This page is dedicated to Casper and Ben – two of the best companions a man could have – Brendan Clarke (Head Vet)
Meet Casper! He’s hiding in the picture above. This very spot is now where his ashes, and the ashes of his brother Ben, are scattered. Losing them both, very close to each other, was simply heartbreaking. Casper was approaching 15 at the time back in January 2010, and Ben was 12 – both good ages for Labradors and for that we were very lucky to have had the pleasure of their company for so long. Lots of memories, lots of photos and no regrets at all.
Ben had a nasty liver tumour I had diagnosed a year earlier – he defied the odds and carried on with life as if nothing was wrong at all, literally the most remarkable and admirable companion. He remained absolutely fine as Casper suddenly started deteriorating with age – he was my first companion after I left university and started my first proper job as a fully fledged vet and had been through what felt like everything with me. He lost his co-ordination in his hind legs, and on 17th January 2010 I had to say goodbye one last time.
Ben, who hadn’t shown a single symptom of his cancer for a almost a year other than a swollen tummy where his liver was clearly enlarged, couldn’t deal with losing his brother. It was a strange and surreal time as we watched the tumour start to grow again, Ben lost his condition in his hind legs and down his back. Being a Labrador, he was still eating and being a particularly greedy one he was still eating like a horse but continued losing weight. Within that month after loosing Casper, Ben gave up and he let go of life, and on the 19th February I was in an all too familiar situation saying a final goodbye to Ben too.
This is a familiar situation working as a veterinary surgeon in practice, and I would say that not one euthanasia consult goes past without the sadness that surrounds those final goodbye’s. Our team wanted to offer the opportunity to remember those that have passed, recently and not so recently, so we invite you to write a ‘memory’ of your pet. You can tell us about them, their funny traits, your best memory, or simply just tell us what happened and how great they were in tribute to them. It can be therapeutic, and it can help both you and our team remember how great all our companions are – and that it’s completely normal to grieve for their loss.