We already had Pippa when Tango came to us, as a small pup, some years ago. He was a ‘rescue dog’, and had belonged to a neighbour who discovered, on getting him, that she was allergic to dogs. So we took him.
At first we wondered if we’d be able to keep him, as he was a bundle of energy that play-fought with Pippa constantly and got on everyone’s nerves (especially Pippa’s). But he calmed down a bit, and we grew to love him.
Tango is quite a character. We used to say jokingly that he was ‘special’ – meaning a bit dim. He was a ‘happy chappy’, as we said, who lived his life entirely in the moment (Pippa was always able to ask for what she wanted, but Tango never did). Sean used to play with him and laugh at him all the time. Although he loved Pippa, I think he loved Tango more. Tango amused him no end.
Tango and Pippa like to bark at pedestrians, lorries, tractors, bikes, horses and trailers that pass our house (though not cars). Tango had a bad habit of sometimes dashing out when a trailer was rattling by. Last summer he was hit by one.
Sean and I were here at the time. Tango lay by the road, obviously in very bad shape – I thought he was about to die at any moment. Then he got up and started to run around randomly, making a horrible screaming noise and clearly out of his mind. He ended up under a hedge in a part of our garden where there are a lot of trees and shrubs. I rang for the vet, thinking that Tango would have to be put down.
Sean crawled in to sit with Tango and talk to him while we were waiting (a long time) for the vet. He brought him a bowl of water (the bowl is still there; it was revealed in the autumn when the leaves fell). I gave up on Tango, but Sean didn’t.
Clearly it wasn’t Tango’s time to go – he pulled through. Little did we know that it would be Sean’s time to go a few months later.
Tango’s ‘personality’ changed after his accident – he wasn’t quite as mad or as happy-go-lucky as he had been. Sean enjoyed him and Pippa right up to the end, though – he and Clio took the dogs for a walk on Sean’s last day, and I could hear them laughing at Tango on the road as they returned, and trying to teach him some trick.
Sean loved the dogs. Pippa got excited and jumped up on the sofa when she heard his voice on a video some time after he died. Tango, typically, didn’t. Tango will always be ‘special’.