Fifteen years ago my sister saw a small black puppy in a pet shop window, fell in love with him and after some checking of credentials, took him home to her house.

Over those years Max the Spoodle joined their family and our extended one – present for every third Christmas, for birthday parties in the gardens and holidays down the beach, racing along the sand as fast as his legs would carry him.

He was cared for by friends and neighbours . . . and me sometimes when my sister and her family traveled. He always knew they were off somewhere when the suitcases appeared at the top of the staircase. He sulked for days before they left.

At 15 Max has been slowing a little of late and today he left us . . . the best thing for him as the pain was too much, but it’s so hard for the rest of us. He brought us happiness and joy, even at those times when he tested his family, which now looking back, wasn’t too often.

As my sister said today, he has gone to join Purdey and Buster, but we will miss him for always.

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