The latest instalment of our weekly series on dog-rescue charity SHAK.
As I write this, I am sitting on a shelf of rock above a small pond high up in the Simonside hills.
I have brought one of the SHAK dogs that I foster, Bruce, with me for company and for something a little more special and momentous.
Tied to a tree in wasteland in Blyth around four years ago, I fell in love with him the moment I was called out to collect him as a stray.
He is my kind of dog, perfect in every way.
Bruce has recently had his spleen removed due to a huge tumour.
Biopsy results have come back to confirm my worst fears, the tumour was a very aggressive form of cancer that will have spread through his blood vessels.
We don’t have very long left to share the wonders of the world and I intend to make sure he enjoys every single minute.
As we sit and look over miles and miles of heather and hills, we are the only ones here. We’ve passed no one and can see no one. All we have encountered are a couple of game birds who squawk in disgust that we have invaded their playground before flying off, still chuntering to themselves.
An aeroplane from World War Two flies overhead, noisy and invasive. The pilot obviously taking in the fantastic view from above, then he is gone, disappeared into the horizon forever, leaving us behind.
Down here it could be right now in 2019 or it could be the 1940s. The pilot wouldn’t know, neither would I.
Nothing here could give the era away, it is just one big expanse. Time means nothing.
Complete tranquillity and totally engrossed by nothing but nature, sitting here I feel very small.
The rock shades us from the April wind and gives us the effect of summer. It is perfect here, right at this moment.
Bruce is struggling to keep his eyes open. The warmth of the sun and the steep climb to paradise has taken him by surprise a little, but also has given him a zest for life. He is so happy.
The sun reflecting off his beautiful black and tan coat, his eyes are sparkling with contentment and fulfilment.
One man and his dog, exploring and conquering, in a dog’s eyes nothing could be better.
He takes a small drink from rainwater in a rock pool, then lies down right next to me, snuggling in. I wish we could stay here forever.
Life is indeed so cruel, but he is being so strong and brave. His fight to survive and live has taken over and, I guess the fact he doesn’t know what is happening inside him helps.
He is an inspiration and a hero, my hero. I need to try and be as brave as him.