In late March, my beagle-whippet cross, Minnie, died. Two months earlier, she had been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma, an invasive cancer of the blood vessels that is rare in humans but kills thousands of dogs every year.

We found Minnie at a Melbourne shelter in 2007 when she was about 18 months old. It was mid-winter and she had been a stray. She was a hunter, swift and fearless, but was ill and thin when she came to us. She recovered strongly, and set about imprinting her imperious personality on our household.

When we moved to Sydney, Minnie and I went exploring together. Every morning we walked for at least an hour; longer when I could spare the time. We found a place where Minnie could run off leash; we saw the sun rise over the wind-blown hills of the local golf course; we took long, picturesque walks along the banks of the Cooks River.

Over time, our walks settled into half-a-dozen favorite routes. They were the prettiest walks, with varied scenery, and of the right length. Then Minnie got ill, and everything changed. She, who had trotted willingly beside me, now refused to follow where I went. We still walked for an hour every morning. But now we went where Minnie led. …to read full story click here

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald