You never forget them.
The dehydrated mini fox terrier. She was found three days after her owner, a farmer, was killed by a tipped quad bike. In the sharply sloping paddock, still hopefully licking his face.
Or the owner of a blue cattle dog with a terrible degloving injury. The dog jumped out of the back of a moving vehicle, losing all the skin from elbows to toes on both front feet. His recovery was an exercise in pain and bandaging, stitches and grafts, infections and injections. But the pain was equally borne by the man, a single, middle-aged carpenter, who took on ludicrous, long, body-breaking work hours and went deeply into debt to save his best friend.
As a vet, a writer and an avid SFF fan, I’ve marvelled at our canine connection, whether in fiction or real life. Long may it carry on, well into our actual and literary future!