We were brought up with dogs in our home, and we were so fond of them...but they were family dogs, shared by us all, and it was our Mum who had the responsibility of feeding and walking them - we were really too young. It wasn't until we moved to the farm and had plenty of room that we were each allowed a rescued puppy of our very own to care for....
Of course, my beloved Poppet is just a memory now...but she lived for almost 19 years and shared so much of my life...helped me through so many formative experiences...her fur was often damp when I cried over early heartbreaks with my face buried in her softness! Leaving her to go to university was harder than leaving the rest of the family...at least I could still talk to them and they knew why and where I was going. But I always came back to her,and when I eventually left home for good she was with me. Our lives were entwined...as my life broadened out and I began working,I had be careful to take her into account and adjust my routine around hers...but she gave me so much in return. I owned cats, too...always rescued...two at a time, older ones that no one else seemed to want. They lived out the rest of their months or years with us, surrounded by warmth, love and the care they needed. At times when the rest of my life seemed to be falling apart, they were always a comfort, always so happy to see me....and always a reason to keep going, to get outside for that walk, to get up in the morning even when it felt so difficult.
Of course, one cold November day after being at my side for over half my life...Poppet was gone. It was time. Her beautiful dark eyes were clouded, her muzzle grizzled and she felt so frail and small where she had once been strong,lean and confident...but it took me a long, long time to get over her.
There have been many poems written about the very real grief of losing a dearly loved dog. This is one of my favourites...and it always brings tears!
" Goodbye. May he who next shall own
My garden spare this tiny stone
That marks the spot where, trouble-free,
You sleep (and dream, perchance, of me).
I hope he will; yet wherefore fret?
We could not, if we would, forget
Each other. When, in turn, the dark
Shall glaze my eyes, your joyous bark
Will greet me, echoing to the sky.
Till then, dear loving heart, goodbye..."
And I tried to remember that, I really did...until this little scruff captured our hearts! How could we resist? And now we wonder how we ever lived without her..
Before and after her recent haircut!
Caring for an animal...any animal...can add so much to a life, I believe. It's also a huge responsibility. Alice thinks that she is very big & powerful! But, in reality of course she, like every animal, holds no real power at all. She is entirely vulnerable to the whims of humans. Completely reliant on us for food, for water, for exercise...that is what people have done in domesticating creatures. Alice is one of the many lucky ones...she can take all these things for granted, and know that she is safe and so loved. And we are, of course,so lucky too!
And now to that promised giveaway...
I've tried to find some things that are different, and lovely...I hope I've succeeded!
Firstly, I have this beautiful presentation pack of the new Jane Austen postage stamps...
There are six in all, each is a watercolour representing one of her novels...
Difficult to show you in detail! But limited edition and quite perfect, I think. To go with them, I picked a special mug that's been made for Comic Relief...also known as Red Nose Day,which takes place here on March 15th.This is a charity event held bi-annually in the UK, raising millions for all sorts of good causes...with a comedy theme...
hence the quote! There are different souvenirs each time, so this is only available in 2013...and will hopefully brighten someone's kitchen!
I'll send these, together with a paperback edition of Pride and Prejudice, which celebrates 200 years in publication this year...
to the name that I draw a week from today- Monday 18th March. All you have to do to enter is to leave me a comment on this post...I'll send it anywhere, so you can enter whether you're in Boston, Lincolnshire or Boston, Massachusetts...or even further away! You all mean so much to me!
Hope you have a wonderful week...good luck! Xoxo