My exciting thrill today was grocery shopping. How I hate this chore but not as much as I hate cooking the stuff I choose to buy. It’s just a task I put in the basket of if you don’t buy food you don’t eat and therefore you die so I best get the chore over with. The shopping today was tinged with sadness. When you shop for so many years you get into a routine and just go with the pre shelved flow, unless of course it’s the one week of the year that the supermarket snuck in over night and rearranged the shelving without your permission. Today I let the natural instincts guide me, but I fall short at the start of isle two. I grab the dog roll I have sussed out to be the most economical over the years and instinctively go to put it in the trundler. With tears trying to escape from behind my glasses I know I no longer need that roll. Mac our labrador has gone to doggy heaven. He was old. Mac woke up 5 days ago and decided today I will not eat anything and curl up under the flax bush and die. That simple and that quick. Now being a lab he was a cross between a true gentleman and a dog guts and ate anything that resembled or looked like food. I think he was a pig in disguise if ever there was one. So for him to not eat breakfast was such a shock. I still did not realise the seriousness of the situation but in hind site I could not have done anything about it. I tempted him with warm milk and he looked at me and just returned his head to pillow position. I forced him out from under the bush and gave him a sun drenched tummy rub and lots of talking to but as soon as I stopped he walked back to his choice of bed rest. I checked him every half hour and he seemed fine apart from not eating and I even warned him he was off to the vets in the afternoon if he didn’t improve and I would make sure they used a thermometer. He just looked at me. I gave him what I now know was his final rub at 2:50pm and headed off to pick up the grandchildren from school. Once home I warned No. 1 that her beloved Mac was not feeling well and Nana thought he might be dying. “Where is he,” she cried and ran to the flax bush. She came back too quickly and declared matter of fact, “He’s dead.” I said no honey he is not well. “He’s dead Nana. His tongue is hanging out.” I raced to the bush that I left only 15 minutes earlier and there he lay dead. Just like that. Mac ripped our little hearts out and took pieces of them up to heaven. The girls drew pictures and we buried him that night close to a pond where he spent his time being an awesome gun dog. That’s it. End of story. End of Mac. Still comprehending. So the doll roll is no longer required and the remaining part of one in the fridge is slowly crusting around the edges. I am missing him in small ways that I did not realise were embedded in our everyday life. His bark 10 minutes after anyone has arrived. His scratching noise while he waits to be let out each morning. Rattling the car keys and watching his excitement knowing a car ride is on the agenda. I miss watching granddaughter put a lead on him and walk him around the property every time they stay. Mac you had such an awesome personality and it was a pleasure picking up your dog poo every day. There will probably be another dog in the future but never another like you and no one will replace you in our hearts. I won’t tell anyone where you hid your bones. Oh that’s right you’re a lab, you never hid any food it just went straight down. RIP Mac ps..I take it back I DID NOT like picking up your poos. It was a chore. Way above the shopping level chore.