It starts slowly, a little bit dreary. Soon the world is just a tad more grey. Next it’s overcast, you start to feel it. It is dark grey and foggy and soon you notice it’s getting harder to breathe. The grey, the fog starts to weigh heavily not only on your chest but your whole body. It pushes you down and you can’t even lift your head to see it surrounding you. You can feel it crushing you, pushing you down with no way of escaping. The blackness swallows you whole. You try to look around you but you can’t see anything stuck in the big black whole of nothingness. Time moves differently. Sights and sounds barely recognisable, out of reach, out of touch. There is nothing else for you to do except surrender.
Drought and fires were quickly replaced by floods in our town last week. Heavy rain and showers over a few days resulted in our dwindling creek being transformed into a raging river, bursting its banks, transforming streets into beautiful canals. While some homes and businesses were inundated with water, the damage was minimal. We are thankful for the life giving rains.
I was going to show how bad the drought is in our town in regional Queensland in Australia. While we have been spared from the horrific fires which have plagued a lot of our country, we are battling with drought and no rain. The last few days however, we have received a decent amount of rain, the most we have received for nearly a year. As a result, the same creek I walked in last week, the dry and cracked channels of it, revealing rubbish and long forgotten about relics, is now flooding. The weir is flowing over the road and the dried channels are full of water, rain that’s travelled a long distance from hours away to pass through. A pelican appeared at the last moment, no doubt pleased to be able to swim in a spot where last week he could only stand on the exposed bottom of the creek.
Below are some of my photos I took last week, showing our creek dying, exposed. There is not much water, but it must be more than places further west because there were many birds such as pelicans, ibis and spoonbills which I’ve never before seen on there, gathering on and around the creek.
There must be enough fish to keep these beautiful birds here, even if we can’t see it.
We can only pray that we will receive more rain which will continue to fill up the creek and its tributaries and provide food for all our native wildlife. We need more rain to wet the soil for farmers to plant crops to be able to harvest later on. We need rain to sustain us, our town, and life.
My sweet baby girl Lucy left us for the rainbow bridge last Wednesday night, leaving us all devastated and missing her dearly. She suffered a heart attack while sleeping on Mum’s bed. She quickly passed and left us, all too soon. She was struck down by the Cavalier Curse. She was doing so well on her Vetmedin heart tablets. It was 19 months since she was first diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease and we were given an estimate of her only having 6 months left to live.
Lucy celebrated her 10th Birthday just 12 days before this and it was a milestone, as I had envisioned her not making it to her 9th Birthday. We had a party to celebrate her being 10, with birthday balloons – just like her big sister Matilda had for her 10th Birthday, a trip to the nearby creek for a walk to have a look at the pelicans, have a swing on the swings and enjoy some special birthday muffins. She had a great time, as well as Matilda, and I’m thankful she was here to celebrate, as well as Matilda.
10 years isn’t long enough to have had her for. She was such a loving beautiful sweetie, no matter how long the time we had together, it would have never been long enough. She still looked young and only recently started going a bit grey around her mouth. She was still a puppy at heart. When she realised it was walkies time she would bark and twirl around in circles, unable to contain her excitement. If Cleo or Jonah the cats were in her path, they would get a good ear cleaning from her and a bark in their ears because she was so excited. Equally as exciting was lunch time and tea time when there was food to be had. The same couldn’t be said for brekkie time because she didn’t like eating bikkies. She would usually relent after being allowed by Granny to eat them on my bed and be hand fed them.
She was so sweet and dear, with her heart full of joy and love for everyone. She knew how to work those big expressive sweet eyes to her advantage. No one could resist her and would give in to her when she wanted treats, pats or belly rubs. Although she was a bit anxious in new and different situations and around those she didn’t know (who can blame her) she was pure joy. She loved her big sister Matilda from the beginning, even if Matilda wasn’t too keen on her at first. When I would take Matilda walking and couldn’t take Lucy because she wasn’t fully immunised yet, she would cry and make me feel so guilty that I would have to take her with me and carry her in my arms. When I would briefly put her down for a minute she would quickly run up to Matilda and try to walk beside her, determined not to be left behind. She spent her whole life trying not to be left behind by Matilda, relying on her for so much. When we went somewhere and people would try to talk to her, she would hide behind my legs trying to ignore the people who were telling her how gorgeous she was. Once I picked her up and held onto her she was a lot calmer.
She will always be my Little Luce, my Lucy-Lu, Poppet, Little Poppet, my sweetie, sweet, sweetie pie, sweetums, gorgeous, beautiful, precious. Along with Matilda they were my “girls”, something I can no longer say with only Matilda now.
I’m thankful her passing was quick and I never had to make the choice to put her sleep. We were lucky also that she never entered congestive heart failure, which would have been more tablets and testing which she wasn’t a fan of. There seems to be so many Cavs dying of this horrible disease, many younger than Lucy. Due to negligent inbreeding many years ago, it is us now that still have to deal with the after effects. We need to eliminate Mitral Valve Disease out of the gene pool of all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It is such unnecessary suffering that both the Cavs and all owners have to face, the Cavs while they are dealing with it, and the distraught owners who are left behind afterwards. Do the responsible thing and get your puppy desexed. Don’t breed from them, leave that up to the breeders who are trying their hardest to eradicate it.
Lucy you may be gone from my arms, but I will never forget you. I love you and I miss you. Until we meet again my sweetie pie. xxx
This is all we have left of our cat Lolly, after the new neighbour’s 2 dogs broke through our fence and killed our Lolly. 9 weeks ago, our elderly 17 1/2 year old cat Lolly was asleep in our backyard. The 2 dogs broke through our fence, I believe trying to get my 2 dogs who were outside toileting not long before, but instead grabbed Lolly. They picked her up in their mouths, ran around the whole of our yard, carrying Lolly like a rag doll in their mouth. By the time my Mum heard noises outside and went out to investigate, Lolly was already dead and bleeding profusely from bite marks and wounds on her frail body.
Lolly was 17 1/2 years old. She suffered with hyperthyroidism which we had recently begun to get under control, and also arthritis and partial deafness, all conditions which effect elderly cats. She had no way of being able to escape these savage dogs that broke into our yard, on the hunt. We hope due to her bad hearing, she may not have been able to even hear them coming to get her, and we hope that she passed before she even realised what was happening to her. We can’t imagine what she would have gone through in her final minutes here on earth. At nearly 18 years old, she definitely did not deserve for her life to be ended in such a vicious and unprovoked way. She was sleeping in our yard which was meant to be safe for her.
Our neighbours have shown little remorse for the actions of their dogs, or their own ability to safely control and keep 2 vicious dogs inside on their own property. They have taken no responsibility and instead have blamed us and Lolly for what has happened and for other things. Those dogs broke through our fence and were still in our yard when the pound man arrived, yet according to them, it’s all our fault.
Due to council laws, these 2 savage dogs have since been returned to their owners after having to spend 1 night in the pound until the owner paid the fines. They have been declared dangerous, but the owners don’t agree with this and have hired a solicitor to try and fight the conditions which this now entails. These dogs are still running freely around their yard, yet according to the dangerous dogs act, they should not be. The local council has ineffective laws to deal with savage dogs like this, and the owners of these dogs have more rights than we do. We face anxiety every time we step out our back door, afraid that these dogs will once again be running around our backyard, waiting to attack us, or even worse to attack my 2 small dogs, my lovely girls, as they go outside to toilet. I will no longer let my girls in the backyard, because it’s far too dangerous for them. Now my girls only get to go outside in the front part of the yard, but not for too long, because if those 2 dogs were to come running back in our yard again, there would be no chance of me being able to save them.
Local council laws need to change and be tougher and they need to be the same laws across the whole state. There should be consequences for these dogs and their owners instantly. We should not have to wait until a person gets seriously injured or killed before something gets done. A cat is a beloved family member and should have the same rights when it is killed, the same what a dog or a person would have.
We are sorry Lolly, we are trying our hardest for you, but no one seems to care.
My precious girls, where has the time gone?
Matilda, it was 11 years ago since you were a little puppy. You were my first puppy love. You had the most soft and silky ears that smelled like puppy milk. I finally had my own Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, a girl of course, so I could put pink bows in those gorgeous long ears. You were such a good puppy, full of energy to run and play with your toys and to chase me with. You soon earned the nickname Petal, after having your crazy puppy hour after I came home from work. You ran and chased and kept jumping up on me. I had to tell you to “settle petal”, and soon the name Petal stuck.
You loved to say hello to everybody, especially more so when you knew you were going to get pats. I could see your confusion, after you wagged that feathery tail of yours ferociously at an approaching person, only to have them walk straight past you, without as much as a glance your way.
Soon you were growing up, and we succeeded in toilet training, when neither of us were sure of what we were doing. Your first birthday was marked with a mini party, and a party hat you decided you would rather chew then keep on your head. I was so in love with you, I wanted more many Cavs.
I found Lucy, 9 years ago. Due to a change in circumstances, her potential new owners could no longer take her, and she became mine. It was meant to be. While you both came from the same breeder – but to different parents, you were soon Matilda’s sister. You were only 6 weeks old and so much smaller than chubby puppy Matilda ever was, when you arrived. At first you assumed this bigger Cavalier must have been your new mum, and tried ever so hard to suckle from her. Matilda had no idea what was happening and would run to me for comfort. None the less, Matilda was very interested in you. You soon realised Matilda wasn’t your mum and became best friends.
You were mesmerised by the camera when I took photos of you and would happily pose for photos, transfixed by the zoom lens. You had the most beautiful puppy smell, right behind your neck. Soon you too were growing so quickly, loving everyone and the cats. This time around, toilet training was a breeze. You relied on Matilda a lot, but Matilda was the perfect big sister, brave and caring for you.
You both soon became known as “the girls”. I had two girls to put pretty bows in their ears. You were both young and happy. Hearing things about arthritis, senior dogs and Mitral Valve Disease wasn’t given a second thought. I didn’t need to worry about that yet, we had plenty of time before there was even a chance of that happening. Yet time quickly passed and years later, here we are. A trip to the heart specialist last year, after the local vets found both girls to have heart murmurs, confirmed the worst. Both Matilda and Lucy had Mitral Valve Disease – the Cavalier Curse.
While Matilda’s heart wasn’t as bad, being given a life expectancy of at least 1 – 3 years, the shock was Lucy being given only 6 months. Lucy you were only 8 years old, far too young to leave me, still a young dog really. I could envision you quickly slipping away from me and Matilda in only a few short months. I suppose it made sense, you having the worst heart: you always did have the big heart, full of love for everyone. While we didn’t have much time left I had to try and make it special for you, and for Matilda. The pet pram soon became your royal carriage for both you girls. When you had walked far enough, you could enjoy being pushed further in your pram.
Nearly a year later, you are both still here with me. Medication has been wonderful for you, even if we have to follow Mary Poppins advice of “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, and dip your tablet in honey to ensure you swallow it. While Lucy’s condition hasn’t really progressed any further, thank goodness, Matilda was diagnosed as being at the same stage as Lucy, at our recent appointment with the heart specialist. I don’t know how much longer we have together, before you both suffer from congestive heart failure, all due to a dodgy heart valve and bad breeding practices, many decades ago.
I don’t know how the next few months, hopefully years, will progress for both of you. I know that however much time we have left together, it’s not going to be long enough. I know I hate going to work each day and leaving the both of you at home, and also the cats. Time could be much better spent, at home with you. I hope we all enjoy the time we have left together. In two weeks time, we are taking you to the beach. I hope we will all be happy and free to enjoy our time, frolicking on the beach together. It would be great if you both were brave enough to go in the water a little bit this time, for my benefit. I would love to be able to see what you both look like when you swim and if you can swim.
In the mean time, let’s continue loving one another and enjoy our time together. When the time comes, on those terrible days, when you both will earn your angel wings, I take comfort in knowing that Angel Kitty Mickey is waiting for at the Rainbow Bridge, where one day we will all be reunited, with lots of love, hugs, kisses, pats and joy all shared between us, at last.
I love you girls,
I’ve got a pretty new picture to go with my blog, thanks to André Yonge. Internet friends are great, especially when they have a pretty picture on their own blog https://howlingatthescreen.home.blog. So I admired Lucy’s gorgeous werewolf and she was able to hook me up with her lovely and amazingly talented friend André who was happy to do me a wonderful picture. He even surprised me by including my 2 girls (dogs) Matilda and Lucy running along the water’s edge. I’m very impressed with the end results and I hope you are too.
I received this text message from Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party yesterday, the 2nd text in a week from them. Apparently it’s legal for them to obtain my number from the electoral roll to send bizarre messages. At least this one was mentioning a part of the state that I don’t even live in. But what can one say to a message like this? #bizarre
Move along Clive, you are just wasting your texts on me.
It’s only November but already companies are doing their best in getting us to buy up for Christmas. Christmas decorations are on display throughout shopping centres, Christmas carols are blasting out from speakers, and signs with the tagline “make it the best one yet”, are shoved in our faces.
News reports say we will each spend an average of $1000 on Christmas presents this year, an increase on the amount spent last year. Who are these people who can afford to spend that much money on Christmas presents? It’s certainly not me. I hope the person who spends the rest of my share of the average, spends it on something pleasurable; like books or cats, or both.
There seems to be a certain expectation that we have to have the most magical Christmas ever; making sure we spend up big on presents that our loved ones desperately want, while also dishing up the most delicious Christmas feast, with the best in season food, laid out on the perfectly set table filled with matching dishes and cutlery.
In real life, this does not happen. This is far from the truth for many people. Even if you think they have it perfect on all the Christmas TV episodes and movies, remember the McCallister’s in Home Alone? They managed to go away for their Christmas holiday and forget to take their 8 year old son with them.
In reality, this Christmas, there will be a lot of people isolated by themselves, having just another day. Families with no presents to give to each other. Families suffering because their loved ones are no longer there with them to celebrate and who can’t find the joy in the day. There will be people who dread Christmas Day and what it means, having to deal with families, knowing that the day will only end badly. There will be many people too anxious and too depressed to even be able to manage to get out of bed that day, even if it is Christmas. In our society, there are also many religions and cultures who won’t even celebrate Christmas.
I think it’s time to forget the expectation. The expectation of having “the perfect Christmas”. Let’s forgo the stress beforehand and the guilt afterwards. Let’s forget about the coulda’s, shoulda’s, woulda’s. Let’s forget all that. Let’s decide how we want to, or not want to, celebrate Christmas. We can choose to do things our way.
Who says Christmas has to be perfect? Just a whole lot of companies trying to make money, that’s who.
It’s nearly Christmas time which mean it’s time for Share The Dignity’s annual drive #itsinthebag, where you fill a handbag with sanitary products and essentials for women experiencing homelessness and escaping from domestic violence, over the Christmas season. It’s such a wonderful cause and I have been donating since it started a few years ago.
Share The Dignity has been established for a few years now in Australia. Founder Rochelle Courtenay read an online article on MamaMia about homeless women resorting to use paper towels and going without sanitary products as they could not access anything else while being homeless. Soon after, Rochelle started the charity which has resulted in collection drives for pads and tampons in April and August, installing free vending machines with pads and tampons in locations where they are most needed, and other initiatives.
This year I donated 2 teen bags and 4 adult bags. I hope those who receive them will love them and know how much they matter.
Bags again this year can be dropped off at any Bunnings store, Australia wide until December 2nd.