"Get another dog? I don't think so, however much I love dogs. He was a very special dog, and I still feel his presence around me", says Roger, as he stands by the grave of collie Charlie, his much-loved, faithful friend.
"I clearly remember the first day Charlie joined our family. The great adventure of travelling from the shelter to our home was so exciting for the pup that he went straight to sleep on the sofa. And we just sat gazing at him, marvelling at how lovely he was..." recalls Roger.
"Charlie was a very affectionate dog, but he was also an excellent guard dog. We were his herd, and he followed us wherever we went." As he got older, Charlie developed arthritis. "He still wanted to protect us, but he couldn't do it any more. He also had trouble sleeping at night. That's why we decided to get him a memory foam mattress. The mattress moulded itself perfectly to his body shape each night."
"Cancer. It was quite a bombshell. I found it hard to accept. I felt angry. I was looking for help and I came across Rainbowbridge, an organisation dedicated to providing meaningful funeral ceremonies for pets, and Stijn Van Den Bossche, who makes special coffins for pets. We discussed what kind of wood I wanted and which finish, as well as the options for a headstone. Charlie is buried here in the animal cemetery in Aarschot. I visit regularly so that I can feel close to him.