Dear Bibi,

From the moment you were left at our house by people who no longer had time for you, I knew that you were going to leave a groove in my heart!

The first few weeks were traumatic for you; you couldn’t understand why your family had abandoned you. You had never been for a walk at the beach, so you went crazy and I wondered if I would ever see you again. Your coat was lacklustre and moth-eaten from knots and matts having been hacked out with the scissors. Your diet had only ever consisted of 2-minute noodles and budget dried food.

But as the weeks passed you realized that we would only ever treat you with kindness and love and your confidence grew. You started to really enjoy your bowlful of real meat and chicken necks every evening. You learned what to do with the big meaty bones you were presented with on the lawn.

Slowly our bond grew and soon you became my shadow, never letting me out of sight. Our long daily beach walks were always anticipated with much excitement and when you came upon a large open expanse of sand your joy would overflow and you would tear around recklessly doing figure eights and nearly bowl me over.

We had fallen in love and we shared every minute, your big brown eyes looking up into mine. You accompanied me everywhere. Daddy spent hours brushing out your long hair and you were truly a picture.

Because we couldn’t be without you for a second, we always took you on holiday with us, organizing accommodation which would make you welcome too. We went for two-week road trips exploring all the walkways and beaches we passed. Some of our hosts got to know your special personality and would make you especially welcome.

You had never been fond of getting in the water, but that last summer we had together we coaxed you into the water with us and you swam for the first time, proudness shining in your eyes.

The day you left us I knew the void you had left in our lives was too great to ever fill, but I felt so grateful for what we had shared. I loved you more than anybody and I always will, and I look forward to the day we meet again.