The hardest goodbyes

If you’re not a pet lover stop reading now because you just won’t get this! If you are you’ll understand how hard it is to make that decision that it’s time to let them go.

It’s weighing up the balance and trying to decide when it falls against quality of life. If you let them go a day too soon you can’t give that time back to them. If you let them go on too long they’re suffering needlessly.

This photo breaks my heart and yet warms it at the same time. The final moments spent with these two wee rescues before we let them both go. One 18 and only with us 15 months, the other 17 and came to us as an unwanted pup who was being drowned.

It took several trips to the vet with both before I agreed that we were at the end of the road. My husband and I spent the morning in the garden with them in the sunshine, then let them go to their beds and held them gently as the vet released them from their pain.

So where is the comfort in this? It is in the memories they left us with. The days spent walking with a joyful girl who loved life and was full of energy until the end.

The joy of having seen an elderly dog who had lost her family and her home, blossoming again when she realised she was once again home.

The laughter at the antics of the tiny pup learning to climb stairs without tumbling back down each one. The antics of a little old lady who loved nothing more than a rummage in the rubbish in case a model of food had accidentally been thrown away.

The comfort of a little wet nose pushed into your hand when you were feeling a bit low.

I do regret that we didn’t have enough time together but whether that time was 17 years or 15 months it was time worth having.

Life’s not fair

I have 3 grown-up children. When they were little the youngest one was a whiner…..His two favourite sayings were “It wasn’t me” and “That’s not fair”.

The first was always met with disbelief. It wasn’t him who drew on the walls with felt tip ( or on his hands, his face and his clothes!!!) It wasn’t him who scratched the neighbour’s car with his plastic sword……Well it might have been but it wasn’t his fault!! He was aiming at the neighbour’s daughters and they moved 😱

So in punishing him for any of these I’d get the response “That’s not fair!”

Being the excellent mother I was, I’d read every childcare book printed and knew that I should take time to explain his actions and the reason for his punishment…..But I also knew he wouldn’t listen. So my response became “Life’s not fair so you’d better get used to it!”

And guess what? He has! Life has given him many a kick in the teeth and he still likes a little moan to get it off his chest…..Then he moves on.

Now he is my teacher. Often I feel life has thrown something at me that I didn’t “deserve”. It stole my “golden boy” my middle child who had everything going for him. It instead left me an adult who will always need support for mental illness. It stole my strong, healthy, kind dad and left me with a stumbling, trembling, shell of a man who had both Parkinson’s and a stroke in his early 50’s and passed away at 72.

It stole my sanity during a period of my life when I was being hit from all directions……and it almost stole my life too.

But… my son reminds me…..All around me people are going through their own tough times. Some will be going through more than others. Just because we don’t see them or hear about them doesn’t mean those people aren’t struggling. Life’s not fair and it’s ok to have a moan, to ask for help, to take yourself to bed when you’re just too exhausted to cope today….but don’t get caught up so much in the bad times that you don’t appreciate the good. They are always with holding on for. Life’s not fair but it’s wonderful ❤️


6 years ago today my son was struggling trying to get back to northern Ireland from university in Leeds.His agoraphobia was getting worse again after his first recovery from being totally housebound by it. He could no longer get on a plane and to get him home by boat mum and I went over to get him and booked a private room for him so he didn’t have to be in public.

Agoraphobia….Not simply the fear of open space I always thought it was but “an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives the environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away” At its worst ….as we found out….that “environment” can become the whole world.

It’s a terrifying illness. Can you imagine waking up every day in a world that seems so totally unsafe. When you are a highly intelligent person and your logic tells you this isn’t true but your heart is pounding so heart you think it might explode, your chest is do tight that it feels impossible to breathe and rivers of sweat are running down your body.

Even worse is the fact that when my son got to the stage that he only left his bedroom to use the bathroom (and even that caused him to nearly pass out in fear) we were told that “once he’s able to make it to the hospital we can begin treatment”!

Look out for the early warning signs. Avoiding going into places that don’t have an “easy escape route” cinemas,theatres,shoppkng malls. Fear of using public transport. Growing avoidance of social situations. Get help early. Fight for it if you have to. We didn’t recognise it early or get treatment in time. For us it has been and continues to be a very long, slow journey with setbacks along the way……but we’re still travelling together 👫

Doggy dilemas

Sitting downstairs from 6.30 am with this one on my knee because….as an older lady…..she has perfected the “if you don’t come down I may be going to pee in the house but actually I just think you should feed me and give me a cuddle” bark…….And I can’t take any chances. Not only that but my Newfoundland ( who is also elderly) doesn’t appreciate the early morning barking either. He assumes she is aware of danger and he needs to take action……. Like find somewhere to hide or find someone to protect him!

Meanwhile this boy feels the need to gather as many of my clothes as his tiny body can drag to my bed. As I was sorting out my wardrobe yesterday he’s obviously been too busy to get much sleep last night!

For those who don’t know me I currently have 4 dogs……Or rather they currently have me. I love them all very much and they all have very different petsonalities……But after a night out on the town with a few glasses of red wine I could do without the early morning alarm call! So next time she does this I shall put my head under the pillow and ignore them both……..Though that may be difficult if the newfy tries to get into bed with us as he has done before when terrified 😫

Teed off

Marriage tip -Don’t let your husband play golf near anywhere you love to walk.

Me, walking, enjoying the mountains, the sand dunes with the sea appearing, the sound of the birds, the sound of the waves …….And him rabbiting on “Can you see that green over there that’s where Jonny…….” “Look at the the tee box…..when I teed off from there……”

I’m pretty teed off myself! Thank goodness dogs don’t golf! Stick with the dogs for walking …..You may have to pick up 💩 but you want have to listen to it 🙉

PS I love him really ❤️