As many of you all know, our two dogs, Dude and Bubba, are the lights of our lives. Now that they are both 11, you start to think about the awful day when they’ll no longer be with us. This week, I’m afraid that the dreadful prospect of one of them leaving us has become all too real.


 






 


Bubba, our miniature schnauzer, has been gradually losing weight over the last few weeks. From being a bit podgy, he’s now positively bony, albeit nearer the weight he should be. Unusually for him, he’s gone off his food. He still eats his lunch and dinner but won’t touch his breakfast.


John has taken him to the vets a couple of times but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Until Thursday.


He had ultrasound, which didn’t provide any clues, and then he had some X Rays. They found a very large tumours on both sides of his lungs.


I think I knew the news was not going to be good, but even so, it was incredibly upsetting to hear the word tumour.


Essentially, it means that at some point soon we are going to lose him, as an operation is out of the question. I’d pay any amount of money if it could help him, but he’s such a small little mite that the odds of coming through such a major operation would be minimal.


 






 


All we can do now is provide him with all the love and care that we can, and ensure that any pain is minimised. He’s still very bright in himself, and if you met him, you’d probably not realise that anything is wrong. He really isn’t in any pain. Yet.


Dude, his Jack Russell brother, is a highly intelligent and empathetic dog, but I don’t see any sign of him working out that something is wrong. I’ve always worried about when one of them dies, how on earth do you explain to the other what has happened.


John has been the most brilliant doggy parent and is not one to emote. I just have to think about what is about to happen and the tears start to flow, but I know that just because John isn’t like that, it doesn’t mean he isn’t as affected as much as I am.


 






 


Of course I realise that it goes with the territory. The moment you get a dog, you know that it has a lifespan. Miniature schnauzers last on average for 13 years and Jack Russells anything between 14 and 18.


Everyone who meets Bubba falls in love with him. Same with Dude. In our little family unit, they are simply irreplaceable.


One thing that Bubba hates is a car journey. So we won’t be going to Norfolk this Christmas.


My last day on the radio is Thursday this week. I’ve then got 17 days off, and I intend to spend all of it giving Bubba all the love he deserves. We don’t know how long he’s got left. It could be days, weeks, or hopefully months.


My grandmother died a week before Christmas in 1979. My father died four days before Christmas in 2016. Why do these awful things happen at what is supposed to be a time of celebration?


 


To those of you who listen to my radio show, the For the Many podcast, watch me on Good Morning Britain, or who are customers of Politicos, thank you so much for all your support this year, and may I round this off by wishing you a happy Christmas and successful new year.


 


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