My biggest baby’s tears rolled down my arm as she sobbed silently, chest heaving. We rocked together, heads on each other’s shoulders. We rocked and talked and cried.

She found Snowy’s star – in Lion King the kings and queens become the stars in the sky when they die. Snowy was certainly a Queen. Regal with her black lipstick and eyeliner, proud and tall, overseeing her kingdom.

We touched her soft, white, fluffy fur and said goodbye again.

Thankful that we’d had Snowy with us for so long. She was lucky to have us too. We’d saved her by taking her home with us from the Animal Welfare League. Nobody wanted her because she was “old” – 10 years old and still full of energy. We’d had no intention of getting a dog – but how could we not? We fell in love with her right away. Well trained, polite, a bit quirky. Old enough not to be crazy, young enough to play. She didn’t demand endless attention, dribble all over us or want food all day. In fact, she was fussy with her eating.

She was a little aloof. No barking. Rarely howling. Our white wolf.

She and I walked over headlands together, through the bush, to the waterfall, around the streets or to the beach – wherever we fancied on the day. She often led the way. She’d sniff endlessly, marking her spots as we went. We were a familiar sight in the area, my white wolf and I. As we wandered, people would often stop us, saying that she looked like a polar bear as they reached to pat her, then exclaim how soft her fur was.

When I gave massages, she used to come and lie under the cabin where I work, sharing the energy, sharing her energy. Clients always felt quite honoured when she’d appear for them – a rare event.

The kids walked her in the afternoons. Shay walked her on his days home. Recently, she was slower and slower, her legs giving way and her eyes dimming with age. She could still smell raw meat or fish though and would appear by my side, silently waiting for a little bit on the side. She could still hear when her lead was picked up, ready to go for a walk. She was eager, her legs were not.

My son will miss her sleeping in his room, keeping him company in his dreams. Daughter 2 will miss endlessly plucking tufts of that wonderful, soft, fluffy rug of fur. Number 1 will miss pouring out her day’s musings into Snowy’s endlessly patient ears. Shay will miss talking to her and tickling her at the end of the day, before he goes to bed. He’ll miss walking her.

I miss having her near me as I sit at my computer, as I chop food in the kitchen, passing her carrots as I go.

No one to eat the leftovers.

No one to greet us at the door when we get home, excited to see us every time.

No one to howl like a wolf during thunderstorms and fireworks.

We miss her.

She has left a giant Snowy-sized hole in our family and our lives.

Our perfect dog.

Thank you Snowy. We love you.

Run free.