Hannah was the sweetest, gentlest dog that has ever been my pleasure to have shared my home with. She was born in 1991 and she with us since she was 9 weeks old. She was always good natured with everyone she met. She rarely barked and had always been the healthiest of dogs until February 2004. We found a small lump on her on her gum which turned out to be cancerous. She had her right hand side lower jaw removed as by a specialist in facial surgery. The operation was a success but nothing could have prepared us for what was to come. After seven hours of surgery and three days at the veterinary clinic, she came home, battered, bruised and disorientated. After much nursing and tender loving care, she recovered slowly, but surely from the operation, but she was handicapped. Eating and drinking were difficult for her and very painful to see as she struggled. I`m certain part of her spirit left her the day her jaw was removed. She was never the same again and she aged very quickly. Her lifelong smile was gone as she physically wasn`t able anymore. She had pain from the severed nerves in her face and was prescribed tablets that were for psychosis in humans. Despite all this she hardly complained, bearing her disabilities bravely. She had another operation to file down a tooth that was sticking into the roof of her mouth but she recovered quickly from that. She had eight more months before the disease returned and was diagnosed as terminal. On that awful day when we took her to the vet for the last time, she looked at me, as if to say, " Don`t worry Mum, I`m ok`. I held her close until her eyes shut for the last time. I just wasn`t ready to say goodbye to the best dog I ever had. She was one in a million and she will be remembered always. She was loved by so many people as the most cheerful, happy dog and this site is a lasting tribute to her memory. She was our very special dog...our girl who lit up our lives and the lives of everyone who met her.
What Hannah Did
She was a typical labrador all the way through. She adored water, the dirtier and colder it was the better. Up until the time of her illness she swam regularly, much faster and stronger than many younger dogs. In her younger days she must have thought she was a sporting field dog, trained to the gun and ready to retrieve the game shot down. The reason being she would like to fight her way through dense undergrowth to retrieve her lost ball. On one occasion she found not only her own ball but four others that had been lost by other less determined dogs. As she aged she was happy to eat sleep and go for her usual long treks through the woods, still chasing squirrels but not almost catching them as she had nearly done in the past....Oh yes, to others reading this she was just a normal happy-go-lucky labrador. To us she was a treasure.....our own treasure.
A Rose by Any Other Name
She was known to us by so many names that I`m surprised we didn`t confuse her completely. By `we` I really mean me! I sometimes called her Hanniwan, Popsicle, Pops, Poppet, Baby,Honey, Missus Dog, Sweetpea,Sweetheart, Sausage, Stinky...I really don`t want to go into too much detail here but suffice it to say it involved a fox. If you`re British you will know what I mean, if American think skunk!
It`s been 4 years now since that fateful day in September when we left the vets without Hannah. As you know Jake has adopted us as his people and we love him dearly. The first day he arrived he went outside and went straight to Hannah`s grave under the magnolia tree. He sniffed around it but was very careful where he put his feet. I am certain he was aware of her presence in what was now his garden. I am thankful he is a male and black, not female and yellow like Hannah, it would have been unbearable to have had another yellow girl. These past four years have passed happily and Jake was the dog who met our first grandchild Roman. He was the dog who made friends with Roman and who has taught him not to be afraid of dogs but to respect them too. I still mourn Hannah and miss her a great deal, I think I always will but luckily, Jake came along and filled a gap and I will always be thankful for that. And yes, he still lies by Hannah`s grave. Perhaps he`s watching over a special dog who is never very far away.........