It is almost impossible to remember a time when Henry was not around. He joined our family in 2006. I had travelled to the breeders in Stogumber in Somerset hoping to purchase a very pale Golden Retriever and planned to call it Basil, but when I got there a very shy dark golden boy licked my hand gently. At that moment, I declared to my husband that I was going to buy him and call him Henry.
Henry went everywhere with me, and we spent many hours running around the Wiltshire lanes where we lived. He was a great pacemaker and ran “faster” or “slower” at my bidding. But he always stopped after four miles. . . My husband would collect him in the car, and he would sit in the back watching me run alone back to the house.
When we bought our house in Skye and travelled up from the Cotswolds on a regular basis, Henry would join me on the long journey. He had his own hammock on the back seat of my car. We always stopped at Tebay for a sausage bap and a walk and then stayed in Callander overnight, before completing the final four hours of our long journey. We enjoyed many happy days walking on the beach and in the nearby forest.
Henry has been a constant presence in my PhD journey too. Every morning as I began work, he would bark to come into my study. He would lie at my feet until I finished for the day. He attended various professional development courses, all my supervision sessions and even my formal upgrade from MPhil to PhD.
Life is going to be different from now on, but we have Freddie to love and care for and he is a special dog too.
But, for now, farewell dear Henry.