On Saturday, we had to have our beautiful dog, Uller, put down. We had had her for nearly 16 years, a pretty good run, but her health was deteriorating and it got to the stage where she didn’t seem to be getting any joy from life. Of course, we had hoped that she would just die peacefully in her sleep, but she was a stubborn old girl to the very end.
She has been a huge part of our life and we are going to miss her terribly, but we have been having fun over the last couple of days digging out old photos of her & reminiscing, so we thought we would share with you too. This post might be a bit long but we’ll try not to make it too sentimental.
We got Uller from a rescue centre in South Australia in 1997. She was a cross between a Bull Terrier and a Red Heeler and apparently that combination put a lot of people off – we were told (after we had signed all the paperwork to take her) that she was down to be euthanised the following week as the centre could only keep each dog for a few weeks if they didn’t find a home. I can understand people being put off – I mean, she does look pretty scary doesn’t she?
She was pretty aloof, which was one of the reasons we picked her at the rescue centre. All the other puppies were jumping up and down in their kennels yapping ‘Pick me, pick me, PICK ME!!!!’. And while they were all very cute, we fell for the puppy in a kennel on her own (most of the others were in litters), lying on her bed and watching everyone go past. She wagged her tail when we crouched down at her kennel, but even when she was let out for us to have a play with her, she wandered off and did her own thing. Maybe that is why other people didn’t choose her, but for us it was love at first sight.
As well as being stubborn, she was also pretty smart which made for an interesting combination when it came to ‘obedience’. She liked to have a good think about why we were telling her to do whatever it was we wanted her to do – if she couldn’t think of a good reason for it, she probably wouldn’t do it. Or maybe would do it, if she was in a good mood, just to humour us. She was tough and would take on anything, but was also terrified of storms & fireworks which led to more than one ‘running away from home’ episode – fortunately (and thanks to her collar tag) someone always found her and gave us a call.
She loved travelling which is just as well – she lived with us in Australia & the UK and then travelled around Europe for 18 months before her final move to Portugal.
She loved playing with sticks….
…and of course loved the beach…
She wasn’t too sure about snow when she first encountered it, but soon got the hang of it…
She loved going on adventures….
She loved sunbathing….
She loved bones….
She could be a bit aloof with people, but was pretty good with my nephew & niece (how did we not get a photo of her with my niece?)….
It feels very quiet without her around. Although she spent most of her time sleeping recently, there was always something to remind us that she was there – her Darth Vader snoring, the chink of her collar tag on the floor, the waft of a doggy fart. She was brilliant and we feel honoured that she allowed us to be her people and tag along on all her adventures over the last 16 years. We feel pretty certain that is how she would view it.