Everyone local knew Cora, the happy little Border Terrier who lived in the wool shop on Kingsley park front. In the summer she’d sun herself on the street in front of the shop and she would always have a smile and a wag for anyone who’d tickle her ear. She befriended so many people who would then give her treats that her Mum, Racheal had to put her on a diet. I like to crochet and would so often be in the wool shop that one day, about 2 years ago, Racheal asked me to walk Cora for half an hour twice a week.
Cora loved her Mum and didn’t like being apart from her, so at first I had quite the job on my hands. She didn’t want to walk too far or for too long, she’d go so far and put the breaks on hard if she didn’t want to go in the direction I had picked. At first she’d only go a few yards and I would end up going backwards and forwards several times in the effort to get her to come with me, making the locals laugh as she’d look at me stubbornly and put the breaks on. It made me look a complete twit, but I didn’t care. Bribery helped a bit, but Cora knew her own mind and she wasn’t fooled easily. I like a dog with character and spirit. Little by little, our bond grew until eventually she would look for me and pull me to the door for her walk. I’d let her pick where she wanted to go, much to the amusement of the people at the bus stop. Mostly she wanted to play find it with me on our little patch of grass next to the In and Out garage, or sniff for cats near the garages behind. It wasn’t always half an hour, sometimes, if the weather was awful or she’d had fun chasing the squirrels in her morning walk, she just wanted to go up the street for a wee. On those occasions she’d put the breaks on and want to go back home to Mum. I’d try then try to divert her attention and go the other way and visit the pet shop in Collingtree Road, as she liked the treats the shop owner would give her. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but always worth a try. Once when we were in there she sneaked a toy off the shelf and ripped it to bits in about 10 seconds. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
She sang if you squeaked her toy, she was about as good at singing as I am, but she was a good listener. “Stu left all the damp towels on the bathroom floor again, Cora! What ever can I do with him?” She would look up at me with a wise expression and wag. I talked to her so much as we walked that I would often hear people giggle behind me. If I don’t fall in love with the dogs in my care, I’m not sure I’d be doing my job properly- you can’t help it once you get to know them.
I am crying because Cora ran out into the road on Sunday and was hit by a car and killed.
I saw her a little bit before that, as I was passing by on the way home from Tescos. She ran up to me, grinning, really pleased to see me, wagging so much she was nearly thwacking her ears with her tail. I tickled and fussed her and talked nonsense for a while, never imagining it would be the last time.
I really will miss her. About now I should be getting ready to take her out, but my shoes remain by the door and I am just sitting here, wishing I would be racing round the house collecting the lead, my keys and her treats.
My heart goes out to her family, Mum Racheal, sister Racheal and Grace, her “Granny”.
Work on your emergency stops, everyone, please.