Trixie came to me at a fairly difficult time in my life. Someone very dear to me had died suddenly, and I wasn’t really sure what direction my life was going to take. During a conversation with Linda Kennerley, I decided, that although I already had two Scotties, I could make room for a “Golden Oldie”.

In no time at all, I got the news that Trixie was available, her long time owner having had a fall, and therefore unable to continue looking after her. My only real concerns were my two existing dogs, Bruce, a very lively three year old, and Jane, eight years, a very timid, unconfident wee girl. I did worry that Trixie, a twelve year old might not settle well, being used to being an only dog,but I was assured by Linda that if all didn’t go well, she could sort something out.

Trixie day arrived, and I gave Bruce an extra walk in the hope thay he would be a little less boisterous in his welcome! Well, she arrived, with Linda’s husband, having travelled all the way from Cheshire to the East Neuk of Fife , Scotland . She stepped out of the car, with what I came to recognise as her regal look, had an explore round my garden, shared a sniff or two with Jane, and with a curl of the lip to Bruce, stepped inside. And that was her. She was friendly towards me without being fawning, found her basket, located the water, and more importantly, the kitchen, and settled down by my stove in the living room. In order to allow her to have a bit of time to settle, I took Jane and Bruce out for a short walk, and left her.I had a short rush of concern when I returned, as I couldn’t see where she was. She was upstairs, stretched out on my bed, and she waved her tail in welcome!

That was all the settling in she seemed to need. She’d obviously been well loved in her previous home, and expected this state of affairs to continue.I was happy to alter my walking routines to accommodate a more senior dog, but there was no need. I kept her on my extending lead for the first week or so, till she knew where she was, thereafter she trotted along with the rest, with occasional pauses for interesting smells and things requiring further investigation. Soon she was walking at least an hour every day,and enjoyment of her food was never a problem!

She loved the beach. It’s within sight of my house, and she would howl with delight when she realised we were going that way.And she loved to run, fast too. I’ll never forget the surprise I had when she rushed past me to bark at the waves and seagulls!

She and Jane soon became close friends. As I said, Jane is not too confident a girl. Trixie seemed to realise this and often in the morning I would find them lying as close to each other as they could be. This gave Jane more confidence than I had been able to do in a year, and I watched Jane becoming more outgoing by the day. Bruce never developed that special closeness, but they did enjoy a chase round the garden and a few play fights. This worried me a little, but it was soon clear that there was no malice on either side, just fun.

Sadly, this happy state of affairs did not continue. Only three weeks ago, she seemed reluctant to walk, and I had to carry her home from the beach. Never had such a short distance seemed so far, as she wasn’t a small Scottie! She rested in her basket,but when she came out for food, she was having great difficulty standing. I thought it might have been a slight stroke, but when we visited the vet next morning, he was was concerned that bone tumours might be the underlying reason. We agreed that invasive surgery was not a good idea at her age, so she was given steroid tablets. This seemed to help for a short time, but it was soon, too soon, very obvious to me that she was not going to recover. She was however, in no great pain that I could see; still hobbling into the garden, and more than ready for her food. Her only sadness was not being able to come on the walks.

The end was very quick. She lost all mobility of her hind legs, and was obviously suffering a fair degree of pain. Making the phonecall to the vet was the hard part, but it was all I could do for her. She died peacefully in my arms. I brought her home and buried her in my garden, beside a previous dog.

This is not meant to be a sad tale. It was one that ended sadly, but that was only a small part of my time with her. She was my sixth Scottie, the oldest I’ve had, the one with me for the shortest time – only seven months, but what joy she brought me! She was one of the sunniest natured dogs I’ve known. She had a smiley face, a constantly wagging tail, she fitted in with my clan, and asked very little of me. What she did for Jane is her legacy.

I want to say to anyone reading this that to adopt an elderly dog is a great thing to do, both for the dog, and for you. She had seven months with me, very happy ones. She was affectionate, friendly to visitors, no glowering in corners for her! She was a treat to have, and I loved her. Yes, I’m sad when I write this, but is that not the eventuality we all face with our dogs? I’ll not be sad forever, and already my daughter and my friends are saying things starting with “Do you remember when Trixie…….?” I will never forget her.That I did not know her for long wasn’t important. I should also say that there was always someone from STECS to talk to, to give advice or just support, and this was a great help and ulitimate comfort to me. Give me a couple of weeks, STECS, and I’ll do the same again!