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Edition 210 – Emma

It was Easter Saturday 1993 and the plan was to pop out to the supermarket and pick up some fruit and vegetables. We were in the middle of a lazy Easter weekend and the weather was overcast. As we headed into Campbelltown Mall, the Pet Shop strategically positioned on the corner of one of the main entry had some Boxer dogs inside.

We wandered in to take a look and met Dolly, an 8 week old brindle Boxer with a beautiful white tipped tail. Dolly was Trish’s choice of name, but the planets surely aligned to ensure we were Dolly’s choice of owner – she was born on our First Anniversary.

Over the years, Dolly was joined by another Boxer, Lulu and they grew old together. We lost them both in the space of 9 months and our home felt so quiet once they’d both gone. After 6 weeks, we took the plunge and rescued Bonnie, a 3 year old red and white Boxer. We believe she was mistreated as a pup, such was her nervousness, particularly around men. However, she settled into our home and became a loyal companion for Trish’s Mum, Peggy, when she was living with us.

In late 2007, we wondered about bringing another pup into our lives and, by chance, I’d been keeping my eye on one I’d found on a breeder’s website. In early 2008, as the breeder’s puppies were sold, the one I’d spied was still there. Phone calls were made. Young boys were bundled into the car, and off we headed into Surry Hills to “take a look”. And that’s when we met Emma.

For 12 years, Emma was in our life. She’s been a part of our family since Fraser was 8 and Callum was 11 and last Thursday morning, we had to make the difficult decision to let her head upstairs to join Dolly, Lulu and Bonnie. It was all so very sudden. The night before, she was fine. Early Thursday morning, she called out in the middle of the night as she wasn’t well. In the end, a medical condition that, whilst operable, rendered little chance of her either surviving the operation, or the recovery period, meant that we, as a family, had to make the very hardest decision that I believe anyone has to make.

As we said our goodbyes, all four of us were there, just like we were the first time that we met her. I still can’t comprehend that she’s no longer with us when only a day beforehand, she was as excited and playful as she ever was, albeit a little slower in the early months of what would have been her 13th year.

The last few years have been a blessing, having the ability to work everyday with her beside me in my study. I’d be beavering away at my desk when, unexpectedly, her slobbery chops would simply rest at my side. There’s definitely something incredibly positive about being able to work with your animals around you.

So today, the message is about life. There’s so many little things we take for granted that often we don’t appreciate the value in until it is no longer here. Enjoy it. Not just the big things, but more-so the little things that, whilst they may seem small, really are the big things in our lives.

If it’s your family business, and you’re a dog person, why not bring them into the business one day to spend the day with you? The atmosphere will be calming for more than just you, and your canine friend will love to have spent another day with someone they chose as their owner.