Can’t believe it has been two years. Mum still thinks about me every day and talks to me every day. For the most she smiles and remembers our time with warmth and love, although the ache in her heart never quite goes away. I think that is something that she will need to get used to.
Mum misses feeling my presence the way she did in those first 6 months. I still send her signs but being human she can’t help but doubt them. Like, just now as she writes this for me, an ad comes on the TV for “Magnum 5 Kisses”!
I’m not around here much anymore, too many exciting things to do in my new life. But I see the pain and heartbreak as others go through similar journeys and just wanted to remind everyone of our motto when we were on this journey – “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today“. For the most part we lived this motto and despite some of the typically human regrets my mum has we know that we made the most of our extra time together. So, I couldn’t help myself and have reposted the video mum put together for me after 6 months of missing me 🙂
… The time has come for mum, my step dad and Ruby to start a new adventure as they head off on their “tree change”.
Mum shed a few tears as she said goodbye to the home where we shared many wonderful years together, the home where she cuddled me through the darkest hours of our last night together. But it wasn’t too many tears. After all, mum knows that my spirit is always with her wherever she is even if she can’t quite feel it.
The awesome thing is that they are moving to a place that is familiar to me. Mum and I have been to that same area once before, roaming the streets and the surrounding bush. It warms mum’s heart to have a memory of me fit and healthy as her and Ruby re-trace some of the same ground that we did many years before.
I couldn’t let mum leave our home without marking my territory one last time (because that, and guarding my mum and home is what I do best). As she took Ruby for her last walk around the area she saw this in freshly laid concrete across the road from our house….
No matter how many kisses and cuddles mum and I shared mum always wanted just one more….
No matter how many signs that I send her letting her know I’m OK mum always wants just one more…
I guess it’s only to be expected. After all, she is only human.
Twelve months on I wasn’t sure how to mark this day but Magnum knew what I needed and left it to Ruby to help me. Ruby has been with us for over 8 months and in that time she has only ever followed the path that became Magnum’s regular haunt in her last couple of years no more than a handful of times. But, yesterday morning, a morning so similar to Magnum’s last morning, she took me on that familiar walk. She walked very somberly, as if she knew. She stopped and sniffed everything and would continue on very seriously. No smiles. As we walked through the small park where Magnum and I had spent so much time together I could almost feel Magnum’s presence…. almost, but not quite. It is only the second time I have been in that park since Magnum died. The last time I was there it was still too painful but this time I was OK and I managed the whole walk without one tear! Thank you Magnum.
During the week I was inspired by Delta Goodrem’s song, “Wish you were here”, a hauntingly beautiful song……………………………..
This is for you my beautiful Magnum……
“I wish you were here”
It’s been twelve months and I still ask “why did you have to go?”
Twelve months and I still wish there was more I could have done.
Twelve months and I still miss you in all that I do. Miss you, miss you, miss you.
I wish you were here.
When you left me my faith was in pieces, my world left empty.
But three weeks later you returned, in my dreams and in my waking moments.
You warmed my heart and restored the faith that I had lost.
But I still wished that you were here.
I remember the fun we had together, playing with the ball at the park, the beach, inside the house!
The lazy mornings and evenings filled with hugs and kisses. The long walks exploring new places.
You were my rock, my guardian, my reason for living when everything around me crumbled.
I wish you were still here.
When cancer reared its ugly head I begged it to not be true. I prayed for a little more time.
But in a crazy way it made me stop and live “now”, letting the memories soak deep within my soul.
Our last eight months together were a gift that is imprinted on my heart, never to be lost.
But I still wish you were here.
Now, twelve months on, you don’t visit me anymore in my dreams,
You don’t sit with me anymore in the quiet of the day.
I miss the warmth and peace that would fill me with the touch of your spirit.
I wish you were here.
I know you are safe and happy in a place forbidden to me, for now.
I am slowly learning to go on, to love and be happy without you.
The lessons and love you taught me will always be with me.
Since it is over 7 months now since my sister Ruby moved in to enjoy the fruits of my labour I figured it was time I gave an update on how she is going. She is like a different dog. She has really settled in and is laughing all the way as she eases into her twilight years. She is oh so happy, increasingly confident and even cheeky sometimes. Mum is overawed by Ruby’s transformation but I’m not surprised. I knew they were meant for each other. Still, it is very heart warming to watch how Ruby has blossomed under the torrent of love and affection of my pack.
Maybe there is such a thing as too much love!
Not all smooth sailing…
The first 7 months hasn’t been without its challenges. About the time Barney came to visit Ruby had to have a mammary tumour removed and then at Christmas she had another op to get her ear fixed at which time she also got her teeth cleaned and two rotten teeth pulled out (yikes). She has also had lots of tummy upsets and it wasn’t until mum got her allergy tested and discovered that she was allergic to almost everything that she has been able to bring it under control.
But I’m suspicious. I think it’s all a con. Ruby gets cooked chicken and vegies EVERY day while mum and my step dad live on lentils and beans. I’d do bad poops too if I knew mum was gonna fuss over me like that.
All things dog!
Now that Ruby is getting more confident she is starting to guard the house (she even had the phone man shaking in his boots. I was so proud). She is also super vigilant about possums and loves to chase cats, just like me! The only weird thing she does (to me anyways) is she loves to eat possum poop!
Ruby has such a sweet nature so it isn’t surprising that she has made lots of friends at my favourite park where her and mum go most days. And I’m also pleased to see that she has discerning taste – she doesn’t like the same dogs that I didn’t like! The park and the nearby duck pond are her regular haunts. Ruby loves the ducks!
There is a sooky side…
I loved the water. I loved the beach and the river and I loved going for walks with mum, rain hail or shine. But Ruby hates water. She wasn’t impressed with the beach….
You’ve got to be kidding! You want me to do what?? A dog could drown in all that water!
…. and she won’t go for a walk in the mornings if it is raining and as for baths…. she carries on like a real baby when it’s time for a bath (it’s a bit embarrassing really).
Why did you make me have a bath??? I could have drowned!
I had a boyfriend down the road who left for the bridge about a year before me. He was eleven. Ruby is trying the long distance thing. She has fallen for an overseas guy with a fancy accent. I couldn’t imagine having a boyfriend I couldn’t rough and tumble with but Ruby seems happy enough with it (but then again, I know she still struts her stuff at the park with the younger dogs – I see everything.).
This is the life…..
Happy and loved
Like me, Ruby loves sharing the bed with mum and my step dad, she loves her walks (as long as it’s dry) and she loves a little bit of silly play. One of her favourite toys is one of my favourite old toys, this squeaky soft ball…. how happy does she look???
Loving and being loved is the best feeling in the world
Life is too precious not to keep loving…
Mum still misses me too much. I guess that’s to be expected. A love like ours is one of those once in a lifetime loves. But, mum loves Ruby too, just in a different way and I’m OK with that, in fact I’m really happy for both of them. I was mum’s heart dog, her protector, her best friend. This time it is mum’s turn to be the protector of Ruby. Where I was cocky Ruby is less certain of herself and where I was full of tom boy enthusiasm and boisterousness Ruby is all lady-like, gentle and delicate.
Yep, no doubt about it, Ruby has got herself the perfect home to retire in. She can grow old in comfort, cosseted by the most loving mum and dad a doggie could ever ask for. I hope she realises she has me to thank for smoothing the way for her!
Today it is 9 months since I said goodbye to my earthly body. As I see more of my brothers and sisters arriving here at Rainbow Bridge I feel the sadness inside my mum’s heart as she sheds tears for all of their packs and for herself and for me.
I had a whole heap of stuff I was going to say but suddenly words just aren’t enough. I know my mum is missing me a lot right now and hurting.
Mum, forgive yourself. Be happy. Love yourself, love my step dad, love Ruby, love me. Let the tears of sorrow keep making way for tears of joy for the wonderful life we had together, the precious memories we made, the love we shared, continue to share. I know you miss me. I know it has been more than two months since you last felt me near you, as you, Ruby and I enjoyed the companionable silence of a balmy summer evening. But just because you don’t feel me nearby doesn’t mean I’m not there. You know that I will always be with you, in your heart and by your side. Love never dies.
This is for you mum…
Miss Me – But Let Me Go
Edgar A Guest
When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not too long
and not with your head bowed low
remember the love that we once shared
Miss Me – But Let Me Go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone
it’s all a part of the Master’s plan
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
go to the friends we know
and bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss Me – But Let Me Go
My mum was cruising the internet, as she does, and happened upon some photos of me that we had never seen before. Needless to say she was beside herself with joy and I thought it was worth breaking into my busy schedule at the bridge to share them with you.
Here I am at 3 weeks old with my brothers and sisters….
It also has links to when I was 4 and 5 weeks old but only problem is…….. even I’m not sure which one is me :).
There are also photos of my biological mum and dad.
My stepdad never knew me until I was a fully grown adult and he was in awe of these photos of me and my siblings so wrote this very touching letter to friends along with the photos (I knew I left mum in good hands with this man).
“Dogs are like some rock n’ rollers. They manage to squeeze much into a brief life span.
They remind us of the qualities we often forget. Loyalty, eternal curiosity, child like awe of our surroundings, a love of life and the ability to take a day at a time (and make the most of it.) Most importantly they teach us that life should be fun and that we shouldn’t stand on ceremony.
Dogs depart oh so soon leaving us with great memories and such sadness. The pictures show a bunch of lovable rascals about to unleash joy and mischief on the world. Alas, the family is likely to be no more.
Magnum was the most cunning of the group. Knowing that she couldn’t compete with her siblings she feigned sleep and pounced on desired objects when no one was interested. She did the same when planning to purloin my socks….”
The 5th November was 6 months since we said goodbye to Magnum. Some days it feels like a lifetime ago and other days it feels like yesterday.
The incessant ache in my heart is a little more bearable. I do smile, I laugh, I am happy. And I do love. Things I thought I would never do again 🙂
Our newest family member, Ruby, gives us so much joy. Both my husband and I didn’t know if we could allow another dog into our hearts again without feeling guilty, but we can. Magnum knows how much we loved her, still love her. Loving Ruby doesn’t diminish what we shared with Magnum. It honours it.
Making this video was harder than I thought it would be. So many memories of the wonderful almost 10 years that Magnum and I shared together. She was such a happy, loving, loyal, courageous and cheeky girl. I am such a better person for having loved her and been loved by her.
This video is for you my beautiful girl …. I miss you…..
When mum and my step dad said they were going to the Blue Mountains for the day I thought I’d take one last shot at making this the FINAL KillBarney tour for the stupid purple dinosaur. But…. it turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax after all the previous excitement!
According to Aboriginal legend the rock formation called the “three sisters” was once three flesh and blood sisters who were turned into stone. I thought it was a fitting place for Barney to be turned into ???? errr… whatever it is that a stuffed toy becomes when they are broken into a million pieces??? While Barney was getting his photo taken I did my best to channel some wind to blow him over the edge, but to no avail……
Barney was soon onto me and wouldn’t go any closer to the ledge. My last chance to do away with him had been thwarted!!!
He cried like a big sook afterwards but his tears failed to move Ruby. She just wanted to go home.
Coming to the end of Barney’s stay down under…..
I hate to admit it but I was a little relieved when my attempts to kill off Barney failed. He’s grown on me. He is the most stupid, arrogant, colourful looking stuffed toy I’ve ever seen. He makes me laugh. So, as a thank you to Barney for helping me and my pack laugh together again I asked Ruby to show Barney one of my favourite places, a little bush track close to home that mum and I used to walk a lot before I got cancer (but never afterwards).
This was a time when we were too busy “living” to remember to take photos so there is not even one photo of me here. But it is a special place for me. I feel at peace here and I know that mum also feels my presence in this place and while she was initially confused, now understands why, of all the wonderful places we spent time together, I choose this particular place to come back to. It reminds me of when I was brimming with confidence, fit and healthy and pain free, dragging my mum on walks that went on for hours. It reminds me of a time when life was perfect.
Barney brought much needed laughter and silliness to my pack. His arrival coincided with my sister Ruby needing to get surgery for a mammary lump and another lump on her leg so the atmosphere was a bit tense for a while. I’ve kept quiet about it, not wanting to take away from Barney’s trip, but I can now say it is all good news. The lumps were both benign!!!
Thank you Jerry and everyone in the Tripawds nation for letting my pack host Barney. It has taken a stuffed dinosaur from across the other side of the world to motivate my mum to set foot for the first time ever on Australia’s iconic beach, BondiBeach! And while my sister Ruby has remained steadfastly indifferent to Barney,his visit has enabled her to visit the bridge, the opera house and the three sisters. Places I’ve only visited since becoming a spirit dog!
I always loved to be silly with my pack, laughing with them and basking in their love. After all the tears and heartache it makes me so very happy to see them finally being silly again.
We couldn’t let Barney leave Australia without meeting some of the natives up close and personal. Unfortunately Ruby wasn’t allowed to escort Barney on this trip but, as a spirit dog, I was able to tag along unchallenged.
Mum and my step dad explained to Barney that Australian animals are VERY dangerous and he was not to try and enter their enclosures. But….. in typical Barney fashion, he tried to scale the fence at the very first stop at a wallaby enclosure!
Barney thought about jumping the fence again a little later but when this wallaby gave him the evil eye he changed his mind and was quickly out of there!
Barney’s confidence was a little shaken after his near miss and for a while he did as he was told and didn’t try any more tricks to get closer to the animals.
The Little Penguins
A Southern Cassowary
This emu was making Barney just a little bit nervous
Ruby’s ancestor, the dingo. Hard to believe she has some of this fierce creature in her!
After seeing the dingoes we then saw this……. It had Barney (and me and mum and my step dad) do a double take. A peacock preening to a herd of sheep ???? Not something we expected to see. Don’t know what to say about that. We just quickly moved on…..
Barney isn’t one to stay meek for too long so it wasn’t long before his confidence had returned and he was trying his charms on an unsuspecting koala who was free to roam amongst the visitors. I had to control my laughter as I watched her completely ignore the stupid dinosaur. He wasn’t going to get anywhere with her.
While mum and my step dad were making their apologies to the koala Barney took the opportunity to sneak off. By the time mum and dad realized he wasn’t with them it was too late to stop him from scaling the fence and jumping into the enclosure with the kangaroos!!! I sat back and calmly waited for them to tear him to pieces.
Initially Barney and the kangaroos seemed to be getting along OK. They were curious about this strange purple creature. He looked so different to anything they had seen before and he smelled different too. In fact, it looked like Barney had finally found some animals he could charm.
But then Barney started mouthing off in his usual arrogant manner and the mood changed…….
I was cheering the kangaroo on, it looked like Barney was finally going to meet his Waterloo…….. but my step dad (who always hated it when I tore up my toys) stepped in and saved the dinosaur from certain death. He’s such a spoil sport. There would have been cheers across the Tripawd nation. Sorry everyone, we almost had him!
I hadn’t intended on having a part 3 but…….. as you know ……. I can go on and on and on …….. but it’s not my fault. Those blasted life savers saved Barney from drowning and now my step dad has saved him from being eaten up by a kangaroo. I’m going to go for third time lucky and see if I can kill him off good and proper. So, stay tuned for the third, and I promise, last, chapter of Barney’s visit down under. I promise to write again in the next few days because Ruby has had just about enough of this attention seeking dinosaur and is begging mum and dad to send him on his way.
But…….. I won’t promise just how much of Barney will be left to send onto his next destination!!!!!
As everyone knows, Barney has come to Sydney to visit my pack and get a taste of life down under. For those of you who don’t know me I’m not known for keeping it brief so go get a cup of coffee and settle down for this tale of failed romance, sun, surf and fun.
My monkeybutt sister, Ruby, initially greeted Barney with gusto, tearing into him in a way that left me feeling very proud of her.
But then, to my horror, she quickly tired of tearing him apart and left Barney alone. I was devastated until I realised she had an even greater weapon……… indifference!
Barney’s wooing fails to impress
Barney was feeling particularly smug after successfully seducing sweet, innocent Kayla in NZ that he thought he could continue his conquests in Aussie land. Well, he was sadly mistaken. Ruby is a much older dog who has seen it all and she wasn’t fooled by Barney’s charms. He tried so hard to gain her affections but she steadfastly refused to acknowledge him. She showed a maturity that I could never have matched.
Barney tried taking off his dress to impress Ruby with his finely defined dinosaur physique but she was not amused and begged mum to send him away.
He then tried whispering sweet nothings in her ear but she refused to be tempted by this would be romeo.
Barney the Sydney tourist
When mum and dad told Ruby they were going in the car to see the sights of Sydney Ruby was initially excited until she realised “HE” was coming too. She couldn’t believe it, her first trip out with mum and dad as a family and she had to share their attentions with this interloper. Who invited him anyway??? I had to step in and tell her that I had invited Barney to Sydney and that it would mean a lot to me if she could show him her best Aussie hospitality (but of course she was free to rip off his head if he gave her too much of his nonsense).
It was an absolutely glorious, sunny spring day and the first stop was Bondi Beach. Barney could barely contain himself when he saw the beautiful sand and surf.
On Ruby’s advice he lathered on the sunscreen and proceeded to soak up the sun.
It was very warm under the sun and Barney thought he’d cool off in the ocean. Ruby tried to warn him against it but he can be one stubborn dinosaur. Needless to say the swim did not go well. Barney discovered that he can’t actually swim. Lucky for us there were plenty of lifesavers on duty and we were saved from trying to explain to the Tripawd community how Barney was lost at sea.
But…… I can’t help wonder if it was all a ploy by Barney to meet the lifesavers. He seemed just a bit too pleased with himself when they rescued him! He has got serious “look at me, look at me” issues which became more and more obvious as the day wore on.
Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House
We said goodbye to Bondi Beach and headed into Sydney’s iconic landmarks – Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Ruby was still feeling a little guilty about Barney’s near miss that she allowed him to pose with her with in front of the bridge.
Barney had put that silly dress back on but fortunately common sense prevailed under the warm spring sun and he soon took it off again.
Barney posed heaps in front of the bridge and opera house (lots of “look at me, look at me” carry on from him). Here are just a couple of photos….
On the way home mum and dad went over the Harbour Bridge. To my disgust they let Barney ride right in front and without a harness!!!!! Stupid dinosaur was so busy posing for the camera he wasn’t even looking at the arch of the bridge as the car drove towards it.
It was a beautiful day and thanks to Barney, Ruby got to go to places I’ve never been. But that’s not all. There is still more that we want to show Barney before we send him on his way so stay tuned for part 2…..