I wasn’t happy when my grandmother came to live with us when my grandfather passed away. I loved my grandmother, but I was just a kid. I had to give up my room and my bed and sleep in Mum and Dad’s room, with no possibility of return.
The only upside to the situation at the time, was that my grandmother brought her dog, Angel, with her as well. Now this was something that I could deal with, and having a dog to play with took my mind off the fact that I had absolutely no privacy and no space of my own.
After a while I got used to having my gran around, and we would go for walks together to the shops. I started to look forward to this for two reasons, it got me out of the house and away from my brother, and gran always bought me a milkshake. I would always leave some in the bottom of the container and rip it open so that Angel could share it with me. We’d sit on the front step of the grocery store in vanilla bliss while gran went off to buy her usual newspaper and loaf of bread.
When gran went off on holiday, I was in charge of Angel’s welfare. I was in heaven. Not only did I have my old bed back, I had my ‘own dog’ to sleep on my feet at night. I’m pretty sure Angel enjoyed it too, and cried at the door to get in with me after gran returned. There were a few times after that when I was found fast asleep on the lounge with Angel sleeping on my feet. My childhood had it’s ups and downs, but I had the love of a dog – what more could I want?
Angel and I grew older and eventually Mum and Dad sold the house and moved north. Gran went to live at the beach and took Angel with her. I missed her a lot for a long time, and we moved to a place were I couldn’t have another dog, although I had my own room. I would have gladly shared a room again just to have Angel with me.
I left home at sixteen and went to live with my Gran for a while. It was like a homecoming. We were together again. We’d go to the beach and stop off at the shops on the way home for a vanilla milkshake. I’d just settled into a routine when Angel passed away. We had grown up together and were the same age. Unfortunately sixteen in dog years is a very long life. I was devastated.
Angel came along at a time when I was a shy lonely child. She made my loneliness more bearable, which allowed me to grow and experience life differently to what might have been. I was able to express my love to another living creature, and not be afraid. Angel accepted me for what I was, and I was happy. I will never forget my beautiful Angel girl.