Dear Billy,

Your mother and brothers are all missing you very much. You have left a gaping hole in the place you called home. We have gathered all the objects you left around the house and I hope you don’t mind but we’d like to donate your toys so they can be played with again. But you were never bothered about your toys were you? You never really wanted the tatty old football; you just enjoyed fighting us for it.

I know you loved your family as much as we loved you. You clearly showed your devotion to Mum on a daily basis, hardly ever leaving her side.

It didn’t take long for you to ingratiate yourself into our family and we gladly accepted you, we even developed our own language over time (albeit a childish one!). It’s funny how your attitude towards other dogs was so similar to my own attitude towards other people, you mostly wanted to do your own thing and I found this extremely admirable. It was a pleasure to watch your plethora of wonderful mannerisms, which I studied avidly; so then my empathy for you just grew and grew as did yours for me.

I know how much you must have missed us whenever we went away on holiday. I’ll never forget how emphatically you would greet us after only a few days absence.
Sat at the top of the stairs you would immediately spring to your feet…  “Is it them?” and you would almost throw yourself down the stairs towards us! Then you would lovingly bury your head in our laps, one after another. “I love you, please don’t go away again.”

I have fond memories of your nature around our Nana. You were always happy to see her and rightfully so, she always loved you as another grandson. I remember you were very respectful when Nana was struggling after her stint in the hospital, by not fussing too much when she came to visit. You must have known, good boy.

Nana was also fortunate enough to see how much you enjoyed Christmas every year. What a nuisance you were! It was so adorable to see how excited you got for every single present we unwrapped, so much so that you would sometimes steal a present and run away! But who cares about the presents? There’s nothing better than ripping up a huge pile of colourful wrapping paper, the simple pleasures in life are the best. But it must have been nice to see the whole family celebrating together and to be a part of it. You will be dearly missed on the many Christmas days to come.

On the days we felt adventurous, we took you to some of the loveliest areas in our hometown. I know you were fond of the woods as you could always remember the route to take. What an abundance of things to enliven your senses. The story of you chasing horses always frightened and amused me. In general, I found it hilarious how you were so brazen around larger animals and yet a small cat would make you jump out of your skin!

We know you had problems for a while and you endured your discomfort stoically. It was a sad time to see you struggle with your weak legs, I know you always hated being carried but I think you were grateful when we helped you get up the stairs. It was my pleasure to help you.

There is no way any of us could have continued to ask ourselves this question every day, Why are you crying? If only you could tell us, so we were left with only one option.
We put you on the back seat of the car for the last time, I like to believe you were excited, I imagine all you wanted to do was get up on your feet so you could put your head out the window, such an exhilarating feeling to have the wind in your face and the world going by so fast. The car was the vessel, which took you to your most favourite places so you would never hesitate to leap straight in, dance around on the back seat and dribble all over the windows and the hand brake. Granted, the car also took you to the groomers, but I like to think you enjoyed a good shower and scrub. How young and gorgeous you looked after a nice trim.

Your family had to make a very difficult decision on that day, but we made it in your best interests. I’m so glad we could all be there for you during your final moments.
What a soft and beautiful kiss you gave to me and then to Lee, this parting gift to us was just perfect and I will cherish it in my memory forever.

Billy, my brother, I love you always.



  1. Lisa says:

    Wow your letter has brought tears to my eyes!! Your story is beautiful!!

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