Tina and Gemma

I have just finished reading your book Rescuing Sprite and was extremely moved by the story. In fact I bawled my eyes out through the latter part of it, but they were tears for my own loss as much as for yours. I too had two dogs, my Girls, who were also very good friends to me and to each other and also very respectful of each other. Tina, a black labrador and Gemma a labrador cross. Sadly Tina had growths on her tongue, not good for a labrador as they are basically eating machines and we had to part company with her in 2001. She was the first dog I had ever had and I missed her so much, but by this time Gemma was 7 and followed me everywhere, more so as she took a long time to accept that Tina was gone and not coming back. Gemma then suffered from what we thought was toothache, but turned out to be a very aggressive cancer in her jaw. She had surgery to cut away the growth, but within 6 weeks it had returned to almost the same as before the surgery. She shad a further operation to remove a bit of the jaw hoping this would remove all the growth but that was not to be. I cannot believe to this day where I found the strength to make the decision as I went to the vet for what I thought to be a regular check up to be given this news and said to my, very caring, vet that perhaps it was time to let Gemma go. I trusted Julia completely and when she said that she would back any decision I made I knew what I had to do – it is breaking my heart just writing this now and this all happened over 2 years ago. Gemma and I came home and I called to arrange her cremation – I have them both in caskets still in the house. Gemma was an old 13 year old lady who I could not allow to suffer any more – she also suffered from vestibular syndrome causing her head to permanently tilt to the side and her when having a bad spell her eyes would roll uncontrollably.
Yes, the pain does get easier, but it never goes away. I shall always be grateful I had my girls and for what they gave to my life, far more than I could ever give them. It said in your book, they don’t shout or scream at you, nor did they ever judge me. If I did not feel like taking them out (seldom happened) they seemed to understand and still stick by me. I have attached a photo of them taken in our back garden, Gemma on left, Tina on right. Yes Gemma looks older because of her whitening nose and she was constantly taken as Tina’s Mum as she looked after her..even though she was the younger dog. I miss them both still so much, Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.
Margaret from the UK