Sunday, 27 November 2016

Thankful

Thoughts of Wiggle are always on my mind and with it having been Thanksgiving this week, I've been thinking more about how lucky I was to have Wiggle in my life for the time I did.  He was super special and maybe that's why it feels so hard to get used to him being gone now, even though it's been nearly two months.

He loved this time of year, with cooler days and plenty of interesting smells to sniff out amongst the fallen leaves.  It's my favourite time of year, especially on bright days.  Sofy likes autumn too:


Seeing Sofy in the leaves reminded me how photogenic Wiggle was at this time of year with the beautiful colours as a perfect backdrop to photograph his handsome good looks:



As much as I try and think of the fun times and adventures we shared, I still find myself wishing I could stroke that beautiful, velvety soft black fur and hug my boy.  I cry, I feel sad and I remind myself it's grief and it will get easier.  But while my head believes that, my heart is still struggling.  

Thankfully Sofy is being a Very Good Girl and is affectionate and cuddly, trying her best to cheer me up by being silly and bashing me with her toys to get me to play.  Week after next we'll have Lilly staying with us so for a few days we'll be back to a two dog home, which will be nice for both of us.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Life as an only dog

Sofy is adjusting to life on her own although I know she must miss Wiggle, just as I do.  A couple of times now when we have been out and seen a Black Lab she has got very excited and pulled me towards them as if she thinks its Wiggle.  

Of course it isn't him and seeing her disappointed and confused expression is hard for me.  But now she gets all of my attention, I think she is happy.  She takes an interest in what I'm doing around the house but isn't clingy, which is good as I still have to work.  I watch her on the camera and she spends most of her day sleeping in the armchair, which is what she has always done.

Yesterday she helped me in the garden although I wasn't sure that sitting on the piles of leaves I had raked was especially helpful, but we keep each other company.  Hopefully one day we will have another Labbie in our lives and I have offered to foster, but for now we will be patient.

Right now Sofy is next to me on the sofa, snoring loudly as she is tired after making the most of a lovely autumn day; cold but sunny, we went up to the Downs.


The leaves were beautiful in the sunshine:


Sofy was nicely colour co-ordinated with her surroundings:


Solo Sofy:


Enjoying the sunshine;



Monday, 31 October 2016

Sofy's Busy Weekend

Since she has been an only dog, Sofy has been playing with her toys more.  It makes me happy to see her being daft again as she gave up toys when Wiggle got too old for them.


So it meant Sofy was especially excited when our lovely friend Sue sent a parcel to Sofy which contained a fabbie new toy!


We went away at the weekend to visit our good friends Sarah and Phil up in Derbyshire.  Sofy had visited before with Wiggle and met Mac the Trailhound and Ruby the Springer Spaniel so she was happy to be reunited with her new friends.  She also likes their 4 horses so was happily wandering around in their paddock - the horses are all used to dogs so didn't take much notice.

Once the reunion was over we took the dogs for a walk in the nearby forest and when we came across a pond, Sofy and Ruby decided to get in:


While Ruby swam, Sofy pretended to be a swamp monster:


Sofy's first weekend away without Wiggle was going well until she came face to face with Roo the Bengal Cat:
  

Roo is the most confident cat which confused Sofy as all other cats she has met want to run away but he stood his ground and followed her around: 


Deciding that he was boss in his home, Roo sat on me which Sofy found most distressing so she took herself off to bed and wouldn't look at me and the cat.  She thought that if she couldn't see him, he didn't exist:


By the morning, Sofy had a plan - she would camouflage herself by laying on the rug and hope that Roo would leave her alone:


Back home again and today was a lovely, sunny day so after running some errands, we made the most of the autumn sunshine with a walk in the fields across the road:




Sofy was a Very Good Girl and I like to think that she learnt how to be a good house guest from Wiggle...


Sunday, 23 October 2016

One day at a time...

We miss Wiggle so much.  Every single day, we miss him.  He was such a big part of our lives and even though he had been less active in his old age, home seems so empty without him.

Even in his old age, Wiggle was a character.  He would follow me to the kitchen and look at me with a quizzical expression, hoping for a snack.  I would sneak him a biscuit while Sofy wasn't looking.  When we went for our little walks, he would go where he wanted, even if he needed to pull me.  When he decided he didn't want to eat from his food bowl I would feed him by hand, which he approved of.  

It will get easier, I know, but at the moment it's still very strange to not have Wiggle here.  His ashes are home and I thought that would bring some peace but sadly, not yet.  I know without any doubt that it was the right time to let him go but knowing that doesn't lessen the sadness.

Meanwhile, Sofy is being a Very Good Girl and I guess it's an adjustment for both of us.  I watch her on the camera from work and she sleeps in the armchair or on the rug if there's a sunpuddle.

Since she's been on her own, Sofy plays with toys again, something she hadn't done for a while.  In Wiggle's latter months, he lost interest in toys and Sofy did too but now she makes me smile by whapping a toy or pushing one at me so I'll play tuggy with her.

While our autumnal weather has been good, we've been getting out, going across the fields nearby and up to the Downs, trying to think of the many happy memories of Wiggle being with us on our walks.  

I know that in time the happy memories will take away the sadness, but for now, we just take each day one day at a time.








Monday, 10 October 2016

One week on

Needless to say, a week on from saying goodbye I am still thinking about Wiggle all of the time.  He was such a huge part of my life that it doesn't surprise me how much of my mind space he occupies.  I miss him so much, it physically hurts.

The response to losing Wiggle has been overwhelming.  I knew he was special but the lovely messages, cards and flowers have meant so much and I want to thank everyone for their kindness and support at this terribly sad time.  To know that Wiggle touched so many people's hearts makes me very proud to have been his human.

Sofy seems to be doing ok on her own although I'm not sure she fully understands but maybe she does.  I'm so glad she is still her for me to hug when I cry and to be my companion.


Wiggle's tag from his collar is now on my key ring with the others from my past Labbie companions.  He gets to travel everywhere with me now.  


I didn't look for Wiggle - he came to me when he needed me most and whilst I'm not looking for another Labrador, I will foster again in the future.  

For now, I shall enjoy my Silly Sofy:


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Wiggle - Day 3,044. The Last Day

Yesterday was the saddest day of my life.  The day I said my final goodbye to Wiggle.

After having celebrated his birthday last week, Wiggle's health and well being declined so quickly it came as a shock to me.  Thursday and Friday he only managed short walks and wasn't very hungry, only eating a few chunks of his tinned meat.

On Saturday I made him some pancakes with maple syrup but he didn't want them although he had always enjoyed pancakes before.  


I helped him up a few times and we tried to go for a walk but Wiggle only went to the end of the street and back.  By then, I was fearing the worst and my heart was breaking but I knew I had to do what was right for him.

On Sunday I called the vets and made an appointment for Monday afternoon.  I got Wiggle into the car and took him to my parents to say goodbye.  Still not wanting to eat much, I got Wiggle lots of tasty snacks to see if he could be tempted to eat and he did manage some ham and smoked salmon.

By Monday, Wiggle wasn't able to get up by himself at all.  I'd been sleeping downstairs with him since Friday and he had been trying to get up in the night so I helped him get to his puppy pads as he didn't want to go outside.  We didn't sleep much and after it had gotten light and Sofy had eaten her breakfast, I helped him outside but even that wore him out.


I knew it was the right time to let him go.  My handsome, special, loyal, clever Wiggle was too tired to carry on, even for me.  I put his harness on to be able to help him on his feet and he spent some time in the garden, sniffing the air.


Then it was time to leave.  Sofy said goodbye, licking his face and watching him as I got Wiggle in the car.  We stopped at Maud Heath on the way, Wiggle laying in the car feeling the warmth of the sun on his soft fur for one last time.  I hugged him and cried and told him how special he is and how much love I would always feel for him.

Once at the vets, Malcolm agreed it was the right decision and helped me get Wiggle up on the table.  Wiggle didn't struggle, just lay with me holding him, crying into his fur, stroking him and telling him how much I loved him.  His passing was peaceful; it was the right time.  

Now my heart is breaking for the loss of my one in a million boy.  He arrived in such a neglected condition and despite not being loved, he was ready to give love.  We had so many wonderful adventures and he was a great ambassador for Labrador Rescue South East & Central.

But he's gone, free from pain.  The pain left now is mine but in time the happy memories will take over.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Wiggle, chatted with him on Twitter and shared his life with us.  

Wiggle, 28.09.2002 - 03.10.2016











Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wiggle's 14th Birthday

Today is a very special day - Wiggle's 14th birthday.  I honestly didn't think I would be lucky enough to celebrate this special day and to be honest, there have been plenty of days when I wondered if the time to say goodbye was growing nearer.

But, thankfully, Wiggle is still here and to celebrate, I took the day off work, packed some meaty snacks and we went to a lovely park for a birthday picnic.


Wiggle helped himself to his little lunch box while I drank coffee.


Wiggle then finished the froth from my latte and got plenty of it on his nose!


It's been such a lovely day that we stayed where we were, enjoying the fine weather and having plenty of cuddles.





Words cannot describe how much I love Wiggle and I'm not ashamed to admit that I have cried a lot lately as I know time is not going to last forever for Wiggle but I'm very glad we got to spend today together.  He really is a special boy.