Every Dane is special, but Martha was one of those who took the heart of everyone who met her, dog-lover or not. She wheedled her way into my cat-obsessed mother's house; collected the kids in the village like a canine Pied Piper on her walks; was a star turn at the local Social Club and a tourist attraction at the beach. She protected my son like the mother she was; had my husband around her little finger and my daughter fussing her for hours. Convinced she was still a pup, Marfs leapt in ponds and streams, chased rabbits and deer, rolled on stoats - no really - and god help anyone who tried to stop her covering herself in the delicious stink of a dead crow.
The cheekiest, funniest, dearest girl alive, there isn't room here to do her justice, only to say that her year with us was too short, and 5 too young to go. She fought so hard in her last fortnight - harder than we ever knew until we got her final diagnosis, leukaemia. She should've gone already several times over; I feel humbled to have seen such strength and will to live - even when she was a veterinary inpatient and seriously ill she repeatedly rallied to cart her carers down the hall, invade Reception, and raid the fridge. When she was finally helped to slip away there wasn't a dry eye in the house, and all those involved in her care came to say goodbye, one at a time, the whole hospital staff. There will never be another Marvellous Martha Moo-Dog, and I will always be proud she chose to live with us. Sleep tight, precious girl. Run free xxx.
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