2004(?) - 17.6. 2016
He is much missed by Jan, George and Lulu Hunt
When Lulu left Romania and came to live with us in Box in 2009, she was a timid
soul. Rosie, our resident collie cross, welcomed her with kindness and ear licks.
She was quietly attentive to this little white creature, making sure no-one upset her.
On walks, Lulu had only to yip at an over-interested male dog and Rosie would rush
to her side. She was like an older sister to her, a mother even. But she wasn’t much fun.
So Fred came to join us.
Fred was a big boy, stocky, pushy. In the house he was never still. But he was also
very loving – to us all, as well as to anyone else who noticed him (especially of course
if they had treats).
He and Rosie seemed to have an instant understanding – maybe because of the
collie genes they shared? But Lulu was his responsibility now. Together they could be as
naughty as they liked and knew they’d get away with it. Barking at people going by,
finding rubbish to eat, unnerving the family cats by staring at them. At treat time
he taught her how to angle for ‘just one more’. When exhausted they would
snuggle up together – to be accurate, Fred would usually settle on top of her, but she
never minded. He was her guardian, best friend and rock.
Two years ago lovely Rosie had a stroke, and within weeks we sadly decided her life
was intolerable. Never one to cope with change, Lulu withdrew into herself,
though gradually Fred convinced her that life went on, that there were still woods
to explore and squirrels to chase – and most important of all, that he was still there.
In the following week and months they grew closer than ever.
Maybe it was because we were involved with moving back down to North Devon
last November, but we put his flagging spirit down to him getting older and didn’t
worry too much. When we did eventually start the rounds of tests at the local vet,
they too seemed to think there was nothing major wrong.
We always agreed that Fred understood every word we said. Strangely, when
eventually the vet told us that he had a large inoperable tumour on his liver, Fred
seemed to understand. At that moment he gave up. Within less than a week he died.
So we three carry on without him, George missing the fun he’d been on walks, me not
having to step over him in the kitchen (and not liking it at all!). And Lulu… Lulu clings
to us and we’re more than happy to dole out the kisses and cuddles she needs.
One day soon, hopefully, she’ll have another dog to share her life. But it won’t be our Fred.