Last week we had to say good bye to our faithful old lab, Bertie. We had from a puppy 11 years ago, and in a Marley fashion, he gave us the usual amounts of trouble and joy. In his younger days, he used to come running with me, would regularly accompany me on long hacks with the horse, and was the kind of dog who just wanted to befriend everyone. In fact we have several friends with children who were nervous of dogs until they spent time with Bertie, hew days just such a calm, soft old thing. The sad thing about pets is that they don't live as long as us, and there comes a point when you have to make a decision about their future. Ultimately, with Berts, it was a case of who are we keeping him going for, us or him? So, Mr H and I took him to the vets last Monday and had him put to sleep. We are still getting used to how the house feels without him, and it's going to take a long time until I stop looking around for him. Last week, when I was trying to fill the hours before the appointment, I did this page.