'If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.' Marjorie Garber

Friday, 10 September 2010

Moving On

Hello there. This is my first venture into blogging and hopefully not my last. If you're reading this then you've found me and I hope you will stay with me whilst I journey through blogland. I am open to suggestions as to how to improve the site, so feel free to criticise.
My sister is a frequent and successful blogger, (http://www.abuncandance.blogspot.com), who has for some time tried to persuade me to start, but somehow I never felt like I had anything worth saying. But a blog was always on my list of things to do.
And on the odd occasion when I thought about starting a blog because I needed to talk about something, I would find after a quick Google search that it had already been covered by someone far more literate than I could ever hope to be.
Then something strange happened to me today. I overslept. I woke up as usual, for a school day, to the sound of my alarm but then I fell asleep again. I was only asleep for twenty or thirty minutes but in my dream, I spent hours and hours.

I travelled to another country. I believed it was an island but I had no recollection of crossing water to get there. This land was a huge open field with a green hawthorn and hazel hedge around it.  In the distance, I could see several dogs. They were all black dogs. Suddenly, my family, my Husband and Daughters and my Mum and Dad, were beside me. I hadn't been aware of their presence until then. We all stood there on the edge of this country looking over the hedge at the dogs strolling and sniffing in the dew kissed grass.  And I could see Misha, my Dog. I called to her and she ran to me and I was so happy. I had found her. We cuddled and then she took it in turns to greet my family members. She came back to me and we cuddled more. I stroked her glistening black fur and she nuzzled into me for more love. Then I noticed that she had something tattoed inside her ear. Strangely it was a list of her dislikes and likes and the places she had visited, all in tiny black script.  "But it says that she has been to Hong Kong." I said. " I don't think it's Misha, after all, but she is so much like her and I can feel the bond."  I turned to my Dad and he just nodded. He didn't say anything but his eyes confirmed that this was another dog. I took that dog in my arms and decided it was time to move on. Misha was letting go.

Misha was a Labrador cross. We adopted her from the RSPCA Bristol Dogs Home seven years ago this month. She was just turning six months old then, full of life and mischief and we were all smitten. We were her third home. Her other homes had said she was difficult to train. Within three days, Misha was house-trained and responding to her name. She was to become my constant friend. 
At the end of June of this year she became gravely ill and was diagnosed a few days later with Immune Mediated Disease, or Canine Hemolytic Anemia. In less than three weeks, she had developed serious complications to the steroids used to control her disease. She was throwing off blood clots in her organs, finding it hard to breathe and a large section of her liver had died. She was referred to the Bristol University Small Animal Hospital at Langford, where the vets tried their hardest to help her. I visited her every day. Most days, my Mum and Dad would visit too; some days my daughters, my Husband  and my Sister came along. I just wanted to be able to take her home again.

Sometimes, when I visited she would seem a little better, more like her old self. I would leave with my hopes high. Other days she would seem depressed and empty and I would cry constantly whilst driving home. Most of the time she needed help with her breathing. On Saturday 24 July, the vet called me in the evening at my Parents' home to say that Misha's breathing had suddenly deteriorated. I had to go to her. My Husband and Daughters came too, driving through the night to be at her side. We sat with her, she rested her head in my lap and nearing to midnight, I asked the vet to put my poor Darling to sleep and stop her suffering. The next day, my Dad dug her grave at the bottom of our garden. He worked for ages in the summer sun to make it just right. It was the first anniversary of his Brother's death and my Dad said: "Rod will be walking her in heaven right now" We all cried. We all loved her. We were all blessed to have known her. Goodbye Misha, my best friend. I will always love you.


  1. Oh dear, that made me cry buckets so you must have cried an ocean in writing it! Very good indeed.
    Lovely, lovely post for the dear Misha and so well written. I love the photos - clever misty one. I know that they have blogging in Pet Heaven so Misha is very pleased to read your post about her ;-)
    I like the layout and such like of the blog, and don't see any need to change anything - no doubt you'll change it over time, though. Good Blog name - it reminds me of the "Not the 9 O'clock News" sketches of the 2 David's back in the day - remember? They used to say "We're neither to the left, nor the right, but somewhere in between..." Funny!
    Congratulations on finding your way (finally!!) into the world of virtual friends and many many hours lost through blog links.... Have fun, I'm sure you will !
    Denise x
    See you's laterz !!!!

  2. Welcome to the wonderful world of Blogging and my...what a first post that was, you had me in tears!

    To have a dog like Misha must have been wonderful, so sad that you have lost her, but she was lucky enough to be part of your lives for so long. A bond with a pet is SO very special (for them and you).

    I found you through Denise's Blog and now I know where you are I will be back.

    Sue xx

  3. Wow, Sue, no criticism needed, this is a great blog post. Misha sounds like a wonderful dog to have had the privilege of sharing time with.
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your blogs.
    Take care
    Sarah x

  4. Hello ! I came via Sue... I never thought I had anything to say too but one year on I'm still rabbitting away !
    Do what you feel is right for your blog & you will get into the swing of it ...It's yours after all !

    Our lovely retriever Sam died recently - he was fifteen. I have a young one too & cats & hens but every now & then I see Sam's shadow in the garden & I smile.

  5. Hi again ! You are very welcome ! I think you will find Blogging; addictive, comforting, enlightening & fun !
    I have two teens too !!!

  6. Hello, came here via Sue, what a lovely blog, do keep it going.

  7. Your lovely first post made me cry too, but that's what's so great about blogland, you can share the highs and lows: you'll get to know fellow bloggers like old friends, and they'll share those feelings with you!
    I came here via Denise btw!

  8. Hi there!
    I am a "secret" reader of your sister's blog..I am going to have to comment on her blog (at long last)otherwise she might get upset!!
    I am an animal lover ( we share our lives with 13 cats)so my heart was wrenching when I read your post. When our first cat died it was the worst feeling I had ever had ( which was to be repeated a few times since). Someone told me that grief was the price we paid for love. You must have loved your beautiful Misha very much indeed.

  9. Hello, your blog is lovely! I found you via your sister's blog. I just started blogging this summer with the encouragement of my good friend Susan, who lost her dog just over two yrs. ago, and now has a new friend for the past year. This was a tearful one, I don't know what life would be like without my little Duke. Please stop by for a visit and if you like what you see please "Follow" it's so exciting to get new Followers! I enjoyed my visit today.

  10. Hello and welcome to the world of blog! I came here via Denise...she did warn us that we would need our tissues for your first post...she was right! Beautifully told though. It is always so difficult to lose a loved pet, they are so much a part of our family. We have two dogs and I am dreading it when their time comes, they are both 12 now and the larger one is showing his age :-(

    Anyway have fun! Lorraine.

  11. Hello - I came over via "A bun can dance"... welcome to blogland. Look forward to reading more

  12. Hello - I've met you through Denise. You've made me cry already - we have a black labrador who is nearly three. She is the love of our lives. We would be devastated if anything happened to her.
    Look forward to reading more posts!
    Love Kathy xxx

  13. Hello Sue, It's lovely to meet you. I've found your blog through your sister and a very big welcome to blog land.
    Misha was a beautiful dog, the photos show that. It is so hard to say goodbye to a much loved pet, as they are such a part of our families.
    Looking forward to reading your posts.
    Anne xx

  14. A lovely tribute to your dear faithful friend. What a strange dream. My parents treasured a photo of me age 2 with the family dog beside me - he had passed away so there is no explanation but it makes me think the divide between this world and the next must be very thin and strong bonds can cross them, maybe that's what your dream was. Anyway, hope you will blog more. Betty x

  15. Wel thanks very much for making me cry into my Weetabix!! But I forgive you and I will be back! Welcome to blogland. xxxx

  16. Popped over on a recommendation from your sister and she was right about the tissues!
    I had to make the painful decision to let my dad's dog go earlier this year. She had lived with us after he died. They are so precious to us aren't they the animals n our lives.
    Lisa x

  17. A warm welcome to this addictive thing we call blogging. Now please excuse me whilst I go get more tissues.

  18. well I now see I shouldn't have checked out your blog while at work because I can't explain the mascara down my face to colleagues and I am always tough on using work time to blog or tweet or facebook etc and have broken my own rules! I don't know if you will recall me, am a friend of Denises and found you viw her (she did warn me about getting out the tissues so I can add blind and deaf to my list of imperfections). Think you will be a great asset to blogland. Love Helen www.happinesskindled.blogspot.com

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  20. Hi
    I've found you via your sister. I'm afraid I had to get the tissues out too. Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking, I know.
    Anyway on a brighter note - welcome to blogland.

  21. I, too, came here via your sister's blog ~ and I've had the tissues out as well. A beautiful tribute to your beloved pooch :-)

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts :-)

  22. well SUe... from your sister's description of you...we seem to have a lot in common and just might get right along with eachother!

    come on by for a cup of coffee anytime...i'll be sure to leave the 'screen' door open for you!

    ciao bella

  23. Sue, Tess black labrador blog, here is the link:- http://tessblogs.blogspot.com/.

    Sorry this took so long only just seen message

  24. Hi - welcome to the world of blogging! I just came across your sister's blog and now I am here - all in the space of a few minutes.

    Denise (north Yokshire)

  25. Hello dear!
    Thanks for your comment over at mine! It was quite a therapy writing the post - ha! ha!
    Hey, when you gonna write another post - I'm waiting!
    lots of love,
    D xx