A spring feeling with a black edge.
On this day ... 64 days before the spring starts, I heard that Sterre died at the age of 13.
I got to know Sterre in 2011.
And Sterre was a special dog, when I thought of her, I always thought back to that wonderfully sunny spring day in June 2011. Together with a friend, I drove that day to Ruurlo, a village in the Dutch Achterhoek. We finally got to know Ilja and her dog Sterre. They came into contact through a Dutch dog forum and it clicked very well.
We went to go and take photos from Ilja and Sterre.
It was agreed that my friend and I would take pictures of Sterre, and that we would spend the day with Ilja. Along the way we already had the greatest fun, the sun was shining exuberantly which naturally contributed to the cozy and cheerful feeling.
Like we knew each other for years.
Once arrived at Ilja, the introduction and reception was more than cordial and soon we were chatting as if we had known each other for years. We all shared the same interests, dogs and photography, and nature. So it didn't take long before we went out for a good time ... and my respect for Ilja grew by the minute.
Sterre was trained to be the assistant dog for Ilja.
Ilja has been dependent on a mobility scooter for years to cover longer distances due to the progressive disease MS. She can no longer do everything in the household herself, and in order not to be too dependent on her friend and on third persons in her life, she had trained Sterre herself to be her assistance dog. Sterre could, for example, open and close gates, Sterre could close doors, Sterre could put the laundry in the machine, remove it from the machine, take it outside to the big drying mill and then hand it over to Ilja.
They even made it to the tv.
Ilja had also trained Sterre to clean up litter outside during the walks. All this in a way that it was always a game for Sterre. And Sterre did this job so well that even a dutch tv program came over to film her for that. Sterre was great ... And all because Ilja trained her so well. They were really a team. And that team fell apart ...
Recently I lost Rowan.
I recently had to give Rowan to cancer and I know the pain of losing a beloved pet. But I have no idea how Ilja will go through losing Sterre. Sterre was more than just a pet ... much more.
A black edge today
So even though I still get that wonderful spring feeling when I see the photos, and I can well remember the feeling of that day ... yet this happy spring feeling has a black edge today.
Sterre ... rest in peace girl. Play with Rowan up there.
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