One of the greatest gifts we have enjoyed over the last number of years came in the form of a fluffy, scraggy, lovely friend called Bob. He was a rescue dog. I picked him up at Lisburn Pound late in 2006 and he was only about 14 months old, he picked me.

Full of energy, this bundle of fluffy blackness began jumping all over my car. To say that I was overwhelmed by the responsibility was an understatement in fact I almost took him back.

Over the next 2 weeks he was everywhere. When I turned he was on my heels – a wee shadow. We have a great collection of photos and videos cataloging his many adventures with us, we even began camping because of Bob. The last time we left him at home to be dog sat was on our honeymoon and we promised that if it were possible we would not do that again, and we didn’t. There was always one of us with him or we brought him with us, even to weddings. His paw print is all over the place.

We loved Bob, he was so special. It is true what someone said – even though he was a relatively short part of our life (a
mere 8years); we were almost all of his life – as was the beautiful north coast, the people of the Parish and this community. It therefore feels appropriate that his final resting place should be the Rectory Garden, his home. As you might understand, it was a very hard day to learn that Bob was sick and having to put him to sleep on the 25th June was heartbreaking. Every pet owner believes their pet to be the best and Mark and I were no different. He was such a brilliant Rectory dog and we know that all who knew him loved him and will miss him too. Whilst it is sad Mark and I are deeply grateful for this wonderful part of our family, he was just a legend and will never be forgotten. Dogs really do show unconditional love and acceptance. We are richer people to have shared our life with one of God‟s precious gifts in Bob, and, to be fair, he thought we were great too! We are changed by love and acceptance and the lessons from our pets should never be forgotten. Faithful friends are really hard to find and God knows that. Our friends share the toughest parts of our lives. We shouldn‟t ever take our faithful friends for granted. We have known and been blessed in the Parish with your love and friendship for nearly 6 years now. We were especially touched by loving and understanding words and hugs in the days after Bob was put to sleep. The poem at the bottom was sent from friends in an email. You really are quite extraordinary people and we tell that to everyone we meet. Thank you for all that you are and do, I feel so blessed. So I really do wish you a lovely restful break over the summer and then we all can return with new energy and enthusiasm.
With love and blessing

Diane & Mark

“Pawprints Left By You”
You no longer greet me, As I walk through the door. You’re not there to make me smile, To make me laugh anymore. Life seems quiet without you, You were far more than a pet. You were a family member, a friend . . . a loving soul I’ll never forget. It will take time to heal – For the silence to go away. I still listen for you, And miss you every day. You were such a great companion, Constant, loyal and true. My heart will always wear, the pawprints left by you.
Teri Harrison