Hi Everyone,

Well, it has taken me a fortnight to be able to write this and even now I don’t think I will be able to do justice to our beautiful retriever Wilson, who sadly died on Jan. 12th.

  I am sure all of you who met him will remember him at various stages of his life and for various reasons.  To us, he was a loyal constant companion seeing numerous ups and downs and changes in our lives over the 13 and 1/2 years of his life.

He was born and began his life on the Blackdown Hills, in Somerset, when he came to live with us as an 8 week old puppy with enormous paws , the reason Mike chose him!,  Mike called him Wilson, after his make of tennis racket, and over the years he grew into his name.  He was a bundle of mischievious fun but very defiant, and up until he was 0ne, I wondered if he would ever be trained. But then it just seemed like he got it,  and he proved to be the best dog we could have ever wanted.

His undying loyalty to Mike was incredible.  Even when he (Wilson) was struggling to walk, he would still try to follow Mike  to the garage or shed, to see what jobs had to be done. He would follow Mike everywhere from the very beginning, watch him painting the house, decorating the cottages, following him round as he cut the grass and of course he adored the beach and the wonderful walks in the woods around here that we all shared.

When we first came to live in Amroth he was 2 and his favourite activity was chasing seagulls or gulling, as we called it. He would plunge into the sea when they took flight and never gave up thinking he might catch one!!! I remember him once being fascinated by a shoal of fish in the shallow waters of the sea one day and he exhausted himself jumping up and down trying to pat one. He’d delight in finding a bucket lid on the shore line and Mike would throw it as a frizbee.

 He was rarely without a stick or a ball and I have, in the past, found numerous 1/2 balls in a bale of hay from our fields that Wilson had abandoned and they had been caught up in the cutter and baler, when our hay was made.

He absolutely adored the snow in his younger days, frolicing and rolling in it and chasing snowballs and it seems ironic that I think it was the snow and ice that brought him to his end. He had been struggling with his arthritis for quite a long time and the growth of the tumour on his back toe had begun to cause him pain for about a week beore he died, as he kept catching it on the ice and breaking the skin. When he fell over on the 11th and could not get up at all, Mike had to lift him and we knew it was time to let him go.

Any of you who have had to make this decision, know how hard it is, and at the moment I still have times when I question if we should have given him a bit longer.  It broke my heart to hold him as he slipped away, but he went with dignity as the beautiful dog he was. My friend with his digger came and dug a hole for me and Wilson is buried on his bed with his ball, over looking the sea, woods and coast path, that he so loved and where he had so many adventures. (Mike had to go out for the day, as he found the parting too hard)

If any of you have read Marley and Me you know how sad the ending is, and I knew that would always happen to us but I think we gave him a wonderful life and I hope he felt the same.  Someone in the village said they will always remember how majestically he walked with his beautiful white tail held high and one of our young guests referred to him  as the ‘polar bear’

So many wonderful memories.

Hopefully, my blog will be more cheerful next time but I couldn’t let his death go unmarked. He was too special to be forgotten and his life should be celebrated.

I am sure any of you visiting us this year will be sorry not to be greeted by him, he was a part of Amroth cottages.

Regards to you all

Ann (Amroth cottages)