Rest in Peace darling Blue you were our much-loved baby boy and we will never forget you.

Blue-April 2007-December 29th, 2019

After moving into our new house and losing my father in 2008 Teresa and I decided our family needed a dog. After several discussions with Paul at SPRG, I drove to Leicester to pick up 14-month old Blue, initially on a week- long trial.

Initially wary and snappy, Blue gradually learned to trust us and became the most loyal, loving and protective dog it was possible to be. All our rules about boundaries (no sofa, no beds) went out of the window as Blue claimed his domain of every inch of our house and garden. Wherever we were in the house we would hear those paws on the floor as he came along to wherever we were in the house to see what was going on and whether all was ok. Although he always slept on our bed (so much for rules) he would always relax his rule when our daughter Carly came to stay when he would position himself on the landing between bedrooms so he could guard everyone in the house. Whenever I was away abroad on business, he was Teresa’s constant companion keeping her company 24 hours a day.

His territorial nature did have its downside as over the years we went through a dozen cleaners who were intimidated by his insistence on following them around the house glaring as they worked.

Like most Shar Pei he suffered skin and ear problems and he would submit quietly while Teresa cleaned his ears daily and administered his tablets for skin irritation. Over 11 years the one thing he never got used to was bath time!

He never actually ate dog food as Teresa cooked for him every evening (chicken breasts, pork loin, minced beef or sausages) along with rice, pasta or his Iams Senior. He was particularly partial to scrambled eggs with ham for his breakfast. If we went to the fridge, he would amble up to see what was going for a snack!

At 6am every morning he would snuffle and cough into my face as I lay in bed to urge me up and out for his morning walk and when Teresa returned home each midday, he would bounce around wagging his tail signalling time for his lunchtime walk. His evening walk was prefaced by a chase around the dining table before he consented to put on his harness for his final exercise of the day.

Having arrived with us having not really been socialised he was not good with other dogs and indeed would only ever walk around the block with his Border Collie pal Poppy and had no time for small talk or sniffing with other dogs.

Through all times and weathers good or bad he was the friend who trotted alongside me as I composed my mind around the events of each day and when he sensed we were sad he would cuddle up to us on the sofa as if to say, “don’t worry I’m here”.

As he entered his twelfth year his health began to fail, and our once bouncy and lively dog spent more time sleeping and not careering down the stairs to greet or confront anyone at our front door.

Visits to the vet suggested heart failure or kidney disease and at 12 years old we couldn’t put him through the pain and uncertainty of surgery or anaesthetic.

Eventually he didn’t want to go on his daily walk as his once strong legs failed him and then over the month of December his once voracious appetite became picky and eventually he refused all food which was totally unlike him. He became weaker over the Christmas holiday and eventually on December 29th we had to make the heart-breaking decision to let him go. The whole family accompanied him on his final journey to the vets for what was probably one of the worst days of our lives as we said goodbye to our darling Blue.

Our house is not the same without our boy and the silence is deafening. Our eyes play tricks when we enter a room expecting to see our boy reclined on the sofa or one of the beds.

We could never have imagined the pain and loss we are feeling from losing Blue and that initial thought 11 years ago of taking him on a week’s trial seems like a bad joke.

If anyone is considering adopting a Shar Pei rescue dog, we can speak from experience and promise you that he/she will give you far more than you could ever give them.

Rest in Peace darling Blue you were our much-loved baby boy and we will never forget you.

Bobby and Teresa B.