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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Random thoughts

Disjointed.  Stream of consciousness.  Rambling.  
Writing is very cathartic, so I'm doing this just for me.  Same with sorting old photos.

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The house is  So. Damn. Quiet.  And there's no bed in front of the fire.  There is so much empty space.



I don't know what to do with myself.  I have so much time on my hands.

Caring for any beloved pet takes far more than putting down fresh food and water and going for a walk.  Only now Daisy is gone am I consciously aware of hundreds of thoughts which flashed through my head all day, every day:
  • where is she, is she OK, does she need to go out, the water bowl needs changing, is she cold, it's warm shall I take her coat off, did she eat those biscuits, pick that ball up, straighten that blankie, put that coat in the wash, wipe that mark off the glass, and dozens more; 
  • how many times a day did I stop to scratch in the soft hollow just at the bottom of her ear that she loved so much;  
  • plus the multiple micro-conversations:  hello poppet, beautiful girl, you OK?, what ya lookin' at, want to go out?, and on and on and on.  
A continuous mental dialogue, I have heard it described as "emotional care", looking after a child must be the same.  The endless mental check-list of what you've done, what you might need to do, what you notice.  I guess it is called love.

But it takes time, uses bandwidth,  and now it is gone.  It will be a while before I work out how to fill the void.



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Numb.  Shock.  Detachment.  I'm stuck in that early part of the grief process.  M. is doing better than me.  He has managed some tears thank goodness, because he's a bugger for bottling up his feelings and it's not healthy.  It is good he is going through the Anger bit.

He is very angry that a gentle soul who did nothing but bring love has gone.  He is angry because, slowing down and old age aside, Daisy was ridiculously healthy - her bloods last week were perfect and the heart murmur was still a barely detectable Grade 1.   He is angry because she had very good quality of life and should have enjoyed another year or two in front of the woodburner.  And he is quite right.

nicked the image from Pinterest, then tweaked it a bit:



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There is barely a room in the house that does not show a sign of the third person who lived here.  I have to move things, put it all away.  For some people, keeping stuff around is a comfort.  For me it just drives an ice-pick into my heart reminding me that Daisy is no longer here to snuggle in that fleece, chase that tennis ball, ask for her favourite coat to be put on (we knew when it was chilly and she wanted a little homemade 'house coat' - she would go to the basket where they were kept and nuzzle around in it until we noticed;  Damn, she was clever).





Little things hurt more than expected.  Like having her outdoor coat over the radiator in the boot-room so it was warm when we put it on.  And watching her eagerly put her head into the coat and positively luxuriate in the feel of it.  Then seeing the radiator bare.  I shall have to do something about that, for now it has a bit of quilt on it.



Then there is all the stuff which you don't "see", because it was always there, including but not limited to:  the bag of cotton wool balls next to the boot room sink for gently removing the "eye jelly" she was prone to, the rugs and runners EVERYWHERE so she would not slip on wood or vinyl floor, the whistle on a hook by the kitchen door - if I wasn't sure where in the garden Daisy had wandered off to, three quick 'peeps' would always bring her back, because she knew there was always a biscuit reward. Finding biscuits in the right-hand pocket of every feckin' jacket I own. And poo bags in the left-hand pocket.

Small, stupid things, but they are everything.

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Daisy is home.  Monday afternoon we took her to Paws to Rest.  On Tuesday M. drove back there, bless him, and brought her home.  Same bluebell scatter tube as Ollie.  It took me nearly four years to rest his ashes in the garden.  It took another year to realise I deeply regretted doing so.  Plans change, people change, but Daisy is staying with me.





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Friends:   Deliberately and by choice M. and I live a quiet little life here.  We don't see many folk and made a point not to tell any neighbours about Daisy.  Until last night; I sent an email to the other dog owners in our little hamlet, word will spread.  But we did not go through the last terrible five days alone.  The support I have had through the blog has taken my breath away and held me up when otherwise I would have stumbled and fallen.  I wanted to try to reply personally to everyone, but I realise that is just putting too much pressure on myself, I have to be sensible.  If I don't get back to you please forgive me, I am not being rude, I'm just trying to survive.

I had already said just how much comfort it was to receive a little note when Ollie died.  It has been even more so this time round, thank you all.  Whether a finely crafted private message with exceptional words, or just a {{hug  ❤️}} or something in between, it has all made a difference.

Although it is sad that so many people don't say anything.  I care very little about how many page views I get, Bag End is not that sort of blog.  Except that the posts this last week have had more views than almost anything else I have written in the last ten years.  So why didn't the rest of you bother to say 'sorry to read about Daisy'.  Am I unapproachable?  Were you just rubber-necking?  Were you thinking "thank crunchy it's happening to her and not me?"  I have always tried to say something, sometimes, on every blog I read.  Am I odd?  Is it me, or is it everyone else?  {weak smile}.













52 comments:

  1. The emptiness is one of the hardest things to bear, space where belongings once were, beds, bowls, toys, and the quietness too. That might sound odd, dogs don't talk, well, not in human language, but they certainly make their presence felt. Writing things down is good, I journal and it really helps get things out there, things which you wouldn't necessarily say to anyone but there can be thoughts going round and round in your head which need a way to get out. I've given up trying to fathom other people out, who knows why they don't comment, especially when they read about someone's anguish and sorrow. They do say that it's times like these when you find out who your friends are, and I think that's very true. The photos are lovely, Daisy had the most wonderful playground.

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    1. Jo, that is twice today you have taken my breath away with such lovely words. Thank you so much. xx

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  2. Hello Jayne,
    I was a newbie to your lovely blog when I read recently about Daisy's back story (your first meeting at the rescue) - I've since been reading from the very beginning. What great lives your 2 dogs had with you - and the various photos show how happy they were. I really feel your loss. It's an awful, overwhelming time (been there myself). I hope that your writing brings you at least a bit of comfort. I have to admit that I have also shed a few tears these last few days - as I'm sure lots of others have who have read about Daisy.

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    1. Hello Mrs. I don't know who you are, but I do know you are kind and thoughtful. And I thank you for that. x

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  3. Dear Jayne
    I am a new follower and was so moved by your post yesterday. Although I am a cat person, losing any member of the family is such a shock, even if it is done for all the right reasons.
    I kept waiting for our much beloved cat to push the door open and found it so difficult to remember that she wouldn't be doing that any more. The dreadful pain you have now will gradually subside and you will eventually be able to remember all the good things and smile.
    Your Daisy was so loved and I am sure she knew that. You gave her the best life she could have had.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Hi Ellie, thank you so much. I understand what you said - waiting to hear the cat flap 'click' or the door swing open. . .

      Daisy would suddenly stick her head into my study; there is no door, just an opening, and I'd see this head and big ears peep round to check where I was. It's the one thing I don't have a photo of, damn.

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  4. I have never commented on a blog before.my thoughts have been with u these last few days.so sorry for your loss.daisy was so lucky to have u,and you her.it is never long enough.love to u both.xxx

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  5. I think so many of us don't comment on posts like this because it feels like butting in on such painful private grief and we don't want to cause more pain by making you keep popping back and revisiting what you have written. But as comments are bringing you comfort not pain please know that here in this corner you have much respect for the way you have handled such an awful time. I hope the small things you find around the house eventually bring you a smile rather than tears, and that the pain moves to a manageable ache for you both. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Tanya, I agree totally with what you say. Your comment about how we have handled this is very touching and much appreciated. Thank you.

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  6. They leave a hole - as you know. Small reminders poke that hole - and it hurts. You are human and you love - loved - her with such a wonderful strength that you feel bereft - I know that ache - and I am aching with you - all I can gently suggest is to celebrate and remember those amazing 6 years - how you filled her heart as much as she filled yours. Keep writing - it certainly helps, triggers amazing memories, those silly things she did that made you smile, those 3am visits to the garden, walks and silly dog games - wear those memories as the most precious badges and keep referring back to them for as long as you need to - sending love and hugs and ❤️ xx

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    1. Thanks Kate, as always you are bloody wonderful. xx
      Look forward to seeing you soon.

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  7. What an honest post, and so very true, I am a cat person and it's the same when a loved pet is gone, I cried when I found a tiny fur pile in a corner of the sunny rug. Still talk to Daisy, she is listening and wants to help you remember her with a smile, not tears.

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    1. Thanks Marlene, of course I keep talking to Daisy. It's just a bugger that she is no longer answering back ☹️

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  8. One day, a few month ago, I stumbled across your blog and thought "oh, pretty pics and nice people with such a lovely dog" so I kept coming back to see more. To be honest, I never really thought about writing a comment ... many blog writers seem to ignore their "viewing public" so I just played my role as a voyeur and kept returning (silently.) Your love for sweet Daisy was always so evident though that it formed the core of whatever you wrote about. The words you have written about your Darling Girl are beautiful and address the way caring people address love and loss. You kept all your promises to her ... you gave her happiness ... and she will live on in your heart forever. Working through all these "after issues" will be a process- I don't think we ever "get over" real grief ... we just find ways to live with it and make it more comfortable. Please know you and your husband are in my thoughts.
    Wishes for comfort to you-
    Barb Brownlee

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    1. Aw Barb, that's so lovely. You've commented a lot over the last week and it has been much appreciated.

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  9. I'm terrible at commenting but I'm far more likely to say something when there's a huge life change like this.It might make some people uncomfortable but the emotion needs to be acknowledged. Daisy was such a huge part of your life and her loss is devastating. I loved seeing you nurse her back to health all those years ago and gain her trust- a trust that was never betrayed. You both did well by a little dog that needed you.

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    1. Thank you Meredith. You are very right and I suspect sometimes what I write makes people uncomfortable. Even though I do "tone it down" I write what I believe to be the truth.

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  10. I found your blog around the time Daisy came into your lives and it seems like such a short time ago. As an Instagrammer theses days I don't tend to leave comments on blogs, but always loved seeing pictures of her and your beautiful part of the world. It was fate that brought you together and she was so lucky to have you with her at the end. Take time to grieve and look after yourself. Debbie xx

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    1. We've joked today that if I was on IG (I'm not) and had put all the Daisy pictures on that platform then she may well have become a little 'internet personality", although from the amazing things you are all saying about her, in my small little corner of T'interweb, it sounds like she was.

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  11. I'm not a pet owner but have experienced bereavement relatively recently so I understand your grief at this time. There's nothing I can say to ease that, but just know that you are in my thoughts. Sending {{{hugs1}}}

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    1. Thanks Eileen. You don't have to say anything profound, just showing up means a lot. x

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  12. I don't know how many times I revisited your blog over the last five days or so just for one more look at your darling girl, I must have added loads to your page views. Daisy had the best life with you and deserved so much more time here on earth, I truly believe she is an Angel Dog now, waiting up high in Heaven. You look after yourself and as always I'm sending much love and hugs to you my friend xx

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    1. Hi Eileen, that'll be it then - you and Eunice checking for updates over-inflating my stats; there - you've made me grin, clever girl.

      Thankfully, so far no-one has sent me Rainbow Bridge (hate the bloody thing!) but you are right, Daisy has far too big a personality and soul to have completely gone away. I might as well believe in reincarnation, or life after death, or something, because it's nice to think that we could meet up again and be so strong and fit we could stride across the fells all day. She was a joy to walk with - completely disinterested in sheep and never once pulled on a lead.

      And if that belief is wrong, hey, what have I lost if the lights go out and that's it? 😜

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  13. It's not "polite" to say; "Yes, I so agree with you!" I suppose, on this post, but oh I do.

    Why can't all those f**king Viewers, who just read our blogs, even take a moment to say something....??? On such posts????????? The death of a pet... A Birthday... An Anniversary... Etc.

    OK, they are just reading-for-relaxation, most of the time. When our stats show, lots more Viewing numbers, than Comments we get. But at a time such as this???????????

    On any sort of milestone post, why can't they say something???

    -head desk-

    -head desk-

    -head desk-

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    1. Oh you do make me chuckle, thank you. Love "head > desk".

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  14. I had to smile (through my tears) at you saying how quiet the house is....you hit the nail EXACTLY on the head there! Since I lost my last dog, Tina Whippet, in August 2008 a change of working hours made it unfair to bring another dog into our lives so we started long-term fostering of old and terminally-ill cats for a local charity. It was lovely but whenever each one passed we would shed a bucketload of tears and think ''No more!'' but after just a couple of days the stillness and silence would get to us and we'd be on the phone to Linda LOL You wouldn't think old cats who spend most of the time asleep or sunbathing would leave such a gap....it's not as though they're a Great Dane puppy galumphing around, is it? But oh my...the silence is the worst! When I lost Tina I never realised just how much we did together until about a month later when it suddenly hit me - how on earth did I fit in four decent walks each day?
    Daisy was a stunning girl who sounds like she was THE perfect dog - you certainly struck gold with her.....and her with you both as her doggy parents. Your grief is still a raw open wound and the sides haven't even begun to knit....but they will (((HUGS))) One day you'll forget this unbearable pain of grief and remember only the good times without shedding too many tears. Gill xxxxxxxx

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    1. Hi Gillian. Thank you so much, what a lovely comment. RESPECT: People like you who care for the oldies who are always left behind are so often invisible and under-rated but you're incredible and I could not do what you do. I would get too attached every time and it hurts too bloody much.

      Thank you for the lovely words about Daisy. :-)

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  15. I understand, only too well, the immense feeling of emptiness you are feeling right now (I am originally a dog person, just don't tell Mog). Daisy played a huge part in your life and what a wonderful part she was.
    It is of little consolation just now but you gave Daisy the best life she could have hoped for and any time I see another dog with 'those' ears I smile and think of her.
    Sending you both lots of love. Xx

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    1. It's OK Jules, I won't breath a word to Mog, your secret is safe with me!

      Actually, knowing the sort of life we gave Daisy "is" a consolation, I know I did right by her, and that does bring comfort.

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  16. Your first sentence to Eileen made me smile. I have a routine throughout the day - turn on the pc when I get up, check emails, check my own blog, check yours and Eileen's, and this same routine plays out several times a day when I've been away from the pc for a while. As well as checking regularly for updates over the last few days I've also been reading back from when you first got Daisy so yes, I've probably contributed muchly to your over-inflated stats :)

    Sadly I never got to meet Daisy - I really wish I had - but through your blog she has become as dear to me as my own two girls and she has touched my heart in such a way that I feel her loss just as keenly as if she had been my own dog. As devastating as this situation has been I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you gave her a wonderful life, loved her and cared for her much more than many people would, and kept your promise to her right to the end. Sending more hugs and much love to you - take care of yourself xx

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    1. Thanks Eunice, I hear you and Eileen have been talking about me {giggle}. Sorry you had teary phone calls over the weekend.

      I wish you had met her, Easter is not long and you could have given her a cuddle if you come up. But it was not to be and instead we need to let Sophie and Poppie know they are landed with a new Aunty, whether they want her or not.

      I am bowled over, and it gives me much pleasure, to learn just how Daisy has touched other people via the blog.

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  17. Everything you say is forshadowing my own conversation with the Nu, who in her teens as an arthritic cat is moving forward in her life. ((HUGS) again for you both and thinking of you. xx

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    1. Oh bummocks (my friend's Grand-daughter coined that one).

      I don't wish this on anyone, but I do hope - if it is the right thing for you - that you get more notice, warning and time to prepare. We had five days between the first consult on Wednesday and goodbye on Monday, less than three days if you consider I made "the" decision in front of the ultrasound screen on Friday. Beyond ghastly, but looking at the pictures I knew I had no choice.

      thanks and hugs back at ya :-)

      Knowing we will have to say goodbye is the price we pay for all that unconditional love and companionship, and although we know if will hurt like hell, we keep setting ourselves up for it . . .

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  18. I'm just catching up as I've been bereaved myself. I'm so sorry to read about Daisy. She really was a gorgeous girl, and your love for her shone through your writing about her.
    We buried my sister in law today, on my birthday. We were the same age...54. Yesterday was my uncle's funeral. I blogged about both of their deaths, and had many page views, but I've had more comments on a post about rearranging ornaments on my mantelpiece than I did about the deaths of 2 family members 4 days apart. Blogging is strange, and I'll never fathom people's responses ( or lack of them) to posts, but they have made me walk away from blogging, more than once.

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    1. Holy crap Scarlet, I am so terribly sorry to read what you've been going through, two funerals in two days is more than anyone, any family, should have to bear. It's too late for me tonight, but I will come and visit yours, if I may, tomorrow.

      Interesting what you say about views/comments. I do wonder if a lot of people just don't know what to say; if only more folk understood it's not 'what' you say but the fact you took a moment to bother to say something.

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  19. My heart is breaking for you and your husband. I have been down that road and it's devastating.I even understand how Madam's things need to be out of sight. This grief rips a hole right thru your heart. It's so sad when she was so healthy and this horrible tumor took her. It's just not fair. I'm crying again even tho I never met her, you made her come alive in your blog!
    In a few years I will be going through this with my dog. She reminds me so much of your Daisy. Same height and coloring but not the beautiful ears that Daisy had.
    My sympathies once again from Rockford Illinois.

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    1. Thanks Patty. I think any of us who truly adore our companions know that this heartbreak is waiting for us in the future.

      Clearly Daisy wasn't as healthy as we thought with a bloody great tumour in her, but talking to the vet, it really appears as if this was something very aggresive, fast growing, and a bit like ovarian cancer, going to be too big to tackle before it showed itself.

      In the meantime, give your girl a cuddle and a scratch behind the ears from us. xx

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  20. I'm usually a 'silent' viewer of blogs. I don't usually feel I have much of interest to say. Unless there is something serious that needs acknowledging - as does Daisy's passing. Having said that, I get much pleasure from the blogs I read - the glimpses of life that people like yourself are kind enough to share- thank you. Love and prayers for you both xxxx

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    1. Thanks Beacee. Everyone has something interesting to say, don't do yourself down. It's good to have you here.

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  21. Jayne, I think sometimes people just don't know what to say. I am a retired nurse and bustle in where angels fear to tread. My family and friends say, " How do you know what to say" ? There isn't anything "special" to say though. It is saying just a little that lets people know you care. Even just, I am sorry you lost your dog, is enough.
    I find the Rainbow bridge a but smaltzy.
    We have 2 cats that are getting old. One has a degree of renal failure. I just do TLC and loads of cuddles.
    Last week we were staying in Braithwaite not far from you.
    I do hope you are eating and sleeping OK. Your husband is not unusual in bottling things up, many men do that.
    Thinking of you. Bev

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    1. Many thanks Bev, everything you say is spot on. Hope you enjoyed Braithwaite, you certainly had good weather.

      I'm not a "cat person", I could never pretend to be, BUT, the bond you'll have with your babies is just as strong as my bond with Daisy. that's why it hurts so damn much.

      As a retired nurse - nah, I'm not sleeping well and not eating as I usually do. Not worried, I know things will settle down. Just wish the bottomless chasm of empty-inside would ease up.

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  22. Hi Jayne
    Please don’t be upset by lack of comments. In my case it’s simply not knowing what to say and worrying about making things worse. While I’ve been silent in the comments, you, M and Daisy have been very much in our thoughts over the last few days.

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    1. Thanks Roddie, you should not ever worry about saying the wrong thing, either to me or anyone else. Thank you for caring :-)

      I guess the only "wrong" thing someone could say is "for goodness sake she was ONLY a dog". Then you could join the disorderly scrum to tell that person to "F" right off and never come back.

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  23. I am here & hopefully you know that. We've had some NBN issues (again) & I'm finally catching up on blog reading. A lovely post once again & although I can never know how anyone else feels, I do understand the "hurt" that goes with sad times. Take care & huggles. Off to read your next post.

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    1. Hi Susan, I guessed you were having internet problems. Don't worry.
      I know you 'get it' and understand, and I am so glad you met Daisy a couple of times and had a chance to stroke those velvet ears.

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  24. I know exactly how all that feels. Tivvy doesn’t live with us, although she is here at the moment for a few days, but we still have basket of toys, food and treats and towels on radiators ready for whenever she is here. As for a presence
    I dread to think how my sister will cope when the inevitable happens as Tivvy gives her a reason to get up each morning.

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    1. Thanks Sue, I know what you mean. At present I am waking early, getting up and . . . .

      nothing, no-one to take out, no bowl of food to prepare, no detritus from last night's biscuits to vacuum.

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  25. Dear Jayne, I thank you for visiting my blog and wish the sight of my Pudding's nose didn't cause you too much additional grief. As I explained to you in my answer to your kind comment, I have recently been through the same awfully painful ordeal, it was also very sudden and unexpected, and I still don't know how I managed to overcome the void and despair. Maybe thanks to Filo, another poor ill-treated Brittany spaniel who has adopted our home and family, even though all the little things that remind me of Pudding continue to bring tears to my eyes. When I see Daisy on your pictures, I guess that she was grateful for the happy life you offered to her and I imagine that she gave back to you a hundredfold. Thinking of you.
    Sandrine

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    1. Thank you so much Sandrine, a lovely comment and much appreciated. Your English is much better than my French :-)

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  26. It's hard for a lot of folk to know what to say. We all handle grief differently, and losing a beloved furry member of the family is so hard because there's a percentage of folk that just don't get it.

    I know when we lost Charley I couldn't have come back on to my blog and read everyone's nice words or the memories they might have written for me about their own experiences of losing their furry or feathered friend so I asked for 'two kisses for Charley'. It worked, watching those kisses add up was all I needed to feel the support of this wonderful community that is Blogland.

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    1. Hi Sue, I remember that. As you say, everyone handles it differently - and this is very different for me than when we lost Ollie.

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Sometimes it is the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . 😊


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