Farewell my best friend – our final post on this blog

Alfie and I were booked to return to NYC in April 2020 but the pandemic intervened….  Then on 5 August 2021 Alfie had a serious stroke, followed by 2 small strokes in September 2022, followed by a bigger one and a couple of smaller ones at the beginning of 2023. Being Alfie, he picked himself up and carried on every time, until he didn’t…

A few months before, I bought Alfie an Innopet Hercules stroller: with his severe hip dysplasia and arthritis I wanted us to be able to go out and about with him having a comfortable ‘portable bed’ for when he was tired and we made really good use of it. We would not have been able to take it with us to NYC and so his trips to NYC with me, where he had a lovely vet in Harlem, came to an end.

From then on it was me and Alfie together 24 hours a day. He had a double-bed sized 4 inch memory foam pad to rest on and I slept next to him on my sofa, giving us immediate access, day and night, from the living room into the garden – his favourite place.

And then, on 3 March 2023 I posted this heartbreaking entry on Facebook:


“ALFIE THE WONDERDOG 3.3.2008 – 1.3.2023

Today is the day that Alfie was born, 15 years ago.

But the day that every dog’s human companion dreads arrived on Wednesday. My precious, precious boy let me know that it was time to slip away. I had kept him comfortable in the night with an excess of pain killers and phoned Maria of Viking Vets the minute they opened.

She dropped everything to come to my house and help him and he went peacefully looking into my eyes. Veerle, his acupuncturist, was holding his paw across the miles. Both women offered Alfie and me so much support and love over the years. As Maria said “All dogs are special, and some are more special”. Veerle called him “Lazarus” because of his constant rallying over 18 months when it looked like it was time to go several times. In truth, neither Alfie nor I could let go of each other.

Friends came to say goodbye and help me dig his grave which will have 2 pear trees and flowers growing over it. I am doing the 49 day Bardo practice for him, sat every night next to his grave in candlelight.

Now he has gone I should be going back to sleep in my comfortable bed after 18 months of sleeping on the sofa next to him but I can’t because I need to be near the garden, near to his last resting place. I am broken. He was my life partner, my everything, loved by all for his beautiful spirit.

Run free over the Rainbow Bridge, my precious love. We will meet again. In the meantime, I will feel you near, invisible but always with me”

For the whole of March I have been experiencing intense grief peppered with occasions I have felt ‘normal’. It took me the whole month to be able to transition from sleeping downstairs to returning to my bedroom upstairs.

A candle burns day and night for him and I would do anything to be able to cuddle him again. The reality of his absence is hard to bear but on 31 March I was fortunate to have a zoom call with Bernie Scott, an amazing Medium (who helped me when my precious teacher, Akong Rinpoche, died). Suffice it to say that Alfie has now made it clear that he is with me, wherever I am, that he will not reincarnate but will greet me when it is my time to go: I am surrounded by his love.