I was adopted as a 12 yr old Golden Oldie from @AWLQld & went on to become their Official Poster Boy. I became a Global Multi Media Celebrity appearing regularly in Newspapers, Magazines, Television and Official Guest Appearances, representing Golden Oldies Globally. I was famous for wearing Outfits everyday and accompanying Mum on her daily 6 mile run, where I would run on my paws and then ride in my Pram / Stroller as I needed to get my breath. I made Prams COOL ! I was 18 yrs old and as fit as an 8 yr old doggie ! Then I joined Twitter and my Celebrity grew even more !
Unexpectedly I had a severe reaction to a medicine & spent 7 nights in an ICU Hospital, but then suffered a massive Stroke, which I survived. Mum rushed me back to ICU, where I was PTS in Mum's arms. All my Twitter Pals showed Mum & I love we will never forget ! Because of everyone's outpouring of love, we try and be there for other Pals when they too cross OTRB.
While I am not there in body, my spirit lives on in my Mum's heart.
Mum says: "I love you Pepi *tears* Life will never be the same ....." XXXXX
passed on earlier this year, Sir Leo was my Sister favourite dog. Sir Leo also has a sisfur, Kelly, black and white cocker spaniel, they were not so close, but needed each other anyways! Sir Leo always had a soft spot for me, I gave him good food! He died after losing the fight with pancreatitis, but he touched many lives and his memory lives on! You are dearly missed Leo.
Starbuck was born April 1st 2001 and passed on Wednesday December 3rd 2008 after a brave and courageous fight with a horrible cancer called hemangiosarcoma, presenting in his liver. The oncologist gave him a few days to live but he fought for 3 months to the day of his diagnosis. We call him our miracle dog, no only for fighting the cancer for as long as he did but also because he touched the hearts of everyone he met throughout his lifetime.
This is one of our favorite photos of Starbuck. He was just a puppy and you can see how happy and healthy he was in this picture.This is the park he grew up in. He was a good beagle and never ran off like they say beagles do. He always wanted to stay near us and be with us (and he still is).
We love you Starbuck, forever in our hearts, we carry your heart (we carry it in our hearts).
Our Mummy blogged about her experience with Starbuck's Cancer, you can find the posts here
Holly went OTRB on 15 November 2004. She died in Mum's arms with Trea stroking her - no pain, just surrounded by love. She had a good meal and then a playtime with Trea when she got home from work and within 30 mins, without warning, crossed the Rainbow Bride. We took her too the Vet for cremation and she said that Hols had had a massive heart attack though old age. We could not have asked for a better end. We have her ashes in a pretty wooden casket my the fire, which she loved.
I nominate my sisfur, Holly, who went OTRB on 15 November 2004. Loved forever. She adored Marmite!!
I was devastated! The ache in my heart was so real that I actually felt as though it would shatter into a million pieces. I had lost a precious and integral part of my life and I knew it was never coming back. My little cross toy pom, Samantha, had just passed on, after being my special angel and friend for almost 17 years!
The day could not have been blacker if I painted it myself!
As I lay in the dark that night, memories flashed through my head… I reached down to the carpet next to my bed… maybe I was having a nightmare…maybe that soft white head would be there… but alas, all I felt was the hard floor. Sam was, indeed, no more.
Prior to Sam I had owned an equally special little dog called Sandy. Ironically she died the day after my son was born, and although it was almost impossible trying to deal with the elation of giving birth to a baby and the grief of losing Sandy, I managed to get through the ordeal by concentrating my energies on the little scrap of humanity that had entered my life. But trying to settle into a new house, take care of a new born baby and get over the loss of Sandy, often proved too much for me, and I just broke down and cried and cried.
Eventually, my mom said “ENOUGH, I am getting you another little “Sandy”. I was horrified. Sandy couldn’t be replaced…. how insensitive…the thought sickened me! But, my mom was determined. She returned from the animal shelter and told me that she had seen a white, two-year old cross pom, who was in desperate need of a home. I was annoyed, but the thought of this little dog being euthanized because it was homeless played heavily on my mind and eventually I went to “have a look”.
The piece of paper my mom had given me had a name on it… SAMANTHA. I walked into the reception and said I wanted to see a white pom named Samantha. The receptionist laughed and said “We don’t name our dogs, but perhaps you want to speak to Samantha, the lady responsible for adoptions” Of course the name Samantha was the name of the person I had to speak to, BUT in my mind the dog’s name was Samantha, and would never be anything else. I waited patiently for them to bring her out and when I saw this forlorn little creature, with beige patches on her ears and back and a sad look on her slightly Pekingese looking face, I knew I could never leave her behind!
I signed all the paperwork, paid the adoption fee and left with my new “baby”. She was tense and fidgety in the car and I could see the look on her face saying “Oh no… where am I going now?”
But, she soon settled in and became the love of my life. We also had a totally insane Maltese poodle called Lady. A nightmare of a dog who dominated poor Sam, chewed up everything in sight and had no qualms about nipping you if you annoyed her! But Sam and Lady became friends and in many ways, Lady settled down a little when Sam arrived.
Sam had been a stray, and it rapidly became clear to me that the first three years of Sam’s life had not been the happiest. She was nervous and shy and jumped up and ran away if anyone walked past her. She cringed when anyone raised their voice and leopard crawled away, with her ears back, if you startled her by raising your hand to pat her. Who could abuse such a dear harmless little thing? My mind boggled!
Although the mental scars of her earlier years went very deep and she remained timid and unassuming, Sam eventually came out of her shell and I became her hero! She followed me everywhere. She could hardly believe her luck when a big plate of yummy food was placed in front of her and looked at me as if to say “Is that ALL for me?” She loved “human food”, especially meat and chicken and she would sell her soul for cake and chocolate. I spoiled her rotten, mainly because I adored her but also because she deserved to be loved and taken care of. We had filled a huge hole in each other’s lives.
In the summer of 2004 Lady passed on and Sam and I became even closer. She spent most of her time at my side, lying next to the computer when I worked, next to the couch when I watched TV, next to my bed when I slept etc! Wherever I was, Sam was not far behind.
By this time, Sam herself, was getting on in age… she was 15 and had become hard of hearing but other than that she was still quite sprightly for her age! My family decided that Sam needed a new friend, and although I knew it was a ploy to get me to agree to them getting a puppy, I went along with it anyway. We had always wanted a Golden Retriever and after much soul searching we bought a highly pedigreed, scandalously expensive golden retriever puppy. We named her Chloe after one of the characters in the soapy “Days of our Lives”.
Sam was horrified! She looked disdainfully at the pup and ran away to hide behind one of the lounge chairs. She looked at me as if to say “How could you?” Chloe was a darling. A sweet mischievous, highly intelligent little bundle of energy. She LOVED Sam and desperately tried to snuggle up next to her, but Sam wasn’t having any of it! Eventually Sam learnt to tolerate Chloe BUT, that was as far as it went. She continued to shadow me and I loved her more and more each day.
In March 2006 Sam started urinating wherever she stood! It was very unlike her, but I put it down to old age. But, when she started wetting her blanket at night I decided to take her to the vet. My worst fears were confirmed… it was the beginning of the end.
Sam had developed a malignant tumour in her bladder. The vet told me that she was not in any pain and they could treat her with anti-inflammatory drugs to shrink the tumour, which would give her a maximum of about another 18 months, but since she was already very old she probably wouldn’t live much longer than that anyway.
With a heavy heart I took her home and so the painful slog towards the end began. I cherished the last few months I had with her, but I knew I had already started painting “the canvas of my life with Sam” black! She was not unhappy but she was always covered in urine, her hearing was almost totally gone, her appetite was non-existent and getting her to take her medication was an uphill battle. I hand fed her bits of meat and chicken and painstakingly laced her meds with meat, cheese, chocolate… you name it!
One Friday night in November she suddenly took a turn for the worst! She wouldn’t eat, she seemed unsettled and depressed and her breathing was laboured. I sat up with her all night praying she wouldn’t die, but miraculously she seemed better in the morning. But my joy was short-lived. The next day my daughter noticed a hard red lump on her tummy. The vet suggested they remove it under local anaesthetic as it was a skin tumour and would grow bigger if it wasn’t removed. I reluctantly agreed. She came through the surgery ok, but she was miserable. She was obviously in pain and the “lampshade” around her neck preventing her from licking the wound, was bothering her. But, still, she was alive!
Then catastrophe struck a few days later. She became unsettled again and appeared to be in great pain. Eventually at 2-00am I called the vet. He met us at the veterinary clinic and said he thought she had slipped a disc in her back. He gave her a morphine injection to settle her and said we should call in the morning.
It’s funny… I knew she couldn’t live much longer since she was already 17 years old and she had cancer, BUT I prayed for just a few more months…even weeks…or days.
It was not to be. The next morning the vet called me and said he suspected she had neurological damage and asked us to come by the clinic. My daughter came with me.
I gasped when I saw her. She had been bathed and she looked so healthy and beautiful, BUT when we looked closer we could see that something was terribly wrong. Her tongue was hanging out of her mouth, her eyes were glazed and her back legs were paralysed. I don’t think she even knew we were there. The vet spoke in a soft empathetic voice, but his words were like a knife through my heart. He said she was suffering and we had to let her go peacefully. The paint brush dabbed huge blobs of black on the canvass as I held her tightly in my arms and the tears ran down my face.
I knew I had to let her go, but it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I held her as the deathly serum went through her veins and eventually the life just drained out of her little body and all that remained of my best friend was a lifeless little form on a cold steel table. I kissed her good bye and I knew my life would never be the same again.
Six moths on, Chloe and I have become very close. She is very dear to me, but in a different way to Sam. We also have a new little toy pom pup named Lexi, and there are patches of black and white on the canvas. White because I know Sam will always be in my heart and one day we will be reunited….black because I still miss her so very much.
I walked down the rows and rows of cages at the pound, looking at the lost and abandoned dogs and wanted to take them all. As an animal lover, it upset me greatly that these poor animals may be put down because nobody wanted them. I was troubled...which one do I take? How does one make this decision? I was recently married and living in a one-bedroomed apartment. I had always had a dog in my life, and despite the fact that pets were not allowed in the apartment building we lived in, I had decided to get a small dog anyway.
My husband’s voice suddenly broke into my thoughts, “Joykes, come and look at this Fox Terrier. It is too cute!”. I started walking towards him, my thoughts far away, and as I walked, I saw a pair of white paws reaching through the bars of one of the cages. I had to see which dog belonged to those paws. Those paws were beckoning to me.
I stopped at the cage, peeped inside, and there she was! A scrawny white cross pom, with a pink nose and a sad look on her face. I looked into those brown eyes and I knew that I could never walk away from this dog. A bond had been formed in those first seconds that I saw her.
Gavin called again. I walked slowly towards him, but I knew that my mind had been made up.
The little fox terrier was sitting, smiling at us. He was cute, and I didn’t want to leave him, nor did I want to disappoint Gavin, but “white paws” had captured my heart. I suggested that we take both, but Gavin reminded me of the fact that we had very little space, no garden and that we were violating the terms of our lease by even taking one dog.
Although Gavin wasn’t happy to leave the little foxie that had wormed its way into his affections, he went along with me, and after completing all the paperwork, the little white dog was put into my arms. She was shy, but happy to be given some attention.
She was also a little timid, and sat quietly on my lap in the car, shaking and looking apprehensive.
When we got home, she walked warily around the apartment sniffing here and there and had this look of “Where am I now?” on her face. Just then the phone rang. She yelped and ran! We finally found her, hiding under our bed! We laughed, but we also realised that she had never been indoors, and that her two years of life, prior to landing up in the shelter could not have been filled with much love and security.
I had seen a few fleas and ticks on her body, so I ran a bath and dumped her in the water. She was not impressed! She looked at me as if to say “OK, kill me now, but make it quick” She looked like a pathetic little drowned rat, when her fur was wet, and my heart went out to this little furry creature that had come into my life.
Her white coat was speckled here and there with sandy brown patches, and we, therefore, decided to call her Sandy.
Over the 12 years that followed, Sandy became a special part of life, more than just a dog, almost a child, and definitely the best friend I have ever had.
Gavin and I both worked all day, so Sandy spent the day alone in the apartment. I didn’t feel too guilty about this, because I knew that she was better off in my apartment than in the pound, or worse still!
When we got home from work, she was so excited, and grabbed our feet, whimpering and barking, as we came through the door. She smiled and wagged her tail at me as if to say ”I LOVE YOU”.
After a few days, she became my shadow, following me everywhere and giving me this forlorn look when I went out without her. She loved Gavin too, but I was her favourite. If Gavin kissed me, she barked at him, which infuriated him, and made me laugh till I almost cried. The apartment was serviced once a week, and on the day that the maid came to our apartment, Sandy did her “vicious guard dog” thing! And, if the maid tried to talk to me, Sandy drowned her out, with loud barking and threatening growls. Eventually, I had to lock her in a room, so the maid could get a word in. She went everywhere with us, and when we ate at my mother-in-law, which was most evenings when we first got married, Sandy was served a dish of food too. When we ate at a roadhouse, she would run up and down the back seat, of the car, barking at the waiter, as he took the order. We would order half a chicken for her, and give it to her when we got home.
Sandy had been with us for about five years when I fell pregnant with my first child. All my family and friends were convinced that Sandy’s nose would be out of joint when the baby came along. And, indeed, she was less than impressed when my daughter, Dayle arrived! At first, she would sit in the corner at the other end of the room, and glare at me. If I called her, she would look at me as if to say “Don’t talk to me, you traitor”. But, when she realised that wasn’t going to work, she decided to change her tactics, and as soon as I sat down on the bed to feed the baby, she would come and sit almost on top of me, as if to say “Hey! I was here first!!!”
Sandy and Dayle became firm friends, and Dayle followed in her mom’s shoes, becoming an animal lover, at an early age.
Six years later I fell pregnant with my second child. We found a house to rent, and we moved about 6 weeks before the baby was due. Sandy was getting old. She was almost deaf and blind and a bit frail, but still healthy. She slept in a basket next to my bed and I often lay awake at night, listening to her breathing and feeling the baby kick.
The move was traumatic for Sandy. At the age of 14, she was not happy to be taken out of her comfort zone. She clearly missed her old surroundings. The house was a double-story, and she found the stairs very difficult to manage. I thought she would love having her own garden, since going for walks had always been her favourite pastime, but she was really too old to enjoy the little garden, and instead of walking around sniffing every tuft of grass, as she usually did, she just did her ablutions and then looked at me as if to say “Please take me in”.
I was saddened by this and the horrible truth that I may not have Sandy for much longer was beginning to dawn on me. It caused me to panic and feel sick inside.
It was a cold winter’s evening, about two weeks after we had moved into the house, when the beginning of the end came. Sandy refused to eat, started vomiting and really didn’t look well at all. The next morning I took her to the vet, who said that she might have a kidney problem, put her on a drip and kept her over night. With her age against her, it didn’t look good. I was hysterical. How would I live without Sandy?
Miraculously, she responded to the treatment, and after about a week, she was well enough to go home. I was elated.
For a few days she was fine, eating nicely, and generally looking a lot perkier. But, alas, the improvement was short-lived, and she soon ended up back in hospital.
I visited her twice a day, every day, but her kidneys were slowly shutting down, and she just got weaker and weaker. The vet recommended that we consider putting her down, but I don’t believe in euthanasia, and clung to the belief that where there is life, there is hope.
I was heavily pregnant, by this time, and on my last legs. My doctor decided to do a caesarean section earlier than I had anticipated. It was July 3, the surgery was scheduled for July 4, and I went to see Sandy for the last time that evening, just before I was admitted to the clinic. She was so frail. I sat next to her and wept, and when I said goodbye, I pleaded with her not to die while I was gone. But, I knew in my heart that I was saying good bye to her for the last time.
The baby was born at 8-45am, and no sooner was I in the recovery room, then I asked Gavin to call the vet and find out how Sandy was doing. The news was not good. Gavin asked if I would reconsider putting her down, as the vet felt that she was now suffering, and would be better off out of her misery. I refused, saying that G-d would take her when he was ready.
The next day Gavin was due to come and visit me in the morning, and he was late. I kept looking out of the window of the ward, which overlooked the parking lot, and eventually, I saw him approaching the entrance. Dayle and his mother were with him, and they looked sombre.
I knew that my special friend had gone to heaven.
They came into the ward, and Gavin put his arms around me. I asked softly if she was gone, and he said “Yes, she passed away during the night” My heart stopped. Although I knew that she was gone, actually hearing the words cut through me like a knife. I cried softly, mourning the end of a beautiful and special part of my life.
Even as I write this, nine years later, the tears are spilling over my keyboard. I remember that day so very well. After Gavin had left, they brought me my baby. I had wanted another baby so badly. I looked at the little scrap of humanity in my arms and knew I had to be strong for his sake, but dealing with the elation of having a baby on the one hand, and the terrible sense of loss that I was feeling, on the other, proved to be very difficult.
It took me a long time to get over her, and I definitely didn’t want to replace her. I put the last photograph ever taken of her on top of the TV in my bedroom, and on the wall unit in my lounge, and would run my fingers over the frame, weeping quietly.
After a couple of months, my parents and Gavin twisted my arm to get another “little Sandy”. She is still with us, much smaller, but with the same white and sandy fur. Her name is Samantha. I love her dearly, but nothing could ever take that special place that I have in my heart for that little forlorn creature that crept into my affections, all those years ago, at the pound.