Dogs are unsung heroes in a human world. Here in the UK we have a huge dog-loving community, and that extends around the world in many places. I have grown up in the company of dogs, and I always feel an affinity with these beautiful creatures. Dogs offer unconditional love to those that welcome them as part of the family.
My family is grieving for the loss of Baxter, who died just last week. He was a wonderful dog. We found him in a dogs’ home eleven years ago, and he did so much good for my family and my friends. He has been a constant companion, giving cuddles and reassurance when I felt lonely and stressed. He helped my husband through mental health challenges. He helped to keep our babies safe, played with the children when they were toddlers, and never once snapped at them. He was patient, caring, and loving right to the end. Baxter was known in our town as the therapy dog, because so many people in our community came to him for cuddles at the school gate, or walked him at local events, or said hello to him at the shops. He was a carer.
And it isn’t just Baxter. A close friend had her dog trained to help when she was diagnosed with hearing impairments. He went everywhere with her, helping her navigate a busy and confusing world, offering her silent support when she felt lonely, and being there through the ups and downs of life.
My previous dog, a snappy little Yorkshire Terrier, was by my side when I celebrated passing my school exams, my driving test, getting engaged, and a whole host of other life-affirming events.
Then there are dogs who are trained to help in the military and the police. And then there are medical detection dogs. My aunt and uncle sent a condolence card in memory of Baxter. On it is a portrait of a dog that helped detect cancer. No doubt she saved a good many people from the pain of this horrific disease. And let’s not forget those strong, sturdy dogs who help in mountain rescue and coast guarding.
Dogs are intelligent, beautiful, loving creatures. I salute our canine companions. Shout up, dog lovers. I hear you!
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .