2003 - 23/2/2013

Bertie came into our lives in September 2010 at the IRR Reunion. He looked like a
retriever, but had shorter legs, and he had a crooked lip, looking as though he was
half-smiling all the time. We don’t know how old he was but, although initially thought
to be about 8 years old, our local vet later estimated him to be about 10.

When we first took Bertie, he didn’t seem to like walking far but from the first day at
home, he loved being out with Shadow and the family, and he later welcomed Daisy
into our family too.

Bertie was such an easy boy – always well behaved (except on the couple of occasions
he gave Phil the slip and decided to come home early from his walk) and he was
incredibly placid and friendly. He always seemed to be content, whether lying stretched
out on the sofa or sitting on someone’s lap having a cuddle. We could not have asked
for any dog to have fitted into our lifestyle as well as Bertie did and we all loved him dearly.

It was a very sad day when, on Friday 22nd February 2013, we had to take Bertie to
the vet. Up until then, we had never had any concerns with his health – he was a little stiff
when getting up, and occasionally we took him on a short walk before Shadow and Daisy
had a longer walk, but this was a Friday in half-term and the day started just like any other.

During the late morning, Phil and the four children took all three dogs for a walk in the
woods. Everyone came back happy, and Bertie settled into a dog bed for a well-deserved
rest. It wasn’t until the early evening that we became aware that all was not as it should be.

Bertie went to stand up in his bed and his yelp tore through us. We checked him out
and realised he was having problems with his back legs. He seemed to want to go
outside so Phil carried him outside to do the necessary but the poor boy was
unable to stand or do anything.

A quick phonecall and we were off to the vet. After examination, an
anti-inflammatory injection and some pain relief, we were allowed to take Bertie
home overnight to see how things developed. Phil and I took turns sleeping
downstairs with Bertie overnight, dosing him up with diazepam as necessary. The
next morning things were no better – if anything Bertie seemed more distressed. We
returned to the vet, who ascertained that, whereas the previous evening the pain
was at the base of the spine, near his tail, by the Saturday morning, Bertie had lost
sensation in one of his legs – most likely caused by a clot at the base of his spine.
Despite money being no object as we had adequate insurance, the vet felt that,
due to his age and the overnight deterioration, the kindest thing would be to let Bertie go.

So, after time alone with our gorgeous boy, Phil and I held and cuddled him as he
breathed his last. Bertie, always a true gent, never to be forgotten.

Wendy chose a couple of photos of Bertie, enjoying life and spent the evening sobbing
as she wrote for the last time about her gorgeous boy.


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2017 Irish Retriever Rescue