Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Feathers Fur and Fins Part 7


Years moved on, I was now a single parent as my relationship with AJ ended. I had also returned to work, trying to give my children the future they deserved.
Within this time, we had a few pets come and go, but I wanted to dedicate this entry to my beloved boy Keltic, who had been by my side since I first moved out of home so many years before.
He was still my big black wolf, but the years where starting to show and his gait was showing the weathers of time.
One day, it was a blustery afternoon as I recall, I went out the back to fill up water bowls and feed Cleo and Keltic, when I noticed he didn’t great me at the door as per usual.
I walked towards the lawn, thinking he must be rummaging around in the compost heap as per usual and didn’t hear me call.
But he was resting on the lawn, under the shade of the jackerander tree.
I called him, tapped my legs, and expected him to come running as he usually did. But he lay there, looking at me, wagging his tail, but not getting to his feet.
This is where I became aware something wasn’t right. I tried to coax him to his feet but he let out a yelp of pain and again sat down.
It took me quite a lot of effort to drag him inside, I had a perforated disc myself at this time and this made it all the more difficult.
After a visit from the mobile vet, I was told he had done his cruciate ligament.
And in a dog of his size and age, there wasn’t much they could do. Keltic was rocking on 17 at this time, and his health was deteriorating. She gave me drugs and pain killers, and slowly after months of lying around and being assisted in movement he began to slowly improve.
This was however the beginning of the end for my wolf.
He never recovered completely, his walk now was labored, and although not in pain, a walk around the block was enough now to keep him happy. A far cry from the hour long treks we used to do when he was younger.
I became aware one day that there was a little lump under the corner of his eye, it looked like a wart or mole, but it was not there before. Over a few weeks it went away, but he began to snort and sneeze. Again I called for the vet, and after x-rays they said there was a growth in his nose. The tests were expensive, but the vet said it didn’t look good and I should consider my options. Them being put him down now, and end it while he was in the early stages. Or hold off and see how the disease progressed and take it day by day. I thought long and hard about this decision, but as he wasn’t really in pain, and still seemed happy in his existence, I decided on the latter.
It was a year and a half later, his weight started to drop and he started to look like I was mistreating him. We tried everything, feeding 3 times a day, weight and fat gaining formulas. But although skinny and gaunt, he was still as happy and according to the vet, pain free.
Around this time, we got Miloh, she was my tax return impulse buy. A golden Cocker Spaniel Pup who was absolutely adorable. ( I’ll talk more about her story in my next entry)
Keltic was slowing down rapidly now, and I had got used to him sleeping under the kitchen table. I knew his time was marked when the left side of his head started to swell and his eye rolled back and could no longer be seen.
He couldn’t walk now, he just laid there and it became habit every morning to clean up after him. I placed Miloh next to him, as he lay there, showing him this little pup and hoping he would respond. Amazingly enough, even though he was sick and hurting, and unable to stand, he wagged his tale ever so gently and raised his nose to nuzzle her. I placed her next to him and she snuggled up next to him between his front feet.
The next morning I called the vet and as I sat on the floor with his body draped across my legs his head in my hands, she helped him move on. Unlike Nizmos passing, Keltics was peaceful and although I cried for several days afterwards. I knew it was his time and that I had had 18 years of the best companionship any dog owner could have asked for. When he took his final breath, shaky and hollow, Cleo, our Jack Russel , his compardre, howled from the window. It was a haunting farewell to her companion and friend.
Keltic was a special dog, he was proud, enthusiastic, cheeky, intelligent, fiercely loyal and protective.
He loved playing ball, going for long walks and socializing at the beach. He enjoyed smackos, could unscrew a 2ltr coke bottle in a few seconds and loved fetching a ball from the bottom of a basin of water.
He was my boy, who walked at my side, protected me when I was alone and defended my children with a low growl and a raised lip from under their bassinet.
We buried him along side Nizmo, in the back garden , and even now when I’m in that corner, I feel like I can hear his panting.
That corner in the garden , where the tree and the fence meet. Will forever be known as Keltics Corner.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Feathers Fur and Fins Part 6

Returning home to the house I grew up in changed  so many things in our lives, this was a time of great change in our family. And these events that happened in this time structured the future events that landed me where I am today.
But this section is about the little furry friends who joined us and left us along the way. So for now Ill simply focus on them.
I will return to this time and date in other blog entries, when the rest of the story will need to be told.
But for now, let’s move on.
We stayed at mum and dads for 18months, the four of us and our two cats and 2 dogs. Ebony was older now, Tranzam was as wiry as ever, and unfortunately pregnant for the second time. She had a set of kittens with us when we first found her, 4 in all, and I had managed to find homes for all of them. But as this move was unpredicted and forced on us quite quickly, this new pregnancy was not as welcome. She had always been an awesome mother, even to the first set of kittens. Her devotion was amazing; she looked after them meticulously, seeing to their every need.
She again had four in her second litter. I remember the night they were born clearly. We were all at the dinner table e talking as a family does and she slowly came over to me, smooched me a few times, (as she always did) and then ever so gently mouthed my hand. I looked down at her and she smooched me again. Tranzam was not known for being over friendly, she wasn’t a cuddle cat. Hated being picked up and would never sit on some ones lap. But she was adamant that night that I needed to be with her. She slowly walked to our room, looking back at me as she went, as if waiting for me to follow.
When I didn’t at the start, she came back to the table, again meowed at me and mouthed my hand. This time, I did follow, and she quietly jumped into the box I had set up for her next to the bed. I watched her have her 4 kittens, helping her clean and set them up.
All were very cute, two boys two girls,
As before, her mothering skills were exceptional, she raised them well, protected them from the prying canine eyes that were all around her.
As before I found them all homes, and then vowed Tranzam's time as a mum was over, and we got her sterilized.
Fortunately we found a way to get our own home, and after the 18 month break at mum and dad’s we were set again to venture out alone. Our new home was in Langford and we moved, firstly just us and the furniture while we set up house and accommodations. My pets stayed with Mum and slowly bit by bit we collected them, bringing them to their last home, one they could spend the rest of their lives at.
Tranzam joined us first, followed by Keltic and Gypsy (who later moved on to live with P).
It was decided at this time, that Ebony would not make the move; she was getting old, and seemed settled at mums with her two cats.
I hated leaving her behind, but she was stressed before we went to mums and was suffering from allergic reactions.
But since being at mums she had calmed and was now all relaxed again. She was getting on in years also. So although not all that happy to leave her. She stayed where she was happiest, under mum’s fern bush.

The new house was awesome, the pets loved it, and Keltic had a huge yard to hoon around in again. And Tranzam had a native garden to patrol.
AJ bought me a special Valentine’s Day gift that year, a small beautiful dashund X wire hair jack Russel terrier. We called her Nizmo and she was my heart and soul. I adored her, she was obedient, and loyal and such a funny little thing. Her fear of tranzam was very comical. And she was such a devoted little dog, even if a little silly at times.
She was the last gift AJ ever gave me before we separated and went our separate ways. This made her all the more my comfort during those dark days, and her little dark eyes and wet nose pulled me through many a sombre moment.
Unfortunately, due to a melee of uncontrollable events, one summer day, my little angel that had done so much for me was taken from me, in the most brutal way possible.
It was a normal day, a day with bright sunshine, and warm breezes.
I was out and about with my best friend who I had spent some many days with since my separation; her family had become my surrogate family.
We were on our way home, planning a BBq dinner at her house as we usually did on the weekend, I had left my kids at her house while we went shopping, and was heading home briefly, to let Nizmo out of the house for a toilet brake. She had been locked in all day. And although quite capable to hold it that long, I thought a pit stop was in order.
This is where the events of the day caused disaster.
That morning, I didn’t lock Nizmo in the laundry as I always did. I left her to run free in the house. When I pulled up in the drive way, I didn’t pull right up to the car port as I usually did; I left the car down near the road. For what reason, to this day I do not know why I changed my usual routine.
When I went to my door, I was carrying parcels, and was juggling things in my hands. Usually I always put things down when opening the front door, as Tranzam loved to try to scoot past me.
This time however, I decided to hold onto my cargo and try the door.
The key went in as per usual, and then time slowed like it does in the movies as the series of unfortunate events took place to end in disaster.
Nizmo ran out the front door, bouncing and happy to see me, excited I had returned.
I jumbled and juggled my parcels opting to quickly throw them through the door and then return to pick her up and give her a cuddle.
As I did the car door being open caught her eye, and she yelped and bounced all the more bolting across the lawn in excitement at the idea of going for a ride. I called after her, and tried to follow as fast I could but she was too fast. She stopped mid step, realizing that the front door of the car was open and my friend V saw her, called her and opened the back sliding door.
(Nizmo never went through the front door of a car; she was trained to only go in the back)
So seeing the other door move, and hearing me calling her to get in, (as she wasn’t listening to the come here command due to the excitement) she changed her mind at the door and proceeded to run around behind the car to enter through the rear sliding door.
My heart stopped as at the moment she circled the bumper at the rear, (which was ever so close to the road as I had not parked up the driveway like usual) a commodore came around the bend and clipped her.
She was only the size of a large cat and I heard the thump then the yelp and then the crunch.
All I could hear was my heart beating as I raced to the road, and saw her shaking on her side, her legs stiff in shock.  
The driver of the car slowed, looked back and then continued, not interested in the damage that had just unfolded.
V said I screamed “no!” but I do not recall it, all I remember is scooping her little broken body into my arms and holding her. She was alive, her eyes looked at me in fear, but I could feel the life leaving her in the stream of blood that soaked my top.
I jumped into the passenger seat, and V took the wheel, we raced to the Murdoch hospital, hoping she could hold on. But she trembled less, and even with mouth to mouth, (which I preformed willingly) her chest slowed and her body softened.
We pulled up and raced inside, my heart still hoping that we had made it, but I knew she was gone, as they took her from my arms.
I was soaked in her blood, and I watched the white doors close before me.
It was 20 mins that seemed like hours when the nurse came to see me, she told me that there was little hope to begin with and that she would have gone on impact or shortly after.
This I already knew, but it still didn’t stop the blade that cleaved my heart when she said it. I know now, looking back on it, that I had substituted all my love to Nizmo, my break up and loneliness had been soothed by her. I had focused all my love and joy on this little wonder and it made the nights not seem so long or so dark.
She had also helped the kids through dark times. she had showed them joy and made them laugh in a time when laughter and smiles were hard to find.
At this point I have to say, my world stopped for a second time. I don’t remember getting home, all I know is that I ended up sitting on V’s bed with such an empty feeling inside.
V didn’t know what to do, we hadn’t told the kids, and she could see how much I had lost my way. She called my best friend P (Gypsy’s new owner) and sought his help. As he had been my rock throughout the troubled times of my separation.
P was a friend of AJ’s but stayed close to me and the kids after the split. We owed him so and his support was a welcome blanket at this time too.
I‘d have to say Nizmos death was one of the darkest moment in our lives. It showed me how much we truely love our sidekicks.
It took time and love to pass this dark time. But eventually we moved on. We remember her now with smiles and laugh at her funny habit, her may of digging pretend holes in our beds and her tiny curled tail that wagged uncontrollably when she was excited. Even though, just reliving her passing for this story has brought that heaviness back slightly in my heart. And as before, my eyes tear reliving it.
I was a single parent now, and after nearly 6 months I took the plunge and bought a Jack Russel pup home from the pet shop, we called her Cleo, and although not Nizmo, she filled a gap, a hole. Keltic accepted her as he did Nizmo, he was still my beautiful boy, and I found great solace in his thick black coat.
Cleo was, as any Jack Russel owner will attest, a handful; she was full of energy, loved to destroy things and never stopped. It was soon evident after a barragement of destroyed slippers, and Barbie dolls and shredded oranges from the cupboard that she was destined to be an outside dog. She was banished to the back yard, at first only temporarily, but as we discovered her enjoyment to all things out doors, it became a permanent arrangement. We made Ketic and Cleo a large kennel, and they soon ended up sleeping curled up together and became the best of friends.
In the coming years Harmony joined us, a little tortishel kitten, she was a gift from a fried, who had too many kittens and no one to give them too.
Harmony was gentle, talkative, and very cuddly; she adored CH, and followed K around like a lost soul. She was the complete opposite to Tranzam, she loved to be held, and cuddled, she would spend hours on your lap, purring up a storm. She even had a fondness to playing dress up with CH and was not upset at all in wearing baby clothes or riding in prams.
So now the family was back to 2 cats, Harmony and Tranzam and 2 dogs Keltic and Cleo.
Including Dawn and Angel, the two hooded rats (another gift) we were at capacity.
Our family was mending, and life was moving on.
There were still a few trials and tribulations to navigate, but those were further down the track. And a story best to be saved for another time.