Saturday, October 18, 2008

..six months later..


..six months on from when Mintie and then Clarke (our dogs) died.. ..and my last post here..

..i was talking to a good friend the other day, and she asked if i still write on my blog.. and i had to rely no.. that somehow felt wrong because i have been recording my life here for a number of years.. ..so i am back.. :) and smiling again..

..i said to Merran (Rasta) this morning.. it feels like life stopped when Mintie and Clarke died.. and she nodded agreement.. saying that she had visited my blog earlier in the week.. and cried many tears at her own words about Clarke, i recorded below..

..life sorta did stop for awhile.. the train came to a jerky, sharp stop as it pulled into the station and both Merran and i got out.. on opposite sides of the train.. ..but just as the doors were closing, we both jumped back in.. and them out again.. ..repeatedly.. but try as we may.. the ride did eventually end at that station.. ..when the train left that station.. neither Merran or i were onboard.. ..it was a sudden and almost unexpected end to our journey.. but in some ways, so inevitable..

..of course.. it wasnt just the loss of two dogs in close succession that caused Merran and I to go our separate ways.. but it was perhaps the event that tipped the scales too far..

..i wont write about Merran's new direction.. partly because that is her story to tell.. and partly because i dont really know the details of her story any more... ..but i will contiinue recording my own story here.. cos i like to.. :)

..Merran and I are still sharing our rented house at Woolloongabba.. ..we have just signed a six month lease..

..and today.. 18 October 2008.. my house in Newcastle is listed for sale, for the first time..

..i intend to buy a house in Brisbane when the Newcastle house is sold.. Brisbane feels like home to me.. even though Merran and I are no longer together.. ..there is something about Brisbane that makes me want to stay.. when i try to think about what that is.. the closest i get is my work.. i love my job.. ..and as well, i am so looking forward to having my own house again..

..i love how it happens that where there are endings, there are also beginnings..

..over the past few months some delicious events have occurred.. i have renewed some old connections with new enthusiasm.. and this has warmed my heart..

..i have also made some new connections in the world.. people amaze me.. ..i feel so lucky and rewarded by the goddess..

..animals are so important in my life.. and i still have my beautiful old dog Phoe.. but i have recently adopted a new dog.. who is 7 weeks old today.. her name is Malibu and she is full of the promise of new life.. ..i love her for it..

..i sat for quite some time at that station.. before being able to feel that i had a direction and could journey on.. ..six months on from the loss of Mintie and Clarke.. my world feels like a blessed haven again.. ..thank you goddess !!

..and thank you for reading my words..

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

He was my boi...



He was my boi, or more appropriately, I was his grrl. I know this because he would never let me sleep alone, never let me sit on the couch by myself, never allow me to wash the floors or dust the bookcases without shadowing me, always making sure I was within sight or barking range. Just in case he needed a hug or I needed a cuddle.

Mr Clarke, also affectionately known as WackWack, Skew, Humper or Dougie the Pizza Boi came into our lives just over four years ago. He was a “pound puppy” - well not so much a puppy at 8 years old – a gift from Mace to me, my “own” dog – the one who would love me first – and oh he did that.

You just knew he had something going for him. Mace found him on the Sydney Dogs Home “Deathrow” website among pages and pages of other little white fluffies needing a home. He stood out though – no ordinary mugshot for him, no standard profile about being sweet or pretty or gentle. Not for Clarke. Someone had taken the time to dress him in his Superman suit for his mugshot; someone had taken the time to write a story about his superdog powers. Mr Clarke has already found his way into the heart of at least one Dog’s Home worker, charmed them into creating a special portfolio for his place on the net!

Mace travelled six hours to get him. She brought home a scraggly waif of a dog with the world’s worst haircut. For all the world he looked like a most unlikely super hero. His legs were all wrong – like someone had screwed his back legs on the front and his front legs on the back and hadn’t bothered to position them properly so that they turned our like Queen Anne legs on an antique dressing table. And he had a dicky heart housed inside a huge chest, much too big for such a small pocketful of a dog.

But he’d look up at you with deep brown eyes from underneath his overgrown eyebrows and your heart would melt. He’d dare you to cuddle him and when you did he’d moan and groan with joy, nestling into that cuddle deeper and deeper, never wanting it to stop. He’d throw himself into it the way he’d throw himself into everything life had to offer him; the way he’d throw himself at you when you walked through the door, or how at meal time he’d start up his own cheer squad, barking from the time you opened the fridge until the time his food was put in front of him. He never walked, he trotted, chest out, little Queen Anne legs flying out in front and behind him. And he loved the car; well he loved car trips to McDonald’s really. Each time the car would stop, at a traffic light or a roundabout he’d look expectantly at the driver’s side window and start barking because surely we had arrived at the drive-thru counter and he’d charm his way into a cheeseburger or a hash brown yet. That car trip from Newcastle to Brisbane was torturous! But that was Mr Clarke; life was just too damn exciting to do anything slowly or quietly.

Mr Clarke had “Dog’s Home manners” – he was as Mace called it “streetwise”. But he wasn’t really humping your leg, he was telling you to pick him up and give him a cuddle; he wasn’t barking at nothing, he was shouting out hello to the world (and sometimes there were a lot of hellos to be said even at 3.00am in the morning while sitting on the end of your bed!). There was a certain “blue singlet” working class charm to him – he could bounce all over and off Phoebe and Mintie with immunity – our regal poodle boi Mintie tolerated him - surely thinking “delinquent lower class fool”. And Phoebe, butch no-nonsense queen of the realm that she is fell for Mr Clarke’s bad boi charms from the moment she laid eyes on him.

In recent years Mr Clarke’s heart condition worsened. But even a daily cocktail of medications didn’t slow him down. He was, in the words of his vet “an old man with an eighty year old heart and a two year old’s brain that just refused to accept that life should be lived more slowly”. How else to explain a 14 year old dog with chronic heart congestion who tears a ligament is his leg after chasing that bush turkey all over the backyard! In times of over excitement Mr Clarke would faint – the only way his heart and body could tell him to slow down. But minutes later he’d be back on his feet ready to take on the world again.

Today Mr Clarke died of a broken heart. The stress of losing his aloof little mate Mintie earlier this week put added pressure on his failing huge heart. After two days in an oxygen cage, rallying and fading, rallying and fading again, I could no longer let him suffer – for a little waif of a dog who lived life with a huge heart, it seemed too much to keep asking his heart to hold on for my benefit. And the thing is that I know he would, that he would hold on for me. I hope he knows that my decision was about giving him the peace he needed and deserved.

When we first talked about getting Mr Clarke from the Dog’s Home, my initial thought was that we needed another dog like we needed a hole in the head. Today I know that my little superboi’s death leaves a gaping hole in my own heart but I hold onto my memories of him and to the knowledge that he’ll be “a-humpin and a-barkin” with Mintie in the backyard of the Goddess right about now.

Rest in peace my little Clarkie-man. Your heart was too big for this world but just right for the next.

2 March 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

..'one', 'two' ...woof !!



We called him our spare.. he was just always there..
dog number three.. one for you .. one for me.. and a spare..

..he was the pretty one.. but enjoyed his own company..
..he was nobody's lap dog.. ..just a tad aloof..

Rasta taught him to count to three.. 'one', 'two'.. woof !!
..it was a favourite game..



................ this is the story of Mintie's life.. 1999 - 2008
..i was living at Wisemans Ferry at the time.. running the Coffee House.. i remember the day well.. a shopping trip to Castle Hill.. and a favourite stop off at the Dural Pet Barn.. ..one of those spread out country pet stores.. large enclosures and lots of animals.. they even kept ducklings and goats.. !!

..this day though.. it was a lone white fluffy ..a poodle cross.. so pretty and perfect, i knew right away.. that he would be good company for my favourite girl Phoebe who had lost her best pal earlier that year.. so on the way home, after doing the shopping, i called back to the Pet Barn and collected the sweet little dog and took him home in a cardboard box.. he slept in the box on the front seat of the car.. no trouble at all..

..back home in Wisemans and straight back to work at the Coffee House.. the little white fluffball came to work with me.. i sneaked in passed customers, concealing my surprise .. and introduced him to Phoebe on the Coffee House deck, overlooking the Hawesbury River..
..still with no name.. he explored the deck.. sniffing this and that.. the world was so new.. when he sniffed the mint potted on the deck.. someone exclaimed Mintie !! .. and the name stuck.. he was known as Mintie from that first day..

..he came to work every day in my seven-day-a-week business.. sitting with Phoebe in the stairwell behind the shop counter... they became the very best of friends..
..apart from Phoebe.. Mintie was best mates with Paris.. an over enthusiastic feral kitten that I rescued from the Coffee House carpark.. and because they were puppy and kitten together.. of a similar age.. they copied and learnt from each other.. the marmalade kitten and the snow white poodle played endlessly together... and Phoebe oversaw it all.. a stately top dog..
..these are my earliest memories of Mintie.. they were happy dayz..
of course.. we didnt always live at Wisemans.. we moved on to Lake Macquarie... later to Newcastle.. and eventually to Brisbane.. and there are many memories of Mintie just always being there.. unassuming, self contained.. and a perfect companion for Phoebe..
..Mintie adored Phoebe.. he looked up to her all of his life.. and never once snapped back when she put him in his place.. now 14 years old.. Phoebe still.. just last week, scolded Mintie for coming to close to the kitchen.. (her favourite room in the house)..

..but luckily for Phoebe.. a little over 4 years ago now.. a battle weary, street wise Maltese.. waltzed into her life.. ..Clarke was a Shelter dog we rescued from death row.. light on good manners.. but full of personality and charm.. so now Mintie is gone.. no doubt, both Phoebe and Clarke will wait the long hours for his return.. but they will wait together.. distracting and comforting each other..

..we always called him our spare.. but the truth is, he was far from a spare.. Mintie Moo.. will be sadly missed by all who got to know him..

thank you Mintie for spending your life with us.. and loving us..
..gone but never forgotten..

Mace