Following hot on the heels of from my blog about Tyrrell making her way to the Rainbow Bridge, I heard about another of my oldest buddies who’s body had told him it was tired and time to make his longest journey. This is indeed a sad time. So many of my original friends have now made their final journey, I’m feeling a bit lonely.
Eddy was a typical Yorkshire lad. Happy to be out and about, doing all the rufty tufty stuff that beagles love to do. Eddy was usually found in the woods, out in the fields, seeing his nan or greeting the many people who come to visit him.
He was born in June 2010, which makes him a month younger than me. I had known of Eddy since I started my Twitter account back in December 2013. I met Eddy when I made a surprise visit to Yorkshire and said hello to many pals in December 2016. We wandered around the reservoir and had a great time sniffing until we ended up at the cafe to watch the parents drink coffee to warm themselves up. We struck up a friendship immediately and it never faltered. I always enjoyed hearing of Eddy and see what he was getting up to, as he was forever having adventures and a great time.
Eddy was recently diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus after feeling lethargic, having quite some temperature and going off his food and water. Then his body told him that it was tired and he took his longest journey on Thursday 18th August.
Eddy my friend, we will all miss you, with your parents of course missing you the most. There is a little comfort in knowing that you are suffering no more. Run free big fella, find those who have gone before and who rest in the everlasting meadow with the sun on your fur. Your infectious smile will keep us all feeling happy and privileged to have been your friends.
Today is one of those days when I worry about what will happen next. I am reluctantly handing over my blog to my younger brother who isn’t really my brother. I have taken him under my wing so to speak and shown him the ways of the beagle. Anyway, here goes.
Hello, it is I, Lenny. I’m four today! I don’t know what that means but I do know it comes with treats, a birthday card, extra tickles and a stroll around my new favourite place, being the Paw Paddock. I think I can get used to this sort of attention. Dex has been told he has to be nice to me today (although he usually is!) and I get first dibs on biscuits and treats albeit for one day only.
We went nice and early to the Paw Paddock and I was let off lead to run around like a fur possessed. Instead I merely wandered off, sniffed and then strolled back to a parent to be re-shackled after fifteen minutes or so.
Chicken flavoured treats may have assisted in my recall however I want it known that I have been complemented on my recall generally in recent times. Dex was released and he too just strolled about and then disappeared to the other end of the paddock. When he returned, again to the sound of a treat bag being rustled, he was promptly re-attached and I was again released.
There were some tasty rabbit droppings that I wasn’t told off for eating so, I assume, it must be a special day.
We returned home just in time for the forecast rain to start falling. Its been dry as a bone here for a couple of months so this little period of rain is very welcome. We avoided getting wet and now I’ve been told I can laze on whichever chair I want for the rest of the afternoon. I wanted to laze on the big bed however that was deemed too cheeky and is out of bounds. In due course I will expect my food to be served and then I will relax for the rest of the day.
I’m a lucky lad to be honest and sensible for a moment. I want for little (apart from snoozing on the big bed) and Dex is a good brother to me. He’s had more of these birthday things than I have, although I shouldn’t say “three times as many”.
It has been very warm here in the UK over recent days. Some may say tropical and I have to agree with that sentiment. As I age it seems that the heat gets to me more readily and I feel rather unwell more often than I would like. Fortunately my parents are somewhat in tune with my inability to tolerate high heat throughout the day and night and they are aware that I need numerous trips to the garden during the twilight hours to make sure the carpets don’t need professional cleaning. During my day time wandering around the house, Lenny looks up from his various sleeping positions and casts a wistful eye upon my predicament. He doesn’t seem to suffer the same level of heat illness that I do, which is good. In any case we were supposed to go to the beach yesterday however, due to the weather remaining in the high 30’s and me still feeling a little poorly, we decided against it.
Waking up yesterday I strolled around the house, patrolled the garden looking for squirrels or cats and returned to be shackled and made ready to go for a walk. As I look up my dad looked at mum and said the phrase which is becoming far too familiar to my friends and I recently. He uttered “Another one has made their longest journey”, at which point Lenny and I got a tickle and were told that we are very precious.
I have never met Tyrrell as she lived in Australia with her sister Tink, along with their mums. Lenny and I were privileged to meet their mums at the Beagle World Record Reunion. Tyrrell was fifteen recently and celebrated with a stroll into the park and a wade into the river. She was one of my first pals on Twitter and since I first spoke to her, I knew she was a funny and happy beagle. She was one of the naughty beagles who did some very silly things and cost her mum a fair chunk of money in vets bills. Eating part of her Greenies Toothbrush as well as chewing and consuming a nice handbag are a good indication of her ability to endear herself to her mum, as well as the vets bank account. She loved her little sister despite saying she “sort of liked” her but, I suppose, its a little like Lenny and I. Young siblings are a bit of a pain sometimes even if secretly we love them very much. I don’t think that Tink had the same vampiric tendencies as Lenny so Tyrrell was spared the indignity of having her ears look like colanders. Tink will miss her an awful lot, as they have been living with each other for eleven years or so. Tyrrell amused me by playing along with my stereotypical efforts at telling her to watch out for dangerous snakes, spiders, crocodiles, jellyfish and death drop bears all of which inhabit Australia. She reassured me that there were no saltwater crocs in her local river, but I wasn’t so sure. I do notice that she sometimes sent Tink into the river first though, probably just to check it out.
She was a friend to all, she laughed, joked and cried with the rest of us whenever we shared stories of fun and sadness. Now she is no longer in sight, only forever in our hearts and minds and we will all remember her with love and respect for being a fun and happy fur. When I heard that she hadn’t been well recently and, it seems, she was suffering, her mum took the most difficult but kindest decision. She was holding Tyrrell as she slipped away to make her longest journey. This is all we ask from our parents. Love and kindness when we are here, then love and compassion when it is time for us to leave.
I lay awake early this morning and looked around. Lenny was in his bed next to me snoozing quietly whilst my parents were catching the last vestiges of sleep before we pounce on dads kidneys on our way to the kibble bag in mums bedside cabinet. I realised that I am the luckiest beagle ever. I’m getting older and a bit wobblier every day but I still get to run around chasing Lenny and getting gently told off by mum and dad when I eat something disgusting on a walk.
Run free Tyrrell sweetie, find those who have gone before you and relax in the warmth of the everlasting meadow and their companionship. Your friendship, humility and fun will live on.
Farewell to another friend, never goodbye. Rest easy Tyrrell.
At 12.15 today 7th January 2022 my cousin Minnie made her longest journey. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on New Years Eve. I wanted to place in writing my admiration for her.
Minnie was found tied to a fence in Epping Forest, which is on the north east London and Essex borders. Her rescuers estimated she was between 15-18 months old when she was found. This was in 2017. Just let that sink in a little. She wasn’t even two years old and she had been abandoned!
Once she had been rescued and was being looked after, my auntie and uncle went to see Minnie and decided she would go to live with them. I found out very soon after they had made the decision to adopt Minnie. My heart sang with happiness. I knew she would be looked after like royalty as they had rescued greyhounds before and both of the greyhounds had lived wonderfully happy lives. So it was that in early October 2017 Minnie found herself a forever home and she quickly set about making it her manor. She was swiftly into training her new parents and getting them used to servicing her every whim.
Minnie walked every day, she went on holidays to Suffolk and Cornwall. When she was away, she waded in the sea, chased rabbits in the long grass, whizzed along the beach after her ball and laid roaching in the sand with a grin on her face. She was a pub dog, she visited homes and gardens, she went to see her grandparents and I even got to meet her once. Sadly I made an idiot of myself and I have felt guilty ever since. At home she would be chasing deer, rabbits and squirrels across the marshy areas around the river Arun. She even managed to need rescuing by the Fire and Rescue people as she got stuck on a little island in the middle of a tidal river. She had swam across and could not return.
After her shenanigans in the river she was limping a little and it wasn’t getting better so she was looked over by the vet and it was thought she would need some treatment for what seemed a strain type injury. When the X-Rays came back, the prognosis changed as there were signs of advanced cancer in her front right leg and shoulder.
Minnie made her longest journey today. She follows many others to the place where there is no pain or suffering and where there is only soft light and warm meadows. It is the kindest and yet most difficult decision that our parents can make for us when our bodies are tired and cannot keep going.
Today I have the saddest ears, for Minnie was a sweetie of a dog. She was, and is, an angel in the true sense as she was happy and loved and she touched the lives of all those who came across her. She had a great life once she had been rescued and found her forever home. My auntie and uncle changed her life, and changed it for the better. They gave Minnie a life of love, comfort and showed her she was cherished. She will be looking down at them with love in her heart.
Run free Minnie furcuz, free from aches, ills and pain. Free to chase the rabbits for as long as you want. Free to feel the warm sun on your back. You are released from your duties down here. Farewell Minnie, for it is never goodbye. We shall meet again some day.
I have held back from writing this blog. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for another reflective one until now, so here goes.
Bonzi lived in Washington State with his mum, dad and sister. They loved Bonzi as did we all. When I arrived in my forever home and descended onto dog twitter, Bonzi was one of the first pals who followed me back. We have laughed, cried and giggled like a couple of adolescents ever since. He was forever on trails in the woods, trying to sneak food from anyone who was close enough and making people smile and laugh in the process. He was equally at home surrounded by his family and the many humans who came to visit his home on the pretence of seeing him, but don’t tell his parents about it.
He travelled and explored, he laughed, loved and lived and he was forever making people smile. He said recently that he was in remission for his horrid cancer and everyone sighed thankfully. He had fought off respiratory problems and still came back fighting. Then his body said “Bonzi dude, I’m thirteen and I think I am a bit tired”.
Bonzi made his longest journey on 27th September. I woke up and I got an ear tickle from my dad. When he looked at me I could see something had happened and then he explained. Bonzi was gone from sight but he remains in our hearts and minds. He was one of the originals, one of the best and one that I will never forget. Farewell Bonzi dude, travel well and seek out those who have gone before. We will meet again one day although I hope you will forgive me if I want that day to be some way in the future.
A wonderful and honourable friend made their longest journey earlier today. I wish to pay tribute to a true buddy.
I am a member of the #BTPosse – I was invited to join by a great friend called Hamish, some years ago. The Posse is very much like the BeagleBugClub in that it is full of friends who look after one another, who cry or laugh together and always look out for everybody, with a kindly word or metaphorical shoulder to cry upon. One of the first Border Terriers I was introduced to was Macbark who lived with his parents, and joined more recently by his little brother Fin, in Edinburgh. Mac was a jolly, cheerful, wise and very handsome fur who always had time for some laughter as well as friendly advice for his fellow BT pals. Many a time did we speak about important subject like Aberdeen FC, Whisky distilleries, Bellfield Brewery and hikes around Arthurs Seat amongst so many other things. He was a font of knowledge on many subjects. He loved travelling to different places in Scotland and even made it down to the Lake District in the north west of England. Apparently he enjoyed that too, in spite of it not being in Scotland. Cheeky wee fella he was. He was at tweet ups and always able to show the many pals around his locale with a smily face.
His little brother, Fin, arrived in early August and proceeded to turn Mac’s world upside down. He was typically grumbly about his new little brother but I think deep down he was chuffed to bits that he would have a new pal to play with. Also he had the chance to show Fin all the wrong things to do.
Within the last week Mac was diagnosed with an advanced case of Gallbladder Mucocele which is apparently fairly common in Border Terriers, sadly. Today we heard the terrible news that Mac had made his final and longest journey over the Rainbow Bridge. He was only eight!
Run free wee fella, free from cares and woes amongst the everlasting meadow with the warm sun on your fur. It is a privilege to say you are my friend and that we will miss you terribly. Farewell Mac but never goodbye.
Another of my friends is making ready to take her longest journey very soon. I have known this particular pal from very early in my social media career. I will be extremely sad to lose her to the Rainbow Bridge but will remember that, all the while, we will all end there once our time here is done.
I read the message that her mum had posted. There was a little video of her snoozing away, snoring gently. I read the words that were written and wondered how much pride, bravery and despair must have gone into the composition of the messages telling her friends that she would be making her journey soon. I cannot yet comprehend how words can be formed into coherent sentences whilst watching us slowly slip away. It must be terrible enough when we make our journey suddenly but to watch us, knowing that at a set time on a set date we will take our last breath and fall asleep forever, takes courage and fortitude beyond my understanding currently.
When does love overcome despair? When does pride overcome the emptiness of loss? When does grief become overtaken by remembrance of those times shared? I cannot answer any of these questions directly.
The original friends that I was lucky enough to find are diminishing faster than I would like. The days upon which I do not hear of another pal making the journey seem fewer. I have never met most of my friends, and likely I never shall. Some who I have met, have become wonderful pals and their loss is felt greatly. It is the family effect that we feel amongst our group that holds us together. People may disagree on so many things in life however when it comes to looking out for each others dogs, there is this unity of strength. A bond if you will. A bond of the strongest substance of love and friendship.
The world still turns, the sun still shines and we will all go about our daily business until we falter and fall by the wayside. More friends will come to the party but it will not diminish the memories of those who have passed, those who we have loved and continue to love even though they are no longer in our sights.
It was Lenny’s birthday two days ago. He is now three. He had a good day with a nice walk in the morning and I noticed that there were some extra treats being slipped into his food. The parents think I don’t see these things. As a scent hound I may not see them but I do smell them. I don’t mind, it was his big day and as an older brother I am not going to spoil it for him.
Onto other things. It was a year ago today that my nanny went to the Rainbow Bridge. Time has flown since dad got a phone call whilst we were out on our walk, that nanny had passed away overnight. Dad was very sad to hear the news from his sister but knew it was coming. In fact it comes to us all at some point. I remember we finished our walk and Lenny and I got extra tickles and a kiss on the bonce once we had snaffled our second breakfast. He told us that nanny had gone to the Rainbow Bridge and was now in the company of too many of our pals who had already made their longest journey. We understood that we wouldn’t be able to get tickles or naughty treats from her, and nor would we be able to give her leg leans any more. We were sad as we liked getting tickles from nanny. She was the one who said “if you can’t say anything nice, then say nothing”. This is something I apply every day. I’m happy that she got to meet Lenny on a few occasions although she did get him and me mixed up the first time he visited her.
I know dad misses her everyday but he is comforted a little that she is no longer suffering or in pain. He cannot be naughty or cheeky and get told he will get a clip round the ear. We are all sad that she never got to see our new house as I think she would have liked it quite a bit. She is with grandad now and at peace.
Life is shorter than we all think sometimes. When we are young we think we are invincible and old age is in the far distance so we often don’t think to say what we feel. I will give dad an extra leg lean today so he knows we are all a bit sad.
I saw this question raised in a tweet from an author in America and it got me wondering. People don’t really talk about it. It seems as if it is a taboo subject sometimes. Firstly let me assure everyone that I am ok, I am not ill and I am not feeling unwell or had bad news. I am just having a ponder.
As people who have followed my blog for a while may have noticed quite a few of my friends from around the world have sadly departed for the Rainbow Bridge. The description of Rainbow Bridge we use is softer, as it conveys less of a final ending to the life of a beloved pet on earth, and more of a farewell to another place where we will meet again. We will all make the journey to the Rainbow Bridge as none of us is able to beat that one opponent who always wins, Time.
The subject is treated, at least amongst my friends, with compassion and thoughtful attention to the words used to try and comfort those who are grieving. I realise there are few if any words that can comfort the people who are left to remember the good and bad times when we were around in the immediate times after we have gone from sight. A simple sentence sometimes conveys enough sentiment to allow people to smile with love and remembrance, and lift the heart slightly from its depths.
I lost both my nans in 2020, thankfully not to Covid-19. I saw what happened to my parents when they got their respective news. I kind of instinctively knew what to do and of course how to behave. With both nans it wasn’t unexpected however it was still a horrible shock when the news was received. We were out on our walk on both occasions and both Lenny and I changed our usual malarkey of pulling and yanking about on our leads, to walking and sniffing more sedately. It wasn’t innocent and all that loose lead stuff by any means however we did rein ourselves in. When we got home we both gave out leg leans and curled up next to the parents. We were told this felt good and that they loved us very much. It appears that stroking a beagle and telling them how much they are loved is food for the soul and helps to alleviate some of the sadder or more pensive moments.
I am going slightly off topic so I apologise. I don’t think I am afraid, as such, of making my way to the Rainbow Bridge. When my time comes, for it surely will, I hope that I will take the longest journey with love in my heart. I know I will leave people behind who will miss me and maybe that is a sign of how much affection people hold for one another in our groups of friends. I suspect people will cry because I am no longer in sight but I know I will make my journey having had a full, interesting and fun life. I am told every day that I am loved which is more than I could ever have asked for when I was adopted many years ago. In my minds eye, I will be off to see my buddies who have already made the transit across the Rainbow Bridge and who now happily run free in the everlasting meadow. They have no cares or woes and this gives me comfort when I think about it. I wonder if, instead of being afraid, I will be sad to leave behind many pals and people who are in turn saddened at my leaving.
Again don’t worry, I am alright and I am just having a little think to myself.
My internet has been non existent for a week or so which means I have some serious catching up to do. I feel like I want to tell you about everything that has happened in one message. I will string them out a little however.
There was sad news indeed that on 4th February one of the best, brightest and most lovable furs made his longest journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Boot was the brother fur of Charley Beagle who sadly made his way to the Rainbow Bridge in September 2018. Boot was the sensible one (I know Boot and Charleys mum wont mind me saying that) whilst Charley was the maverick with the cheeky streak. Boot was a working Cocker who was always happy when he was out on the moors doing his job. Mind you he was equally as happy curled up in front of the fire, resting his head on a beagle belly, whilst savouring the warmth of the flames. He knew where the pub was so he could walk his parents there without fear of recrimination and they could sit and enjoy themselves. He was the animal whisperer as he had a special knack of being so gentle with every other creature he came into contact with, be it sheep, pig or even a parrot. Boot loved to curl up on his mum and enjoy gentle strokes and ear ruffles.
I had the pleasure, nay the privilege, to meet Boot on a number of occasions and I even introduced him to Lenny. He was at the Beagle World Record when we became record breakers and he was at his home when I arrived unannounced with my parents to help deliver Charley’s bench. I met Boot for the first time when I, again, arrived unannounced at the meet up in Yorkshire. Throughout every meeting he was a fun, happy and wonderful fur who knew he had the best of life with loving parents who looked after him. Even in his dotage, when his legs were beginning to fail him, and the forgetfulness was becoming more prevalent, he still managed to encourage his mum and dad to push him in his chariot wherever he needed to go. He went to his favourite cafe for a cinnamon bun and a ponder.
The world is an emptier place without friends like Boot. Sadly the Rainbow Bridge is gaining more friends whose calling has come. Rest easy Boot my friend, and fare you well. Seek out Charley, Raffa, Gunner, Fred PH dude and many more who have preceded you to the everlasting meadow. I miss you but my heart is full of pride for knowing you and, better still, being your friend.