We're just shy of 3 months since Mossie died. I've missed him more than I can say. I stopped writing his blog after two weeks because it was, well, his blog. A few weeks later, I took his Christmas presents to a local rescue and signed up to be a walker for them. And then I had to leave in tears. Then I thought about a cat. I went along to a local rescue. There were two suitable mogs. One took one look, bit me and stomped off to her bed. The other one let me stroke him and was lovely. A real big cuddle. Then he looked at me, turned back to his bed letting me know I wasn't going home with him. And then I had to leave in tears.
All too soon. When Bella died, she left such a strong presence. And not just the excess of spaniel fluff everywhere. I could see her out of the corner of my eye and hear the occasional small sigh. After Mossie arrived, she didn't leave but hung around to explain about living indoors to him. Even on his last day, she still seemed to be there. As I drove to meet my Daughter at the station, there was a soft "shrnuffle" from the back seat of the car. But in January, he was so absent. My heart ached for him and there was no comfort in anything.
The house is neat and tidy. You could eat off any surface you like. The vases of flowers are immaculate. The garden looks like a picture. And it is all so empty.
This time last year, my life was full. My two fantastic children come and go as is appropriate to being growed. Life was busy-ish at work. I was in a relationship that I thought would last forever. And there was Mossie to give each day a rhythm. Daughter and Son still come and go. Work is less than satisfying but the bills are paid, and I should be grateful for that. The relationship ... well, it didn't last forever. In fact, it was over by the end of April. The despair of the next few weeks hurt more than I could have ever imagined. Only the rhythm of life with Mossie kept me going.
And writing his blog. Through the blog, he let me vent some of the spleen about the way I had been treated and to find joy in the small things. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing. Story-telling. As the months passed, I had a great deal of fun telling the
When I'm in Wales (There, as opposed to Here), I have a favourite walk, up the hill past the farm to where the kite nest. Whenever, I can, I make this my just-before-leaving-walk. On the bend, by the farm, we would encounter the sheepdogs. Two little, smooth haired girls who work for a living. They always dash out of the barn shouting abuse at you and sidle up to your ankles just in case you need herding. A swift turn-around and hard stare is all it takes to make them come back to you grovelling for affection. When Mossie first arrived, he was terrified of them and would cower behind my legs to make sure that I was between him and them. Memorably, he lay flat on the floor refusing to move and my son had to carry him. Twenty-five kilos. As the months passed, he would stand, uncertain as they came up to him. As long as I stood next to him he was fine and no longer needed to hide behind me. Gradually, he became confident enough to just walk normally past them. Then one weekend, we walked up past the barn and they weren't there. Being a boy, of course, he liked to pee on every post and he looked around, cocked a leg and then thought better of it. Waited till we walked up the hill and then found another post. A few weeks later, as we walked past and the girls came bundling out, he just ambled past them up to the post, cocked his leg and, giving them a long hard stare, had a good pee. Look at me, I am the dude. Not scared of you lot.
Bella was nearly sixteen when she died and I had hoped to share more years with Mossie than we had. But what a time we had together and I don't regret a single moment. Not even his last day because it was right to let him go then. And I've grown used to the total absence of him.
So I've been looking out for the right rescue. A puppy would be great but my life doesn't allow that at the moment. There are so many abandoned dogs and a rescue is the only thing to do.
And there he was. Exactly what I didn't want - old, unwanted, failing eyesight and beaten up. Oh Lord, another Irish boy. His owner died leaving him to the family. They immediately put him up for rescue and were told he would be best put to sleep since he would be unlikely to find a home given his age and eye-sight. He was taken in by a rescue but was attacked by one of the other dogs and has had to be patched up. From there he came to the UK to a wonderful rescue where they gave him another reason to hope. Maybe not mad, just stupid.
I phoned the rescue and got no answer. Just the answermachine. Cowardly, I hung up. Through the day, I came back to the website. Hovered over the phone several times. Coward.
While putting away the washing, a grumbly voice said "He's got a bald bum". And another softer musical one said "Well, you were no picture either, AND you ponged." I laughed out loud and went downstairs and phoned. This time, no answermachine.
"Hello, I'd like to talk to you about Spot ...."