This letter from Mommie to Darwin was written on Tuesday, December 4, 2012Darwin

Dear Darwin,

It's been a whole week since you left. I miss you so much. Daddie does too. Humphrey is doing his best to keep his tail wagging and has been taking advantage of the extra cuddles available. I take him out now in the car everywhere I go. The first few trips were horrendous - you taught him well, my boy! He barks and whines and yips like the best of them - you should be proud of your work!

I don't know how you feel about this but we've signed up to be foster parents to give a temporary home to someone else in need. Remember when you were in the pound? If we hadn't come along, I'll bet you would have wanted a foster Mum instead, right? And remember when we first went to meet Humph with his foster family? Well, it'll be a bit like that. No-one will ever replace you, that's not what it's about. No-one could, my darling beagle boy. But we feel like we have a place to share and there are pups out there who need us. We chose a 'senior dog' rescue to volunteer with, so that means that Humphrey will probably end up having an older brother (or sister) again - albeit a foster-bro/sis. That should keep him in line, eh? We're going to let the foster pup use your bowl and bed and leash. And of course they can share the toys with Humphrey too. But your collar is in my purse and no-one's going to use that. I took your name tag - the copper one - off the collar and Daddie has it on his keyring now. When I chose it, I kind of had that in mind because I knew this time would come and how desperately hard it would be especially for Daddie. So, every time he picks up his keys, he's going to see the tag you wore so proudly - Darwin, the missing piece of our family puzzle.

So we're still waiting to collect your ashes. It was so hard to leave you there last Wednesday although it's a lovely place. If you were watching from wherever you are, you might have seen that Daddie, Humphrey and I spent some time walking in the grounds, looking at the other graves and memorials. If it hadn't been raining, it would have been beautiful. And did you see Humphrey's reaction when we came nose to beak with that emu? Oh. My. Goodness. He was so perplexed by it: a huge feathery dog with two legs! I actually smiled for the first time! We went into the town afterwards and got a cup of coffee as, for the first time in sooooo many years, there was no reason to rush home. The house is empty without you, my love. I don't know how you did it but honestly your little 30lb self filled this house and made it our home.

There are flowers all over the dining room table - folks who love you and miss you. I'm not sure you'd like them though - the smell might get up your beagley nose!

Today's hard. Tomorrow might be easier. Remember that I love you and I'll remember that you love me too. And Daddie and Humphrey. And that never dies, does it my darling boy?