1979 Canberra: Domino was born and eight weeks later we were together.

The years of happiness, fun, comfort and fulfilment passed for her and for me. The breeder later described her as “a one man dog”. She slept at my feet in my bed – unknown to my friends.

The time came when I had to leave Canberra and move into an apartment in a brand new strata building in the Eastern Suburbs, Sydney. Upon enquiries about moving into the apartment with an animal I was promptly informed with an emphatic “NO”.

I was devastated. I did not have the sense to carry out my enquires further - had I done so, being a new building, the body corporate may have considered my proposal, consequently the end to my story would be totally different.

Now my dilemma was – what was I to do with Domino – what will happen to her. I asked the breeder’s advice and to my horror I was positively told it was my duty to put her down: otherwise she would die of a broken heart.

I leased my house to a family with children who immediately fell in love with Domino. They would keep her. My prayers were answered.

To be certain Domino was fed and cared for in the way she was accustomed I opened a monthly account with the local food shop, the butcher and with her Vet, Phillip.

Every other week I flew to Canberra for business and each time I took the taxi from the airport I had the driver cruise around and around the house, longing to catch a glimpse of Domino: only twice did I see her: consequently, copious tears.

What I should have done (again, the breeder disagreed with me) was to pick her up and keep her in my office and in my suite in the animal friendly hotel in which I was staying.

Time passed. One day in 1989, two years after I left Canberra, Phillip the vet rang and said if I wanted to see Domino again I should fly to Canberra immediately.

This I did, to find her in a large cage with several tubes in her thin little body. When she saw me she tried to wave her tail.

Phillip did not know what was ailing her. She had not eaten for several days. I was handed a packet of pate which she ate out of my hand. In the next cage was a small dog who demanded my attention: as I pressed my fingers into his cage to say “hello”, Domino, in a rage of jealousy dragged herself up with a vicious snarl and growl – she was saying “she is mine”. That night Domino died.

I know what the vet did not know: Domino died of a broken heart, as the breeder had predicted.
25 years later I have a heart that breaks a little each time I think of her: and that is every day.

I am wiser now. If I had my time over again, and know what I know now, I would have bought in a pet friendly building.