?
I was pregnant with my first child. I wasn't working and I didn't have a licence so was rather bored and lonely on my own all day. We made the decision to get a puppy.
Little did we know what we were in for! We had a naughty puppy on our hands. Cheko was a American Staffy. We got her at 7 weeks old.
She was tiny and would soon become my best mate.
The problem was I was at home all day with her, spending all my time with her. She even knew when Dad was home as I taught her the word 'dad'.
She normally came everywhere with us but when she didn't we were punished! If we left her we would put her in the laundry on a bed, but when we came home all the lino had been ripped up and she had put a hole in wall trying to get out of the house like she had a severe case of separation anxiety. It was a expensive exercise.
One day we went out and put her in her kennel. She was put on a chain as we knew she may try and escape. She decided to jump the fence while chained and we came home to her hanging over the fence, it was extremely lucky we got home when we did because it could have been fatal.
We decided to get her spayed to see if this would calm her down a little and it did; what a different dog.
She still loved to come with me everywhere. As I now had a baby and my licence she would ride in the front seat.
She loved my children was always making sure they were safe and running around with them.
Her favourite thing in the whole wide world was to pull my husband on his skateboard - they would go for hours.
She used to sleep next to my bed on the floor and somehow in the middle of the night, as quiet as a mouse, must have got up on the bed because you would go to pull the covers up and roll over and there she was, sound asleep like a baby between us. She just wanted to be close all the time.
When she was 4 we noticed a lump and a persistent cough. She was riddled with cancer.
I tried to ignore it for a while, pretending it wasn't happening, but it was, and it was time to say goodbye to the most loyal best friend I have ever and will ever know.
We took her for a final walk around the big racecourse, her favourite place to run free, which she did a lot slower than usual.
We got to the vet where it almost seemed like she knew. She curled up on my husband's knee and I lay my head on hers. She took her last breath in my ear. I'll never forget it.
I stayed at the vet for so long afterwards, I couldn't leave the dog who had always tried to get to me in any way she could. Her once so healthy and agile body was taken by that awful disease.
Cremation seemed the only option for her, I wouldn't have her buried. When I die she will be with me.
Five years on and she still sleeps next to my bed, every anniversary I think of her and do something special. She will always be my special dog
We were mates and I truly hope I see her again one day, waiting for me in a big field with her skateboard.
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