Last night we lost Amber, our beloved Cocker Spaniel. The vet could do nothing to help her, so we had to say goodbye. She was 11 years old and she had been with us from the age of six weeks.
Amber's birding highlight was flushing a Golden Plover as we walked across the grassy expanse of Epsom Downs - she never did find a woodcock, much to her breeds disappointment.
She had a big part to play in the first Surrey record (for 25 years) of Field Gromwell. We were on Epsom Downs (one of her favourite walks) when she decided to take me off the usual route. I followed. We then came to a chalky field corner, which I thought looked interesting, and so it proved, with not just Venus's Looking-glass but the aforementioned Gromwells. Had it not been on her insistence, then the chances are that they would have remained undiscovered.
People that are not pet owners will most probably not understand that the loss of a close pet is shattering. We are all at loss here at the moment. The picture above is of Amber in the sea at Charmouth. She loved water. We loved her.