Today the Food Lady is sad - and not because she broke her foot, but because our spaniel cousin and beach-walking companion, Arabella, died. We saw her just over a week ago, looking happy but getting a bit weak. And now she had gone away forever.
This is a photo of her taken by Alice at Greyton before we really knew her,
where she lived with Omie-Domes and Opie Dopes, Matthew the Newfoundland, her twin brother Aiden - and Thomas who came a little later.
We only really met the spaniels when Omie Dome moved to Fish Hoek after Opie Dopes died. Here we all are on the beach - when Dougal was still with us too.
Dougal was my role model and best brother, just like Aiden was Arabella's - and I am so sorry for Aiden and Omie Domes because I know how sad it is when a friend leaves you behind.
Arabella and me were good friends, both of us enjoying our dip in the lagoon,
our treats from Omie-Domes
and the occasional crab chase.
I am not sure where Arabella is now and why she is no longer around, but we had lots of good times on the beach,
even when this horrible little puppy that eventually turned into my good friend Laddie invaded our space.
We played catch and snarl and bite the tail,
and met interesting dogs and people
even though sometimes we got a bit impatient with our humans and all the talking ...
Arabella was always kind and gentle - even with the lunatic Lad.
It was our best spot, and that's why we all knew that Arabella was not herself when she stopped wanting to come to the beach last week when Simon came and Thomas was naughty.
But she will forever be here in spirit
and with us all when we pile in the Landrover for our Fish Hoek Friday walkies,
or drag our humans up the steps for tea time at Omie Domes's house.
Never one to blow her own trumpet - Arabella had a good sense of fun and tolerated all of the terrier interlopers into her territory like a real lady.
Just rest in peace my spaniel friend.
You will be sorely missed by everyone, but especially your human mother and spaniel brother Aiden. We will always remember our lovely walks on Fish Hoek beach and all the happy times we had together.