The dogs I've loved and cared for

For the next two weeks we are dog sitting and I am feeling very torn because she is a tiny fox terrier and an outside dog, but the outside is so big and she is so tiny and it’s cold, especially tonight it is down to 8 degrees. She has her own kennel with thermo blankets and a jumper but I still feel like a bitch. I saw her little face looking at me out of her kennel. When I closed the curtains on the back door it broke my heart. I wanted to go grab her and put her in my bed but I am trying to do the right thing by her and my emotions are getting the better of me. If I bring her in of a night then in two weeks when she goes home she will be outside again and I think that would be traumatic for her.

I think if you are going to have a dog especially a tiny one, they should be inside. My dogs were always treated like family members. I lost my last one four years ago. His head was on my chest when the vet put the needle in and I swear I felt my heart break. I held him for about 10 minutes then I walked down to the waterfront and threw up until there was nothing more to bring up. I don’t think I will ever get over it. His kidneys and liver failed and I had to say goodbye; it all happened within two hours. I had him for only seven years, but they were good years and he had a good life because he totally owned me. He was my shadow and my best friend.

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I remember we had a Jack Russell terrier when the boys were in primary school. I had been living with the same man for about 10 years – he was alright, it was just that he seemed to have the mentality of a lollie wrapper. He kept ignoring me when I would say that leaving his denture on the bedside table was disgusting – he kept doing it! Then it happened, he had to get up early one morning when it was still dark. I could hear what sounded like faint crunching and I thought it was a possum in the roof. I followed the sound into our bedroom, turned the light on to see Patch the Jack Russell with the biggest smile. I buckled over laughing,the denture was stuck in his mouth and it was the correct way round. We managed to get them off him he took a big chunk out of the middle. My partner rinsed them and went to the dentist, denture in hand and he never left them on the bedside again.

I always had dogs. I have never been a cat person, probably because my parents had about 12 cats when I was a kid. I have had that cat scratch disease problem with both eyes and I remember when the first eye went: I was getting the weekly groceries suddenly while browsing through the frozen food aisle everything went green. It was looking through a green security door. I was taken to hospital straight away, two weeks later the other eye did the exact same thing but luckily I was at home. We had another quick trip to the hospital but on the upside I am not blind and I still don’t like cats. They freak me out, especially the hairless cats….ugh!

What pets have you had over your life that have left their mark? Tell us about them below.