Digby by Beckie Dacosta / Bex.xxxxxx

We got Digby from a breeder aged 9 months.
He had been brought by another family who returned him as he was “too naughty”. We believe he had been abused by them as was so nervous and afraid of men.

My kids grew up with Digs and used to feed him their dinners if they didn’t fancy it and Digby used to love them climbing all over him and trying to dress him up!

He was there for me during a difficult divorce and when I lived on my own with the kids for a year. In 2004 I took him to London with me to visit my new partner who lived in a flat above a shop. Digby got freaked out and jumped from the roof terrace (approx 30 feet). Amazingly he wasn’t killed but shattered his front right leg. At the time I was a single parent on benefits and the PDSA provided treatment for him, which I will be eternally grateful for.

After many months of treatment, Digby had an operation to fuse his leg, which involved metal pins and screws being inserted in to his leg.
Digby recovered well although suffered with arthritis and could not bend his leg, so walks were limited particularly in the winter.

When we would go on holiday, we would put Digs in the kennels, where he would decide he would lose the ability to walk and they would have to call my mum to collect him, when he would make a miraculous recovery on seeing her!! Digby continued to be a loving faithful friend who would always cuddle up to me when i felt sad and would greet me when I got home from work after a long and difficult day.

He was like a perfect gentleman always standing up when I did and not sitting down until I did.
He used to jump up at me and dance with me round the house with what looked like a huge grin on his face! When I used to come down the stairs in the morning, he would howl at me and tap dance all over my wooden floor which would drive me crazy but make me laugh at the same time!!!

At the beginning of September, I noticed a lump on Digby’s bad leg, so I took him to the vets.
The vet told me one of the screws had come loose and it was unusual for a fusion that old to come apart. Digby was sent home from the vets wearing a lampshade on his head which he hated and proceeded to crash in to everything for the next few days, while i tried to watch TV through his cone as he would sit in front of me just looking at me!

He was booked for surgery to remove the screw on 10th Sept. My husband rang me at work on the 9th and said Digs wasn’t well, he wouldn’t walk, wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t move, I rang the vets who told me to bring him down. I went home to pick him up, where he got up and howled at me and tap danced all over the floor just like he always did, so I rang the vet and said he had made a miraculous recovery and would bring him down as planned in the morning for his op. How I wish I knew that this would be his last night with me.

In the morning I took him to the vets where he refused to get out of the car- he knew even though I didn’t that he wouldn’t be coming home.
Eventually me, the vet and a nurse carried him in to the vets where he was settled in to a cage.
The vet then called me in to say that she suspected he had advanced bone cancer which had caused the screw to come out and his whole fused leg had begun to collapse. She said if it was cancer, it was an aggressive form which would have already spread to secondary tumours and what would I like to do if this was found when they anesthetized him ready for xray.

I said I didn’t really know but wouldn’t want him to suffer and what would the treatment be if this was the case. She said amputation and chemo which would prolong his life but not cure him
I asked her to ring me when he was asleep and the xray had been taken.

She rang me at work about an hour later and said she had found 3 huge tumours in his leg, one of which had already grown in to his fusion pushing all the screws out. I asked the vet what she thought was the best treatment, she said the cancer would have spread to other parts of his body and it was the aggressive form, they could amputate but it wouldn’t cure him and that his heart had started to slow down under anesthetic.

After a lot of thinking I gave the vet permission to end his suffering there and then.
I feel so guilty as i never said goodbye, I never thought he would die. My lasting memory of him is him being terrified in the vets. I never got to hug him and tell him I loved him and thank him for all the happiness he gave me. He was like a best mate.

I then had to tell the kids he had gone, they were devastated, I told them his heart stopped while he was asleep. I couldn’t tell them I had ended it, they wouldn’t forgive me. I came home to no howling and tap dancing on the wooden floor, no dancing with me. My house felt empty and lonely and wrong. Last week we planted a rose in the garden and put a memorial plaque beside it with a picture of Digby
and a beautiful poem on it.

It helps a bit, but I miss him so much and don’t think I will ever stop. Nearly every day I cry for him and I’m eaten up with guilt for not saying goodbye. My beautiful, handsome, gorgeous boy has gone and nothing can ever replace him.
I will never ever get another dog as nothing could ever live up to him; he was an amazing animal and I hope wherever he is now, he is free from pain and tap dancing all over the place.

RIP gorgeous boy, I miss you so much.xxxxxx


Love you forever and ever
Beckie Dacosta