I was going to write a couple of happy posts about how brilliant it was to be out in the sidecar with my Wingman camping in the sunshine.
But on the way home from Wales I had a sinking feeling that all was not well with the hairy boy.
I’m prone to “borrowing trouble” so convinced myself that I was just catastrophising and all was well, he was just a bit tired after three lovely days with new things to sniff and widdle on.
But on Friday, halfway up the country to an MZ Club camp in the Forest of Bowland, when we stopped for a photo he was singing his unhappy song. And when we got to the camp he was a miserable and grumpy hound.
Of course I felt like shit. By being so slow on the uptake I had inflicted pain and discomfort on an elderly, arthritic dog, and worst of all, he would have to go through it all again to get home.
In my defence he used to love riding in the chair and he used to love camping and scavenging bacon off friends and strangers alike. So I had been really looking forward to us being able to resume.
But the sad truth of doge life is that the year and a half we have been in lockdown is more like five years for him.
And the bitter reality is that with the help of friends I built a magnificent camping rig and the Wingman is now too frail to enjoy it.
Of course I can give up sidecar riding. I can even give up camping if I have to. But what’s been on my mind all weekend is what they tell you about how to judge whether your dog is suffering – if he stops enjoying things he used to enjoy then he’s one step closer to the trip over the rainbow bridge.
I am grateful for the luxury of time. Too many friends have lost their beloved dogs suddenly. But I lack the courage to make the call. We will go back to the V.E.T. for a painkiller review and have some gentle rides in the 2CV over the next few weeks, and then take stock.