Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sweet sweet, the mem'ries you gave me

Back in the autumn when Harry was injured and we were having to manhandle him through to the sitting room every evening so that he didn't feel abandoned, we rolled up and stored the nice rug to protect it from his unconscious incontinence; the situation was quite stressful enough, thank you. The horrid carpet that it was hiding (and had been in situ when we moved in 20 years ago) didn't matter, so life became a miniscule iota easier. Then it was a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' and after Harry left us the rug stayed rolled up in Boy's room out of the way until last weekend when, after the loss of Beattie as well, we thought we really needed to try to get back to what passes for normality around here. So we carried the rug downstairs and laid it down in the sitting room again.

It was heartbreaking to see Piglet pressing his nose to it and inhaling deeply, wagging his tail in joy at the scents of his remembered siblings, then drooping disconsolately when he looked around and realised they were still missing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Your subtleties, they strangle me

I hope these are wisteria seedlings. The seedpods came from a wisteria outside the library, but I'm beginning to wonder if there might not be another climber in amongst it, because they don't look as I'd expected. Time will tell!

PS: a virtual prize to the first person to identify the title.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You can't take a goldfish for walks

Some months ago the Google Streetview car passed me when I was walking the dogs, and I'd hoped for internet immortality. Unfortunately, because it would have been lovely to see Harry and Beattie on there too, the weren't taking pictures at the time, but they did capture Piglet in the sitting room window when they passed the house, and if this works you should be able to see him too ...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One is one and all alone

Yesterday evening Beattie started breathing really fast in her sleep; I thought she was having a dream but when she woke she was still panting hard. She tried to get off the sofa but her back left leg wouldn't support her at all, and she was getting very bewildered by it. We took it in turns to support her back end as she went round and round and round in clockwise circles - after 15 or 20 minutes of this we managed to settle her on her bed and left her to sleep, exhausted, wondering what would happen overnight.

This morning she was back on her feet again; even more doddery than usual and somehow not quite herself. She enjoyed her breakfast as usual, and came for her normal extraordinarily slow walk up the road - business almost as usual but in slo-mo. Every step needed a stop to sniff at where she was; we managed a couple of hundred yards in 20 minutes, and she only fell over once. She ate her lunchtime biscuit then needed help to get on the sofa for her afternoon nap - the back leg was playing up a bit again. But it was odd - the expression in her eyes was somehow different; there was almost an element of fear which there hasn't been before. We'd been told in the past "Better a week too early than a day too late" when it comes to deciding when a beloved pet should be helped to leave this mortal coil. Don't allow them to suffer. But it's so hard - you want to keep them for as long as you can, but you don't want to fall into the trap of keeping them alive for your sake, not theirs. 15 years is a long time, and you never want it to end.

I held myself together remarkably well at work, and at close of play Sarah came back and I cuddled my Beattie on my lap while she was given the final sleep, the way I wasn't able to cuddle Harry. She gave a few heavy breaths and slipped away from us. I'll never know whether I timed it right - whether it was too soon and she was still getting enough pleasure from life to make all the frustrations of her old age acceptable to her, but that's something I have to live with. There's no going back now.

For the first time in nearly 25 years we have only one dog. Sleep well, my sweet Beetle.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Whatever you want, the answer's NO

You can't tell me they'd brought only the exact amount of tarmac they needed to fill the hole they'd dug, and didn't have any left over to mend the pothole a mere foot away.

Pathetic, petty Jobsworths.