Fifteen years we’d been together. A decade and a half during which we’d been inseparable. It was well known in the area that when you see Ron (that’s me), Patsy would be with him.
Patsy didn’t travel well. She suffered terribly from motion sickness, so we never went anywhere by car. Sea journeys were out of the question, and we never even thought about flying. We had everything we needed within easy walking distance, so why would we need motorised transport?
Our relationship hadn’t always been a bed of roses. When we started out together, she was fiercely independent and refused to settle in to my way of doing things, the lifestyle I had followed for years. Her fiery Irish temperament and my laid-back Devon mentality seemed incompatible. Eventually, though, with a lot of patience and tolerance on both sides, we found compromises. She had as much freedom as she needed and I had the level of stability and control that my particular foibles demanded.
In fifteen years, she had never been unfaithful to me, nor I to her. We were a pair. On the very rare occasions I had to go away on business; I can only recall three times; I had a friend come and stay in the house with her to keep her company. I knew how much she hated to be alone, especially at night. My work as a freelance writer and editor meant that I could be at home with her most days; not that she was clingy, she did her own thing around the house. She never seemed to be short of something to do. She would always stop whatever she was doing to join me for lunch, and we always tried to take a walk together after lunch; kept both of us relatively fit.
One afternoon in the middle of winter, she didn’t want to come out with me; she was content to rest on her favourite chair. The following morning, I persuaded her to trudge through the snow to the surgery, so we could find out if there was something amiss with her; something that needed medication.
It was the worst news possible; the tests showed inoperable cancer in the base of her stomach.
That was the last time I saw Patsy.
The vet pumped the pink liquid into her veins, and my faithful old Irish Terrier slipped peacefully into that great kennel in the sky.
This is written in response to Sacha Black's Writespiration #51 - Write about the last time you did something!