Monday, 11 January 2016

My first post in over a year.....sad news :'-(

Well, I have been gone for over a year, 2015 was not the greatest year. My health took a turn for the worse and I lost my beloved cat, Star, in August aged 13. I had lost her brother in August 2013 and losing her really knocked me. Sadly, we lost another member of our family in December when my dad's dog Emma died of cancer aged 10. A lump appeared just a few weeks before she died and despite the best efforts of our vet and the School of Veterinary Science, Small Animal Teaching Hospital in Liverpool, she had to be put to sleep a couple of weeks before Christmas. My dad felt that he couldn't cope without a dog in the home, so he and my gran decided to get a German Shepherd/Dutch Shepherd cross puppy the following day, named Max. He certainly helped give us all something to focus on which made the time more bearable for us.

I had hopes that 2016 would be better, but sadly it was not to be. My beautiful baby boy Merlin died on January 5th 2016 aged 13. I found him at the Bolton Destitute Animal Shelter in February 2003 when he was 8 months old. He had been called Jelly by the staff because he shook constantly, as he was terrified of everything. He had been found on the streets about a month before I visited the shelter, he had been badly treated in his former home and had wounds dotted over his body. He was in the very last cage, and I had only seen one other dog that seemed to call to me before I got to him. All the other dogs were happily jumping up, barking and wagging their tails, but he was cowering in the back corner of the kennel, desperately trying to hide and escape the noise. I asked if I could meet him and they brought him out to me, where he sat down in front of me, wagging his tail and trying to lick me....the staff were astounded because he had never reacted to anyone else like he did to me. They took us upstairs to a room where we could get to know each other, and he spent a long happy time chasing a German Shepherd pup around....he was a different dog than the one cowering in his kennel. I was completely smitten and desperately wanted to take him home, but, sadly for me, yet happily for the poor animals at the shelter, the staff were extremely thorough and I needed to have a home study done, to ensure that he would have a safe and loving forever home. An agonising week passed while I wanted for the visit, which I spent ensuring my home was perfect for him, and then I got the all clear and raced to pick him up. The Bolton Destitute Animal Shelter is a truly great organisation, they make sure that all their animals are treated by vets, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, chipped and temperament checked, to ensure that they are safe and placed in a good home where they will be loved and cared for properly. My first hint of an issue came when it was time for him to jump into my car....he was utterly terrified and I had to pick him up to place him into the back seat. That fear remained for a few months, along with the fear of jumping out of the car, which made me think that he may have been thrown from a moving car. Once inside the car he was perfectly happy, running back and forth along the back seat and gazing out of the windows. As I stopped at the first set of traffic lights I felt a warm, wet tongue in my ear as he decided it was the perfect time to show me love! I was ecstatic, I had moved out of my mum's house the month before, with my 2 cats Wazzcat (his real name was Angel, but he was nicknamed Wazzcat immediately, as his fur stuck out every which way, and the best word I could come up with to describe it was 'wazzy'!) and Star, but I had grown up with dogs in the house and my home didn't feel complete without one. After a few teething problems, involving him chasing the cats everywhere, he settled in nicely. For about a year he was terribly behaved however, he chewed everything he could, soiled his bedding and his feeding area (which is NOT supposed to happen!) and scratched a hole in the door to the room he stayed in while I was at work. The hole incident almost went terribly wrong for Star....she was always trying to sneak outside, but hated it when she actually got out and ran straight back in. On the day Merlin scratched the hole in the door to escape, she used it to get into his room and climbed out of the window (which I left open to give him plenty of fresh air) and got stuck halfway down the back wall! Luckily, my mum used to check on Merlin while I worked and she realised what had happened, she somehow managed to get Star back into the window! After that, Merlin got the run of the house until my mum would pick him up at lunchtime in an effort to save my house from destruction! He eventually learned that I wasn't going to send him away, so he stopped pushing the boundaries and settled down. Due to his early life and his breed (he was a whippet/border collie cross) he never ever calmed down, and stayed just as mental until the day before his death. I had 12 years of wonderful memories with him, which I may write about in the future to help keep him alive, and he looked after me when I was alone and very ill with depression and anxiety. He was there for me when I felt like I had nothing and nobody, and I can only hope he knew how very much I loved him and that I always will.

He went to the vet almost a week ago, but I couldn't go with him as we wanted to get him to the vet as soon as we could, and getting me out of the house takes too long. My husband Ian and my dad rushed him there and, sadly, it was decided that is was kinder to end his suffering rather than putting him through intensive treatment at his age. Ian stayed with him as he drifted off to sleep, and then he wasn't in pain any longer. I can only hope that he is waiting for me with Wazzcat, Star, Emma, Chanti and Sam and all the other animal members of our family at The Rainbow Bridge, and that he knows how much I miss him and wish I could have taken his place and his suffering.

I'm not sure how much I will be writing at the moment, I just wanted to pay tribute to the beautiful boy who inspired the name of this blog, and the other family members we have lost over the last few months.

Here are some photos of our gorgeous babies....

Emma


Star

Star

Wazzcat

Wazzcat

Wazzcat

Merlin

Merlin

Merlin

Merlin

Merlin and our remaining dog Martha

Martha

Martha

Martha

Merlin

Merlin

Merlin


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