Edition 322 – Prince

It’s been a very sad week in our home this past week as we said goodbye to our 12 year old King Charles Cavalier, Prince, on Monday.

Prince joined our household as a 1 year old pup after he was offered to us by a neighbour. They decided that it wasn’t the right time in their lives for a dog and noting how much of a fuss we always gave him when he came up to our fence, clearly identified us as worthy future parents.

At the time he came along, Emma our Brindle Boxer initially was a little rough with him. Having spent time with another of our Boxers, Bonnie, her idea of playing was considerably different to Prince’s. It was not uncommon for them to be rumbling inside our back room, only to see Prince fly across the floor like skittles in a bowling alley.

Early in his stay, he decided he’d had enough of the rough play and escaped. Frantic efforts to locate him bore fruit when I found him splayed out inside the garage of a neighbour’s home, much like the dog in those Toyota Hilux “Bugger” TV advertisements from years ago. Only when I picked him up did I realise the extent of his travels as his undercarriage was covered in the leftover meals of the ducks from our local dam. He’d clearly been on a trek.

As the years passed, he settled into life at number 18 and grew to be Emma’s shadow. Everything she did, he followed and they spent a life together, doing the things that dogs do with their days.

Nothing much made him bark. Birds were a nuisance to him and he didn’t like it when they traversed his patch. Hot air balloons annoyed him incessantly, something of an issue when you live in Camden, where there are so many of them around. I later read there is a noise the burner makes that is only detectable to the canine ear that created the irritation. As much as I didn’t want him waking the neighbours from their weekend slumber, it was always a giggle to see him try and chase down a hot air balloon, from ground level.

He never got the hang of playing ball. You’d roll it towards him and he’d watch it go by, turn back towards you as if to say “I can’t eat that”. In some ways, Prince was a dog in a cat’s body, so happy was he to simply chill out.

When our beloved Emma passed away in February 2020, Prince was lost for three to four months. The love of his life was gone and he had no lead to follow. Eventually, he found his way and grew to quite like being King of the Castle, to the point where we went from “no dogs on the couch” people to “why not join us up here?”

As he aged, the arthritis took hold and his dodgy ticker started to give him trouble. Last year, during the interminable lockdown in Sydney, we invested in a dog stroller. He could walk a little way, but more than anything, he loved sitting up and taking in the surroundings. On more than one occasion did I spot someone do a double-take as they saw this eccentric, middle aged couple pushing a pram containing a King Charles Cavalier.

Looking back, it’s been since the wet weather started in early March that we noticed a change in Prince. He became a little slower, then started doing odd things. Wandering in the rain and laying in the puddles that formed on our back patio was not normal behaviour for a dog that hated getting wet. Just last week, I found him sitting at our side gate, something he’d not done since Emma was alive and our sons caught the bus to and from school. He was replicating his former afternoon ritual and it’s only now, looking back, and following a recent diagnosis from our vet, that we realised Doggie Dementia had set in.

Today, we give thanks for our special little furry friend. He was a part of our lives for 12 years and watched our sons grow from boys to men as he grew from pup to senior dog citizen. The sadness of his loss is deep. The joy at his living and being a member of our family for so long is a blessing.


This Week’s Tip

“Prince the King Charles Cavalier – 14.8.2009 – 2.5.2022”

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