Nothing prepares you for the loss of a pet. So few words describe the moment of pure devastation when you realise one of the best friends you will ever have has gone forever.
It has been just over two weeks since we said goodbye to Carlo, our 14-year old Miniature Dachshund. I received the dreaded phone call at 1:50am. Despite the hour, I had just arrived at the studios, preparing to do a piece on air. It didn’t sink in at first. I managed to do my work pretty much unscathed. I felt a bit numb but that was it. It was only when I arrived back at the family home, surrounded by my parents, Monty our other sausage dog and the memories of Carlo that I broke down.
For two days I was inconsolable. The pain, a physical pain, was like having someone place a really heavy object on you, crushing your body beneath it. I couldn’t really hear anything or anyone, I couldn’t really see anything as my eyes were so blurred from crying.
Every time I even thought of getting up from the sofa, my body failed to respond to the brain’s command. It really is quite extraordinary how grief can take control.
Our religion constantly teaches us about the importance of family. For me there was no doubt Carlo was a massive part of the Dave household. He was always pleased to see us and he was quite simply love on four short legs. All he ever did was sit by us, keep us company and ensure that at our saddest of times he was there to make sure we were OK. The irony was I don’t recall a sadder time than learning he had left us. Only the memory of him can help us now.
There was never any mistaking Carlo’s Jewishness. He was one of the first to be at the foot of the table on a Friday night
There was never any mistaking Carlo’s Jewishness. He was one of the first to be at the foot of the table on a Friday night, poised for his weekly treat, a slice of challah. Shabbat dinners will simply never be the same without him looking up longingly, reminding us of this unhealthy tradition.
Of course it’s not just my immediate relatives who are feeling his loss. Monty, our other Miniature Dachshund, has also been a little off-kilter since Carlo’s passing. He occasionally winces by both the front and back door as if, somehow, his adopted brother will come back to him. I hope for his sake he realises sooner rather than later this can never be.
I dare say there will be some who read this who think I can’t be in my right mind even to speak about Carlo as if he were a person. I feel sorry for you if that is the case as you can’t possibly have known the faithfulness of a canine companion and the near-unconditional love given in return. The only caveat I found for that level of affection was some dog biscuits once in a while.
In summary, I shall never forget the 11 wonderful years we had with Carlo (we adopted him at the age of three, in case you think my maths doesn’t add up). I know I will keep him in my heart forever and even though he might not be here any more to make the world seem that little bit more bearable I’ll take comfort from simply looking up at the sky and the thought that one day, in the hopefully distant future (PG), he’ll greet me like he used to when my time to join him comes around.
Sleep well sausage.
For Carlo Dave Z”L 2008-2022
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