"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Red Australian Terrier


Image

This photo was probably taken in 1980.

The little boy is my eldest son, and the puppy is Ginger, a red Australian terrier.

I grew up with greyhounds, but my first dog was Digger, also a red Australian terrier. Digger was really my dad’s dog. Mum would not let dogs in the house so this little guy lived in the garage. My dad loved him very much, and he loved dad. About ten years after this shot was taken my dad died suddenly, and my mum was left with her grief and a dog she did not want. A few months after dad died mum found this little guy lying dead on the back lawn. There was nothing physically wrong with him he just missed my dad.

I’d heard the expression ‘he pined away’, but this was the first time I had seen it happen.

It breaks my heart, even now, to think of it.

With what  I have learned, if this had happened now I could take that little dog and look out for him for his remaining years, but back then I was dealing with my own grief and foolishly did not think I could take care of a dog.

I have very few regrets in life, but if I had this time over again, I would not let this little guy die of loneliness.

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