We took Babe to the vet this morning for the last time.

A couple of weeks ago, it was obvious something was seriously wrong. She'd eaten hardly anything for almost a week. In hindsight she'd been slowing down for much of the last year and no longer came with us on the really long walks, and spent much of the time asleep beneath my bed, but not eating was simply not Babe.

The vet confirmed our suspicions, and gave us a course of steroids for her. It cheered her up enough to begin eating again, and wandering around the house, and we took her for a wonderful walk on the beach at Rimmers, just twenty minutes, though, this time, and she brought sticks for us to throw and she chased them at half speed with a kind of lurch, and we cried a bit for all the other times we've been out with her and shared that coast.

Day before yesterday, a growth began to appear on her throat, and she whimpered when I eased her head back to feed her a pill. By the end of the day the growth was half the size of my fist and by next morning it had doubled in size. She could still walk, and drink and she still managed to snare a scrap or two of food from the floor beside the fridge but it was pretty obvious she was getting near the end. Yesterday we went on a bit of a drive round the places we'd walked in, and she was still interested and alert,but much much slower in her movement. This morning the growth was so big she had difficulty moving her jaw, so we decided it was time.


Here are a couple of pix from the last trip to the beach. You'd almost wonder what we were fussing about, the steroids made such a difference to that week for her

And here's the Babe we celebrated when I first put the old website up.


(With kind acknowledgements to Peter Mayle and Arthur Robins, authors of "Anything but Rover: the art and science of naming a dog". )

I was born 31st January, 1996 at Papakura. Dave picked me from the rest of the litter because he reckoned I was intelligent. As long as he's happy, he can believe what he wants. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm here to say that English bull terriers make affectionate, devoted and loyal pets.

Dog daisies! My favourites!

One of the essentials in the life of a dog is a sheltered sunny porch. From here I can supervise the comings and goings up our right of way.
Beside me is Charlie. He's almost housetrained. Some things humans take longer over than we do.

It's nice lying on the lawn, but you've got to pick your spots. Not all the neighbourhood dogs are as careful or considerate as I am. But I reckon lying full length on the front step makes an important statement

Just like being there to meet new visitors:

Just through the gate is the college. When the gate's left open I get to play cricket and stuff. Sometimes I bring the ball all the way home.


Dave reckons that's not cricket.

Visitors are great. I climb on Dave's knee. If I do the cute thing right, it's usually worth a couple of biscuits. Coconut ones, too, not the stuff I get in my bowl. I like chocolate, too, but that's real bad for me.

I prefer duvets to blankets. They're much easier to get my nose under and burrow into. With Dave having an arthritic hip he has a really comfortable bed, too. And no, this isn't posed - I'm just naturally graceful.

A cannon bone! Wow!

Sometimes I just love him....

... and sometimes he can be a right bastard.

That's the day's social calls totally stuffed up. Maybe I can find something to roll in instead

What do vets - or Dave, for that matter - know about overweight anyway?

I get plenty of exercise. Or I used to before Dave's hip started playing up.

From Bruce