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13 October 2011


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Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about Christmas Holly :-( Thank goodness she found you for those ten wonderful months together.

I know something of what you are going through, as we took in our most recent rescue dog, Jasper, as a 12 year old emergency foster, on New Year's Eve 2009. We had him for about 20 fantastic months, until he very sadly passed away a month ago.

Feel so blessed to have had him join our little family. I know what you mean about rescues finding us. We weren't looking for another dog really, and my next rescue was meant to be a young female Lab. Until a 12 year old male Heinz 57 turned up!

Best wishes,


What a beautifully written tale about Christmas Holly. She was fortunate to spend those last months with someone so caring. It's heartwarming to know there are such good people out there.
Love the pictures too, especially the one of Holly in front of the fridge!

I feel so privileged to have met The Dowager - farewell, sweet dog.

Oh, this is so, so sad. I am very sorry, but I'm glad you had the time together, and that you each helped the other. What a gift a dog is. I've often read that the only trouble with a dog is that they don't live long enough. You've written a beautiful tribute to her and to her companions, both two and four legged.

You gave her such a lovely end to her life -- we should all be so lucky!

It is hard to believe that dear Holly was with you for less than a year, she was such a part of the family. I know she will be sadly missed but what a beautiful time you gave her.
M xx

Commiserations - but you gave Holly something wonderful. Beautifully written too.

So sorry that she's gone and that I never met her, but so happy that she had all your love during her final months xx

Fast asleep. Singing birds in their leafy cover
Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover
Sleeping at last.

I'm so very sorry for your loss and yet feel such gladness that there was a good dog who was so well loved.

Thank you for the living, the loving and the splendid telling of it.

I am sorry to hear that Christmas Holly has passed away. Please give an extra hug to Edinburgh Boy from a stranger who understands about his loss. I have sat by special dogs in their last illnesses that I have loved, adopted, been attached to by dog-sitting and it's hard no matter the circumstance. Ten months is actually a long time in terms of habits and attachments and she will have left a big gap in your home. You were lucky to have had each other at the right time for you all.

I can think of no kinder way for you to say goodbye to your dear old girl. And what a fine home you gave her too.

A sad but very beautiful post, you express so well that having Christmas Holly in your life so briefly was worth the pain you are feeling now.

So so sorry to read about Holly (and of course I'm blubbing as I type). I know you feel lucky to have had those 10 months in her company. I also know she struck gold when she found you.

Thank you all so much for such kind and understanding comments. It has taken me a whole week to post a reply but I just want to say how much I appreciated your words and how much they meant at a sad time.

By chance, while we were out on our afternoon walk today, we met a couple who had recently rehomed a Battersea dog. She was very old indeed - a grey and grizzled Jack Russell terrier who had been found wandering the streets of South East London. We swapped 'oldie' rescue stories and I could see how devoted they were to their old girl - and how devoted she was to them. It cheered me up enormously. As one of my neighbours here in the village remarked on the subject of rehoming elderly dogs; 'It's all about ensuring that their last memories are happy ones.' Amen to that.

Aw! So sorry she's gone (sniffle...)

My heart goes out to you because I've been there. You wrote such a touching tribute to that dear girl -- one of the many angels with four paws. Thank you for sharing.

I'm so sorry you had to let Christmas Holly go. It's the last and kindest thing we can do for them, but oh how it hurts. Bless you for taking her in and making sure her last days were all good ones.


Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost her. She was a very lucky old lady to have found you and spent a happy almost-year with you!

You're right, these dogs do have a way of finding us. 'Young' Ranger found us .. I was looking for an easy dog this time; young enough to be trainable (perhaps 6 or 7 years old) good natured, and a potential off-leader. They SAID Ranger was an 'angel' and would go off-lead in time. They SAID he was good with all other dogs. They SAID I'd hardly know I had him. Not so.

He came to me with an undiscovered, horrible, deep ulcer in his mouth, and issues with his mouth being touched (not surprising) and also with his feet being touched. He was the first dog who's growled at me in fear. He was horrible on lead and inclined to want to snap at other dogs. He's cost us over £1,000 in medical fees since June and it's going to be unwise to let him off-lead without a LOT of work.

They SAID we could return him if it didn't work out, and to be honest, I tried, since he was also body-slamming Sid and hurting him. But they got another foster in and said they couldn't take him.

Did I need him? Not a lot. Did he need me? For sure he did. And we've got very fond of the old rogue - he's my shadow these days.

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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