Yesterday was one of the hardest of my life. Saying goodbye to you. Taking you to that clinic knowing we would be leaving without you and never have you with us again. Your eyes watching me, trusting me, loving me. I hope I didn’t let you down.
The house is too quiet today. For such a little fellow, you filled my life. You were with us for only eight years, a short but bright life.
I remember driving to pick you up. I was excited and as so often happens, you chose us. You came with us without looking back and I don’t remember an occasion over the past eight years when you showed any fear.
You confidently looked out on the world and you took me by storm.
From the beginning you stubbornly taught me that you would not tolerate closed doors. We compromised. You slept outside our bedroom door. You were happy. From that moment on you taught me to understand what you wanted and what you didn’t want. It didn’t mean you always got it, but you certainly tried!
You entertained us and brought life into our home.
2 years after having you we brought Zena into our family and you lovingly accepted her. You became her playmate, her parent, her protector and without any trace of jealousy you let her sleep in your bed and play with your toys.
You had such a big heart.
But your big heart was not enough to keep you going with all the health trials we have been through with you.
You bravely dealt with kneecaps that slipped out, shoulders that were sore and regular ear infections. For seven years these issues were painful for you at times, but the times in between were pain free and good.
Recently though, the pain has been a constant with you. We saw it in your eyes. The distress of constant itching, ear infections, the discomfort of arthritis. We saw it and did our best to help.
We tried special food, shampoos, medicines. We saw you struggle and it broke our hearts to see our brave boy dealing with all of this. You had such a gentle nature and you deserved a stronger body.
I thought we were coping, not winning, but coping.
When I woke today you greeted me and brought me Big Dog, I didn’t know it would be for the last time and how I ache this morning as I get up and you’re not there to greet me.
We took our walk and we had a good time, though you couldn’t do the full walk any more. Again, I had no idea it would be the last walk we took together.
I washed the sores around your face and we spent lunch together, you cuddling up on my lap as usual.
It was then that I noticed that your ear was worse and you had scratched it until it was bleeding. I called the vet and made an appointment.
By itself it was treatable. Taken with everything else it was an indication that your body was breaking down. How much could we put you through? How much pain, suffering, medications and procedures could we expect you to have?
If by a surgical procedure we could have made you better, we would have. I knew walking into that surgery that I would face the same question from the vet that he had asked me the last time I saw him. How was your quality of life? This time as I looked into your beautiful brown trusting eyes I couldn’t say it was good. It was deteriorating.
Suddenly the decision was made and everything happened so fast. You came home for a big dinner and a lot of spoiling and to give us a chance to say goodbye.
Even now I find it difficult to grasp. You are no longer here. The house is quiet. I can put the television on without you rushing to the screen.
If I could bring you back I would, but I would want you back healthy and fit.
As I walked from that clinic I wanted to rush back and take the decision back, to have you with me again. If we could turn back time, I would go back eight years my little pal.
But I can’t. We only had a short time together but you were so special to me. A furry soul mate.
I want you to know my friend that you have been a great companion. You could not have been better.
You have been a great pal.
You have been my partner in this blog and great company throughout your years with our family.
When I struggled with my health you would curl up beside me, undemanding and giving.
We will always remember your quirky ways.
We will always remember the way you howled if you felt you were being ignored.
We will remember the way you loved television and I will feel a pain when your favourite shows come on. Who will keep the bad guys away now?
We will remember the way you hated getting your paws wet and always insisted on walking on paths, even in the garden.
We will remember the way you always sat on your mat with that expectant look on your face whenever it was time for a treat.
We will remember the way you enjoyed your occasional sausage treat and the way you loved going into the village and I’m sorry that we didn’t take you more. I had hoped to take you when the better weather came but it was not to be.
Through this last night Zena, The Princess, who you looked after so well has been crying. Her crying turned to howls early this morning and as I got up comforting her I found the tears coming again. It hurts not to have you here. We all miss you
My precious boy, I will miss you for always. We have a Zac-shaped hole in our lives and it will always be there.
For those of you who have followed this blog I thank you for your encouragement and support.
This blog was truly inspired by Zac and his sometimes solemn ways.
He had a way of looking at me and the things around him which such a deep and thoughtful expression and I used to wonder what he was thinking, hence this blog.
This will be my last blog. In memory of my wonderful pal.
I have had other dogs but none as special to me as Zac.
Don’t look back my little Pal, look forward to the next adventure and know that if possible we will be with you again one day.
From the one who is proud to have been loved by Zac The All Black – a very wise and gentle Tibbie.
This month is certainly the month for awards and I thank my friends Mollie & Alfie for the latest one. If you don’t know Mollie or Alfie they I recommend you take a trip over to their blog and have a good laugh.
So seven things about myself:
1. I tend to walk on paths and will only go on the grass for the ‘necessities’ of life. When out with Beloved I like to walk on the road but for some reason she won’t let me do this.
2. I am told I can be stubborn. This is based on Beloved’s judgement and although she is usually almost as wise and I am and I know her to be truthful I think she has come to this conclusion because I do not answer to the command ‘Come’ and sometimes at the reserve I will choose not to walk any further and will demand that we leave at a certain gate. Does this make me stubborn?
3. I am a pushover for puppies. It is rather embarrassing but I find myself getting very sloppy and protective over the pups in the park. They are just SO cute!
4. Babies in pushchairs are one of my favourite things too. Have you ever tasted them? I recommend them, all sorts of goodies on their hands and faces. Sometimes their Mums and Dads aren’t too cool about it but mostly I do it so gently they hardly notice.
5. Whilst I ignore the command ‘Come’ (which I think is rather rude and peremptory), I find I cannot disobey the command ‘Sit & Stay’. I can be enjoying a wonderful time somewhere having no intention of leaving that spot and ignoring all the ‘Comes’ from Beloved and her beloved but just one sit and I am, despite myself, bottom on the ground and waiting to be led away. It is an odd weakness in me which I think I must have inherited through my twisted bloodline.
6. I live close to a village and my new resolution is to force Beloved to take me out for coffee at the local shops more often. I love people watching.
7. I am a telly-addict. You probably do know this about me if you have read my posts, but every evening I keep my eye on the ‘box’. I like lying upside down and watching it with my head back or sitting on Beloved’s lap watching. I used to have my own chair when we lived in the big house, but now I have to share a chair with Beloved. It has pros and cons.
Now comes the hard part. I have to nominate seven blogs to receive this award but I suspect all the blogs I know already have it!! So I will nominate seven and if you have it already, wonderful and if you don’t – even more wonderful 🙂
3. Pup Felicity
Okay, okay, I do know that’s eight and not seven, but I couldn’t leave out my favourite white Maremma’s and Clowie, you probably have this award already but I think you’re beautiful so you can have it again.
To everyone out there who follows me a huge thanks and if you haven’t this award and I missed you out, I’m sorry. If you have this award and I included you, enjoy being appreciated 🙂
A little while ago I talked about Beloved having a birthday and the family getting together. It was great.
Now, Ajay, number two son is preparing to return to Indonesia and our family is scattered again. Being a Tibbie who likes his pack all together in one room this is sad to me.
I thought though that I would take the opportunity to introduce you to my extended family in France.
Ooh! La La!
And yes, I shall also pepper this introduction with the odd French word and be very pretentious.
Most of you have never heard about my French cousins. To be honest, I have never met my French cousins. And to be even more honest they are English cousins who have moved to France to live. Being a very truthful Tibbie I would not like to mislead you.
These are two West Highland White Terriers, a brother and sister who in the photographs look very alike to me. They are true Terriers and they are most certainly very white. Their names are Boodle and Dunthorne.
For those of you who do not know, and I have to confess to having been ignorant of this myself, Boodle & Dunthorne is a jewellery store in the United Kingdom. I gather it is quite a famous one and has been in existence since 1798, which, when you think about it is only ten years after Europeans migrants arrived here in Australia.
Their Beloved is Shelfie. Shelfie isn’t French either, her mother is German, her father was English and like Beloved she has lived all over the place. People have no sense of territory any more, it is very disturbing not to mention confusing.
Beloved’s beloved and Tony, Shelfie’s husband were brothers.
Tony was a brave man who was diagnosed with a horrible disease called Parkinson’s when he was quite young. Despite that, a few years ago he came over to visit us in Australia from England where they were then living and we had a fine old time.
I have to admit that we were sometimes very naughty with Tony. My joints were not quite so bad then and I could still run quite briskly, certainly enough to evade Beloved and her beloved!
Tony was warned not to open the front door because I had a tendency to run out and escape but one day he forgot and I seized the moment and led The Princess out on an adventure.
Beloved’s beloved drove home to see Tony on his motorised invalid scooter driving around the street trying to catch The Princess and I who were having a fine old game!
We were soon caught and went home but we’d had a lot of fun. Good old Tony! I hope he enjoyed it too.
He rather fell in love with Australia and if he hadn’t had Parkinson’s I think he might have quite enjoyed returning for a longer holiday, but instead when he went back to the United Kingdom he and Shelfie and my two English cousins went to live in France and Voila! now they are my French cousins because it has more of a ‘cachet’ to it!
Then Tony got sicker and sicker and life became too hard and miserable for him. When he died we were very sad about it. We have great memories of him and his braveness and when I think my arthritis is painful and sore I think of Tony and realise how brave he was not to complain and I try not to complain either.
Shelfie, Boodle and Dunthorne remain in France and seem to be having many exciting adventures driving to England and staying with friends.
But being a Tibbie of great wisdom I know that they must be very sad and still miss Tony a great deal.
I know that in the last few years Shelfie had to look after Tony which was hard for her, but she was willing to do it because she loved him. It makes me grateful that I have Beloved who loves me and who will look after me when I am sick.
I know too that Tony loved Boodle and Dunthorne and that they gave him so much pleasure. When he couldn’t do very much he could watch them play and have fun in the garden and it would make him smile.
One day I hope that the clever people find a cure for things like Parkinson’s Disease so that families like Tony, Shelfie, Boodle and Dunthorne do not suffer through this horrible disease any more because as you know I am a Tibbie who likes to watch and one thing I have learnt from watching my French cousins and others in a similar situation is that everyone in the family is impacted through a serious illness.
I am sure that Boodle and Dunthorne still miss their Tony and would be happy to see him come through the door but Shelfie is keeping them busy and helping them through their grief.
As you can see from the photographs, life for them is pretty similar to life for us in OZ except that we have less flowers on our beds! I think I would get on well with Auntie Shelfie and I think I might be able to get a sausage treat out of her!
Although I have never met them I feel a certain ‘esprit de corps’ when I see their pictures and read about their trips. I think that they should start a blog too because I’m sure they would have a great deal to say.
I would love to know how they are getting on with their French. Have they made a ‘faux pas’ since living in a foreign country?
Is Boodle a ‘femme fatale’ locally? And do they eat ‘haute cuisine’ all the time?
I have a lot of questions for them and wish we could meet them but I know that the trip to Australia from France for a dog would be just too difficult for a holiday so I will make do with the photographs.
So with the ‘mise on scène’ set, I will leave you with these images of my french cousins pampered lifestyle and I will go and find my big soft cushion bed and have my morning nap because it will be lunch before you know it and I must have a rest in order to prepare for chewing.
Au revoir and bonne journee.
This week seems to be the week for awards 🙂
I am a lucky Tibbie and feel very validated this week. Thank you all.
My latest gift is the ‘Thinking of You’ award.
Isn’t that a nice one? Someone, somewhere is thinking of ME 🙂
It’s a very pretty award too. Beloved loves pansies and talks about their pretty faces, I kid you not! I acknowledge their prettiness but think I should perhaps begin a sausage award. If only you could have scratch and smell on the computer but perhaps that would be too cruel.
On Saturday’s when Beloved takes me to the reserve I can smell the sausage sizzle but can’t get to it. I know!! How bad is that? Every Saturday it’s the same.
What is worse, my pal Roxie has to walk through the village to get to the dog park and she stops at the sausage sizzle on the way home. She did it once and they gave her a sausage. Gave it to her! Her owner didn’t buy it. Now she stops every time she passes and gets one. She’s been walking that road for years and never realised she could get a sausage before – doh!
I’ve tried to pull Beloved in that direction but she will not go even though it won’t cost her a thing. Sometimes Beloved is a little slow to understand, I love her but…..
Anyway, I digress.
Many thanks to my friends at Texas, A Cat in New York for this award. I really appreciate their thoughts, especially as they have had a sad time losing a pal recently and we have been thinking of them.
The Thinking of You Award would like me to tell you about seven things that I love and I think about daily. Here goes:
I realise that there is a theme here but I felt I needed to be honest!
Now, to pass this award on to seven other bloggers who I am thinking about and who haven’t received it (to the best of my knowledge):
1. Wanderlust – this is Beloved’s son so I am often thinking about him.
2. Ash – Beloved’s other son who I am always thinking about.
3. Clowie’s Corner – Who I am often thinking about – all that blonde fur 🙂
4. Fostrickson – got to admire two dogs surviving with a cat called Odin.
5. Jasper’s Doggy World – Thinking of you in the rain today
6. Dakota’s Den – Dakota gets lots of cool things to test
7. Mollie & Alfie – they are running a great photo competition, I’m not trying to sway the judging, I don’t have a funny picture to send although Beloved hasn’t given up looking yet.
So those are my seven that I am thinking of today and hope you all have a good day.
Here, as in New Zealand with Jasper it is raining so no walk this morning. Having had breakfast all that is left to me is to nap.
Colour me starstruck!
Hugh Jackman was in the Pet Store where I get my nails cut…. I know!!! Hugh Jackman!! I wonder if he was having his nails cut too?
A real, live celebrity in my village and I was dozing in the sun. If he’d known he would have wanted to meet me I’m sure.
Beloved missed him by moments. Typical. If I’d known I would have given him an autographed picture of me because as you know I am a Tibbie who loves television and X-Men makes me growl at the bad guys.
Do you think he would have liked one with me and Big Dog?
This week has been a bit tough which is why I haven’t posted before now.
Little Brie settled in with us very well. For the first few days she needed all of her toys and her lead close to her, it was as if she felt she might be dragged away at any moment and she didn’t want to go too far away from the things that had begun to mean stability to her, her little teddy, her bed, her woollen coat and her pink lead.
After a couple of days she decided that Beloved could hang the lead up with ours. Then Beloved began to get a bit concerned. Was she going to be able to let this little dog go? Would she get too attached to her? It would be so easy just to keep her but would be that the best thing for Brie or us?
Negotiations began with an elderly lady who thought Brie would suit her. She wasn’t too sure though and when Beloved learnt that this lady was out a great deal and The Puffball would spend these days out in the garden she was concerned. The Puffball is a sociable little girl who has always had a furry pal to be with.
Beloved didn’t own The Puffball, we were only looking after her for C, the person who took the responsibility of re-homing her. When Beloved told C that this lady wanted to keep Brie outside a lot she too felt the home wouldn’t be right. The last thing anyone wanted was for another re-homing to go wrong.
So The Puffball stayed and settled even more and began to enjoy our routine.
The Princess and The Puffball (sounds like a fairy tail), enjoyed playing together. They had moments that Beloved called their ‘silly sessions’ where they ran around and around and then they had the rough and tumble playtimes when The Princess would lie down and The Puffball would nibble her ears and dart at her from corners of the room.
I know though that Beloved has been concerned about me and I wish I could help her.
I went to visit my favourite vet earlier in the week for a couple of vaccinations. He admitted that the last medication I was on had aged me and that I was intolerant to it. He hoped that if I lost a little weight the pain for my muscles and joints would ease.
I wasn’t so happy about hearing that and have been watching Beloved carefully to make sure she hasn’t cut my food down, but it appears that I will lose weight simply by not being on the medication any more so that is okay.
Maybe it was the stress of having The Puffball with us, you know an extra female to look out for, but I have just been so tired.
I have been willing to go out for my walk in the morning because it is after all routine, but beyond that I have just wanted a bed to sleep on. At night I have found it hard to jump onto Beloved’s lap. She has picked me up and then I’ve just slept all evening.
I think it’s called fatigue or something because I just can’t seem to shake the lethargy.
The Princess however has had a different problem develop this week, not a physical one.
The Puffball had been with us a few days and all of a sudden The Princess realised that she wasn’t the ‘baby’ any more. She wasn’t the smallest, the youngest or the newest member of the pack.
It was easy for me. I’m the boss. Okay, it was extra work having to follow them both around in the park and make sure they were behaving well and safe, but I know my place, just below Beloved and above the rest! It may be that this is why I’m so tired, the extra ‘autographs’ (as our pal Easy puts it) I had to correct by the girls.
Here was a crisis! The Princess has always been happy as the baby. She loves that role. She has never challenged me because she doesn’t want the responsibility. She likes being the carefree, careless one.
Beloved was very careful to keep treating The Princess as she always had. At night she cuddled Zena on the lap after I’d had my turn and The Puffball sat on Beloved’s beloved.
Nevetheless Zena felt different. She likes being the baby with me. She whines and wiggles and lies on her back until I give her whatever it is that she wants. It always works because I’m a big softie.
Now all of a sudden here is The Puffball using those same tactics on The Princess! Yep, karma again 🙂
She was shocked!
She began to see that it could be difficult if The Puffball were to move in. Where would she fit in? Would she continue to get the attention from Beloved that she is used to?
The simple answer is of course – No. Things were already different with The Puffball just staying with us. The pack dynamics changed and we would each have to accept our place. And the place for The Princess would change. She wouldn’t want The Puffball to be above her and so she would lose her baby status.
I watched closely but I have to say The Princess stepped up to the responsibility better than I had imagined. She didn’t become jealous and insecure. She was generous and gracious.
When it was obvious that Beloved, whilst loving The Puffball, wasn’t going to replace the nightly Princess tummy rubbing ritual, she welcomed The Puffball and shared all her toys without any problem. She played with her and slept alongside her. We ate in the same room and were very polite about waiting until each one had finished before checking out their dishes. We all went for a walk in the dog park together and travelled in the car.
We taught The Puffball how to make sure that Beloved opens the back windows for us (whine and whine), and we told her all about the great smells in the garden and where to find the best ones.
She showed us her trick of dancing on her back legs when she was excited or wanted something, but she couldn’t teach it to us. We are squarer, heavier Tibbies not light as a feather Bichon’s.
We were all settling down nicely and The Princess was becoming resigned to the loss of her baby status and then Beloved found a forever home for The Puffball.
She made up some leaflets to put around the village and within an hour they were seen by a family who had rescued a dog smaller than The Puffball about six months ago. They have been looking for a little pal to play with their dog for a while and because they also had small children it had to be a loving, safe little friend.
When they saw the brochure Beloved had pinned up they were so excited they went running to find out all the details.
They took her an hour ago.
She was a little anxious when she saw her things being put together but she hopped into that car with four year old Jack without a backward glance. Last seen licking one very happy little boy all over his (no doubt tasty) smiling face!
Will we miss her? Yes!
Does the house seem empty? Very!
Are we glad she’s gone? Absolutely!
She was gorgeous, loving and special and she has gone to a home where she will have company, stimulation and lots of arms to cuddle her. It is amazing that such a little white dog can make such an impression on a home that it can feel empty now she’s gone even though the only thing to have left it is her.
Perhaps it is early to celebrate but somehow this home feels just right and I like to think that The Puffball knew it too because she went off so happily without a hint of anxiety in those beautiful big brown eyes or any hesitation in her dancing steps.
Now I have to go back onto my bed and hope that this tiredness passes soon and The Princess can go back to being the baby of the house!
Bye bye Brie. You’re a Puffball in a million and we will remember you with a huge smile. May your future be full of cuddles and sticky faces to lick. Hmmmm, maybe you could invite us over to play?