15 Jan 2023

Our dog, Skitters

Richard laughing while Skitters, a tan-and-white Jack Russel figures out how to get a treat from under his hand (probably)
I don’t know what was going on here, but I suspect I was trying to teach her something and no doubt she found a way to short-cut straight to the treat. She was clever like that.

After 14 years of adventures, we said goodbye to Skitters on the morning of Wed 11 Jan 2023.

I set out to write about our dog, but it’s turned out as a post about her impact on me. Some I expected: getting outside, routine, exploring, dazzled by her instincts for things we can’t sense — which were mainly woodland creatures down holes or up trees. And the joy of seeing her learn or figure things out, or just playing around with a ball, frisbee, or tug toy.

The big adventures, like travelling around the country, and the small every day adventures are captured on her blog. I’m grateful we set that up. Yes, we have thousands of photos and many videos, but seeing them as posts with tag lines is a treasure.

The unexpected parts are the immense satisfaction of being responsible for her, of caring for her. Sometimes challenging, and scary, but life-affirming.

Perhaps most of all, being one of Skitter’s owners became part of my identity. And I do not like it now that’s gone. But Jane explained it to me: “We’re still dog owners”, she said. “We’re just between dogs.”

These last few days have been impossible. I miss Skitters. Yes, we’ll start a fresh set of adventures soon, but she was perfect for us, and I’m certain we were a loving and fun forever home for her. She was, after all, a very good girl.

A filthy dog after duck chasing