What a heartfelt tribute Bryan Gould (Opinion, January 13) made to his dear friend Lachie.

We are in a similar situation with our beautiful girl, a nine-year-old German Wire Haired Pointer named Caley who has a degenerative neurological condition. Caley has witnessed both the good and the mercilessly bad side of human nature. We took her at age three from a rescue charity. Her story was one of brutality, neglect and worse. She seized her new life with full-on joy. We have often laughed at her attitude to an obstacle in her path - why go round it when you can bash through.

She has never borne any ill will towards humans and has given us immeasurable happiness, rewarding our initial gesture of rescuing her to the point we almost feel selfish because she has given us so much.

So now we have to face the same inevitable journey as Bryan and his wife do with Lachie. Like them, we will give our girl every chance to continue to get pleasure out of her days. We have an armoury of wonderful moments to remember and laughs to relive, she will continue to make us smile long after her day.

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Thanks to Bryan for speaking about something which is very difficult for an animal lover to bear.

(Abridged)

Heather Ward
Pāpāmoa

'All we can do is love them'

I am in the same position as Bryan Gould (Opinion, January 13) myself. My rescue bitch Tess has just had surgery which shows a mast cell tumour.

She will not be put through any more pain that surgery brings.

She is so far her usual happy, vocal self, swimming, chasing, play fighting with our other dog.

All we can do is love them, keep them happy, and to be brave enough to let them go when we know the fun is over.

With my sympathy to all others who have the same decision to make.

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Anita Stanley
Rotorua
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