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.
Beloved and I are having the talk.
Not the talk about sex which you people have
The talk about life…… And death.
You see things are getting pretty hard for me at the moment
I have arthritis and the pills help with some of the pain but not all
I can cope with pain
I still enjoy my walk in the morning. Beloved goes very slowly and although I am limping by the time I get back to the house the vet has said it is good for me to exercise.
The Prednisone caused my muscles to waste and that didn’t help. All of a sudden from being a stiff Tibbie with a little arthritis I have gone to a Tibbie with a great deal of arthritis and overweight. Although the weight is coming off.
It is the itching that is the problem.
It seems to have got worse.
I cannot stop scratching, licking and biting.
It has never been this bad.
Beloved had to try my medication on every other day because of a growth on my gums but then the itch took over and now my paws are bleeding and I have sores on my tummy and around my mouth.
So we are having the talk.
She loves me.
She doesn’t want me to suffer.
I love her.
I am happy walking a little bit.
I am happy having my cuddles, although sometimes the itch even makes those uncomfortable.
I am happy with my meals and my treats.
But the itch is making me miserable and the pain and infections are increasing.
Beloved is looking into my eyes and we are trying to work it out.
I know she will be sad when the time comes. I will be sad, but I will also look back on a life of sausages and treats, cuddles and love and I will be at peace.
I wish I could talk out loud and share how I’m feeling, but all I can do is look back into her eyes and together we’ll work it out.
Today the sores are around my mouth and my ear infection has started up again
We have to talk.
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.
As you know I am a laid-back Aussie Tibbie. I am tolerant of others, I accept the differences of those around me and I do my best to be polite and kind where I can.
I don’t throw my weight around and I don’t keep having to prove I’m top dog with The Princess. The only time we’ve had words is over my dinner plate, that is not for sharing! She knows this and only does it occasionally to check I’ll still grumble at her.
Beloved is pretty easy going too I think. But recently something occurred which got us both mad. As a result this is a longer post than usual, but it also has lots of pictures.
You may remember the VIP. The Very Important Puffball. Let me fill you in a little just in case you didn’t know.
Once upon a time there was a Very Tiny Puffball. She was a Bichon Frise. A French breed of dog, fluffy, white and known to be gentle and loving.
This little puppy Puffball found a loving home with two elderly people one of whom was a vet. They already had an older puffball so she moved in with this family and was loved by all. She had her fluffy pal and two doting people. At night she slept on the bed with her family and her little world was safe and secure. She was happy.
For five years this life continued then tragedy struck the little home. The wife died. Puffball was sad and knew too that her remaining person was sad but life went on pretty much the same for her and her pal for a few months.
Then her person met an old friend he hadn’t seen for a while. She was alone too and pretty soon she moved in with him. This could have been the happy ending that all stories should have but sadly it was the beginning of great unhappiness and confusion for our puffball, called Brie. This was when it all began to go horribly wrong.
The new lady friend did not like dogs and Brie and her pal found themselves not only shut out of the bedroom but shut out of the house and kept in the garage. Her old person was sad because he loved them but instead of telling the lady to go he began looking for another home for his two puffballs one of whom needed special care because of eye problems.
Brie and her pal used to be groomed in the village and the owner of this shop was concerned about what might happen to these two loving little dogs and agreed to put up a notice and help to re-home them.
This is when Brie, the Very Important Puffball came to our notice. Not because of Beloved, she is more than happy with The Princess and I and is not looking to add to the pack. No, she came to our attention because of Beloved’s parents who decided she sounded like the perfect pal for Prissy Paws, their Shih-Tzu. Huh!
We wrote about that incident. About how Prissy Paws ignored her and made out he was miserable and then Beloved’s mother became Ill and they decided that although Brie, renamed Mimi, was a lovely dog it wasn’t fair to her to keep her, that she would be happier elsewhere. They were very wrong.
The first we heard of the decision was when Beloved phoned them one afternoon and heard that the VIP had gone to another elderly couple who had wanted her when they saw her advertised. Beloved wasn’t pleased about it. The Princess and I were sad too, but we hoped Mimi (alias Brie) would be happy.
Meanwhile the Puffball’s little pal had found a forever home with a vet who was able to deal with her health issues so she had fallen paws up or should that be down? Anyway, she had a good home.
For two days nothing happened. We heard reports that the Puffball was a very loving dog but a bit spoilt. Well, I guess that was true though not through her own fault.
Several days later we heard that the elderly couple who had taken her did not want her after all and all our fears were realized. She was too much trouble. She wanted to be with them all the time, she wanted to come inside the house when they were in as she was used to and not live in the garden. What a nuisance!
We discovered that she had been passed on temporarily to another family who would not allow her in the house but kept her outside and punished her regularly for whining and wanting to be with the family inside the house. They were going to take her to the local pound today if no other home was forthcoming. Beloved wanted to take her then but before she had a chance to step in another home was found.
We were furious but what could we do? Beloved spoke to the lady at the shop who with the best of intentions had tried to find a loving home for the Puffball and she was also angry and upset.
Then we heard more about the new home that had been arranged and we became concerned. This was a home with two children which could be lovely for Puffball. But it was a home who had never had a dog before and the family were out all day. They were instructed by the people who then had her that the dog just needed a kennel and would stay outside all the time.
Poor Brie. From being an inside, doted on pet she was suddenly shoved outdoors and left alone in a frightening world. Beloved thought of The Princess and knew how she and I would feel if this was happening to us and she was upset.
Then owner of the grooming shop stepped in. She met the new family and told them that the Puffball had to be an inside dog, but she couldn’t stop her going to them at that time, she didn’t have the authority. Later that day she spoke to the former owner and got ownership of the Puffball transferred to her so she could step in and make sure she was being looked after.
Poor little Puffball had had five different homes in a matter of a few weeks and again we were cross but hoped that perhaps the family would love her and the children would be loving towards her.
Within 24 hours the family called the lady at the shop to say that they had taken her to a vet and the vet had found a lump in her mouth which he thought could be cancer. They would not keep ‘The Dog’. We were a little surprised about the lump because she had already been checked by a vet and given the all-clear, but in part we were also relieved that the family had called and were going to return her. She wasn’t going to be passed on somewhere else. When the owner of the shop called Beloved she said at once that we would take her, not forever because I know I am a little high maintenance with my health issues, but until the lump is checked out and until we are certain that the right home is found.
Apparently there is an elderly lady who is at home all day and who expressed an interest in having Brie (Mimi didn’t bring her much luck so Beloved has reverted to calling her Brie again). This might be the perfect home, but the lump needs to be checked out first or Brie could be facing another tragedy.
When Beloved picked her up yesterday she felt very sad. The confident happy little dog of a few weeks ago had been replaced by an anxious Puffball with confusion and fear looking out of her big brown eyes. From being a doted on pet who once slept on the bed she had become an unwanted nuisance who someone felt it appropriate to train by literally picking her up and throwing her physically into an outside kennel until she obeyed them and stayed there. What is worse they actually spoke about it as if this was an appropriate way to train wayward dogs.
Fortunately the Puffball remembered us. Within minutes she was playing with The Princess and licking my nose.
Beloved and her beloved are giving her lots of love and with AJ still here at the moment we have three laps to go around.
She is still a little frightened. Last evening she was too afraid to get off her bed and for some reason wanted her lead next to her so Beloved took it down from the hook and let her sleep with it along with the rest of her toys and her little jacket.
We don’t sleep on the bed with Beloved, The Princess snores. But we sleep close by. Brie whined a little when we went to bed but she was reassured by our presence.
This morning we have all been out to the dog park and you can tell that The Puffball hasn’t done too much, if any, walking on the lead. She is worse than The Princess. And when we got to the park she kept getting stuck in the corners where the most smells were, she had never been to such a rich place before.
It was a bit cold and windy so we couldn’t spend too long there but Beloved told her beloved that for Brie it was the equivalent of him going into an art gallery stuffed with Impressionist paintings and we should give her time to sniff and savor.
When we came home we all had a run and a play and then we went into the bedroom to make sure AJ was awake – he was when we’d finished saying hello!
She still has a way to go. She whines when Beloved, her beloved or AJ goes out. We have told her that AJ doesn’t live here all the time but she is falling for him.
Beloved is going to talk to the lady in the shop on Monday and they will decided what to do about the spot in her mouth and what to do about the new home. One things for sure, Beloved and her Beloved won’t let her leave here unless they are confident that she will be loved as she deserves. Which might mean she stays a long time! I don’t mind except that looking after both Brie and The Princess in the park is rather a lot for my aching muscles. I was having to go between the two of them this morning and it got quite tiring!
So what went wrong? Why did a loving, happy little Puffball have to go through all of this?
Perhaps I’m being a little unfair to her elderly owner here because circumstances did change for him but pets are never to be undertaken lightly, they are or should be a lifetime commitment. They are not to be ‘got rid of’ when it becomes inconvenient.
A moments thought would have made it obvious that a Puffball who had been as sheltered and pampered as Brie should only have been passed on to a special home and not separated from her lifelong pal who was her security.
Sometimes circumstances arise which are beyond our control, an owner dies or becomes unable to care for their pet but these should be exceptional circumstances. You only need to see the lists of pets looking to be re-homed in newspapers to know that sometimes it is just that people haven’t understood the responsibility of being a pet owner.
Brie’s original owner never asked for any financial commitment from her new owners. Sadly, giving a dog away free is not always in the interest of the pet. If someone’s has to pay something they are less likely to act on a whim and more likely to value that pet.
We hope in the future to bring happier news about The Puffball. We hope she doesn’t have cancer and we hope that if she does go to a new home it will be a home where the new owner understands that Brie is a loving little dog with special needs of her own. The need to be loved, to be with her owner most of the time and to be made to feel safe again.
Now, having shared my indignation with you and caught you up on this sad story, I am going to find a spot near The Puffball and The Princess and keep an eye on my ladies whilst I have my morning nap.