My Best Mate Our Final Chapter

MIKE was my best mate, we had lots of adventures together when I was a teenager, and he would follow me where ever I went.

When I was about eighteen, my MUM decided to move to be closer to some of her family, as she had no family other than me where we were living at the time.

My MUM went on ahead to find somewhere for us to live, and I stayed and got things ready for the move, and went and spent some time with my DAD, and of course MIKE came with me too.

My DAD was kind enough to make a kind of a cage for MIKE, to help keep him safe in the moving van, we moved at about the end of 1976 I think.

And boy was it different living in a big city, MIKE couldn’t roam with me like he used too, and we both missed that, and as I was working we didn’t spend as much time together as we used too either.

We still found time to play and muck about together, and I even tried walking MIKE on a lead a few times, but he was just not the walking on a lead kind of a dog, MIKE was a free spirit, he had been when he found me, and for all our times in the country he had been too.

My dear MUM was not in the best of health, and I’m sure that MIKE knew this too as he kept her company when I was out, and it was not uncommon for me to come home and find him lying on the floor close to where my MUM was on the couch, watching TV together.

He also had the run of our small back yard, and would use his paw or nose to open the back door when he wanted to come inside, and if MUM was in bed he would go and look in on her, and I often heard MUM talking to him, and he would respond to her with a quiet throaty noise, and if I was quiet it sometimes sounded like they were having a lovely chat together.

My MUM passed away in 1985, and poor old MIKE so missed her he would come into the house looking for her, he looked so lost, poor old MIKE didn’t understand what had happened, he and MUM had become so close over the years.

I hated leaving him on his own all the time that I was at work, he must have been so lonely, and thankfully my DAD said he would take him on the farm if I thought that it was a good idea.

So one weekend MIKE and I headed off to my DADs farm, it was sad for me, knowing that I wouldn’t get to see and play with MIKE like I had used to.

When we got there I knew that we were doing the right thing, he could see more than just the back fence, and he could not wait to get out of the car and to go exploring.

MIKE settled in well, and I used to get up there to see him every couple of weeks, and I think that he was happy there, he had a great retirement in the country on my DADs farm.

Sadly though, my best mate MIKE got old and his health deteriorated, he went deaf and blind, and had bad arthritis, and for his own safety DAD put him on chain so they he wouldn’t wander off and get lost.

DAD and I talked about what to do on the phone one night, DAD said that MIKE was in a lot of pain, and knowing this I had to make what up till then was the hardest decision of my life, DAD said that he had spoken to the vet about MIKE, and that the vet had promised that he could just give MIKE a needle and put him to sleep.

I thought and thought and agreed that this was the best thing to, so it was decided, I drove up to the farm to see my best mate this last time, he was blind and deaf and could barely walk now due to the arthritis.

I sat down near him and I guess he could smell that it was me, as he hobbled the few feet over to me, he seemed happy that I was there, and I patted and rubbed him like I always did, and he put his head on my lap just like he had done many many times before, we sat together for a time.

Saying goodbye to MIKE was so hard to do, I could not help crying, and I have tears in my eyes now as I remember saying goodbye to my best mate MIKE.

I spoke to my DAD, and he said that the vet would be coming by the next day.

DAD rang me the night that MIKE was put to sleep, and explained that the vet was very gentle, and that he sat with MIKE as he went off to sleep, and DAD said that he had buried MIKE in a nice spot.

On my next visit to see my DAD, I saw that DAD had put a concrete slab over MIKEs grave and had made a small metal plaque for it, on which he had engraved, “Here lies MIKE a best friend of 14 years”., my DAD is not one for sentiment, and what he had done for MIKE meant a great deal to me.

Godbless you my best mate MIKE, and thank you for love that you showed me and MUM.
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Sep 23, 2012