Photo Friday 21st June 2019

My sister recently shared this photograph of a photograph on Facebook. It was taken by my then best friend near my home house. The dog in the picture is my first dog, Joona.

Pamela with her dog Joona - a long, long time ago.

Pamela with her dog Joona - a long, long time ago.

I was eight years old when my family got Joona. He was five months at the time, a gangly, long-legged dog with a gorgeous red coat and a distinctive black face. He, quite simply, changed everything for me.

Three years later, we started doing agility, and I have never looked back. Joona was a marvellous dog to start with - clever, keen worker and with strong legs that allowed him to clear the highest of jumps. He was fast too, and we had a fair amount of success during our years of doing agility.

Joona passed away in 2003, at the age of 13. He’s been gone all that time, and I can still remember exactly how his coat felt to touch. If I close my eyes, I can still picture what it was like to have him with me. Dogs do that to us - they leave us with so many memories. I wouldn’t want to be without a single one of those memories, even though it hurts so much when you lose a dog. Better to have loved and lost.