Animals

Sheba
When I started this blog, we had five dogs, but now only have four.  That is how long it has taken me to actually do this page. Our poor Sheba, died on the 30 January 2011, 10 days after she turned 13. We are not sure if she had a heart attack, another stroke or just died of old age.  It was really awful, I found her lying outside by the pool, covered in flies.  I thought she was just sleeping and went to chase the flies off her and then saw she was in fact dead.  I have so much guilt about her death, because I made her sleep outside in her kennel that night. She had lost control of her bladder and bowels and she had been messing all over the house everyday that week and I was just tired of cleaning up the mess. I feel really terrible about it, but it was really bad. Puppy mess is bad enough, but this was the difference between changing a baby's nappy and an adult messing everywhere, it was really yucky and it had to be on the night I put her out that she died. She was really old at 13 after having had a stroke two years before.  She was very thin and no amount of food would fatten her up in the last two years. The photo at the top of the page is of her three years before she died, when she was still fat and healthy. Her son Rambo, in the photo below died on the 4 May 2008. He just got very sick and after spending days at the vet on a drip, we brought him home and he looked much better, but then collapsed and we had to put him down, apparently his kidneys, and heart went into failure. I think he was missing Clint so much, but we did not realise it as he showed it in a different way to Pluto, whose grief was so obvious. We also went away and took Jingles and Pluto with us in the April and for the first time did not have someone stay at our house, just came to feed them everyday and I think Rambo just pined so much that he started giving up on life.  Clint was gone and then we took his best friend Pluto away from him.  He never ate whilst we were away for the five days and apparently dragged his blankets to the gate by the carport. I feel awful about going away and taking Pluto and Jingles with us and leaving him and Sheba behind.
Rambo

Garfield, Sky, Snowy, Sunshine & Ice
Garfield our Cat is 13 years old. We got her in 1998 as a 6 week old kitten. She was meant to be a boy, hence the name Garfield. We found out that she was a girl when she fell pregnant, before we could have "him" neutered. She is the craziest cat ever. She will not tolerate other cats at all, but puts up with the dogs. As long as they know she is boss and it does not take long for her to let a new addition to the family know she is the boss. She loves our budgies and always lies by their cage. Clint had a little budgie, called Tommy Tucker and she used to sit by his cage and let him preen her tail. She does not bother with the wild birds and totally ignores them when they screech to each other that there is a "predator" in the vicinity. She only drinks water out of the basin and will not drink out of a bowl. She sometimes drinks out of a cup or glass if you fill it up with water. She actually thinks she is a dog and behaves more like a dog than a cat. She is not loving and will not let you hold her or love her, but if she wants love she will come to you. She always slept on Clint's bed, right by his face and it took years for her to come and sleep on our beds after he died. She always sits in Clint's memorial garden and it does not matter where she is in the house, she will run to his garden as soon as I go there, then she rubs all over me and purrs. She is a unique and one of a kind cat.
Garfield


Pluto, Sheba & Rambo (face only)
Pluto, my little Dachshund, well not so little any more, he is so overweight now. I got him for Christmas in December 2000, which means he is 11 years old next month. We went past a pet shop whilst doing shopping and I saw these two cute little puppies and told Mark I wanted one.  There was a brown one and Pluto.  I wanted the brown one and Mark said the black one was cuter, so we got him and walked through Westgate with him in my bag to get to the car.  He was so tiny and they said he was 6 weeks old, but I think he was more like 4 weeks and they lied just to get them sold for Christmas. I guess he has Mark to thank for choosing him, but he doesn't really like Mark and before Clint died he did not like Mark at all. He was mine and Clinty's. If Clint and I were not at home and only Mark was at home, he would not come in the house. Even Mark coaxing him with meat would not get him to come into the house. He is such a loyal and protective dog. He knew as soon as we came home from the hospital that something had happened to Clint. Even though Clint often slept over at friends, he knew that morning that Clint was meant to be at home and he kept running to the gate. For 6 weeks or longer, every time he heard a motorbike, he went running to the gate as fast as his little legs would carry him, to wait for Clint to come up the road. He waited and waited and waited. Then he would run to the back, to the carport where Clint parked his bike and he would wait, then come inside with the saddest look on his face and tears in his eyes. One Sunday morning the strangest thing happened. There was a Memorial Bike Run for all the fallen bikers and from about 5.30 am he started whining and crying. It went on and on and on, the whole morning.  You could hear bikes in the distance going on their breakfast runs or going to the start of the Memorial Run, hundreds of bikers joined the run. Later in the morning we were sitting outside and he would sit by Mark crying and then he would walk to the back where the cars were parked and then come back to Mark, over and over. I am sure he was asking Mark to go fetch Clint. Clint's friend used to come around often and he would go from Mark to Michael crying as if asking where Clint was. Every time Michael drove up in his bakkie (LDV), he would get so excited thinking Clint would be with him. He started liking Mark as if saying if I like you, will you bring my Clinty back. He started having epileptic fits about 3 times a week. He had one a year before when he was younger, but we did not know what they were and they were over so quickly, it looked like a spasm in his spine, but was fine straight away that I did not take him to the vet, until then when it happened so often. The vet said it could not be caused by grief, but stress can cause or worsen it.  He was so stressed about Clint so indirectly it was caused by grief. He is getting so old now and far too fat. He looks so much older than Garfield, who is older than him. `He knows my moods and when I am very upset and sad, he is always there to comfort me and he takes on all my stress and grief, which is not good for him, but it is something that can't be stopped. Who would have thought that this tiny little speck of skinny black would have become this fatty.

Baby 2 month old Pluto



10 Year Old Pluto
















Pluto, Jingles Spike















Jingles when she was very young
Jingles our Jack Russel is 8 years old, we got her in 2003. Chad always tried to play with Pluto, but Pluto did not like children and did not like Chad. He was mine and Clint's dog and had no time for anyone else. Our neighbour had a little Jack Russel Puppy and Chad used to play with it through the gate, so we thought we should get him a dog of his own. She used to be such a playful friendly dog and her and Chad would play for hours. She had a thing about Chad's slippers and the minute he put them on she would bark and bite at them and try and rip them off his feet. She preferred sleeping with Clint though, so there were always fights over whose bed she would sleep in, but most nights she would go off to Clint's bed and he would share his bed with Garfield, Pluto and Jingles. She has become such a nervous anxious dog and bites me whenever I pick her up or even cover her at night with her blankets, but she runs after me and sits on top of me the whole time. She has also been affected by Clint's death and I read somewhere that if someone dies in the family, dogs lose their place in the pack and become sort of disorientated. This has definitely happened to her, she does not know where she fits in, in her pack. Getting two new dogs after Rambo died did not help, it made her worse. Her and Garfield are the only ones that still go into Clint's room and they both sleep on his bed still. Jingles does not sleep there all the time, but will go there if she is feeling left out. She has also become my dog now and hardly goes near Chad, although I am the only one who she bites. She loves our cleaning lady, Sheila and in the mornings she knows that Sheila is on her way, even before she gets to our road.  I think she knows when her taxi stops two blocks down. She will sleep under the covers and then suddenly jump out of bed, slip through the maxidor and go running to the gate, barking this very exciting bark and I know Sheila is coming up the road. She is still full of energy and very fit, definitely does not look or act 8 years old except for her grumpy moments
Jingles before Clint died, lying on his bed



Jingles, recently lying with Spike & Mark















Spike Bring Me His Toys To Play
Spike our bull terrier, is three years old. We got him in 2008 after Rambo died. I did not want another dog, we had 3 dogs, but Mark won the argument saying that Sheba was getting old and wee needed another "guard" dog. I have never liked Bull Terriers and I have had a constant love hate relationship with Spike.  When he was a puppy, I babied him and spoilt him with toys and carried him around wrapped in blankets, then he got older and was no longer cute, but very destructive and tested my patience like no other dog has. He is extremely intelligent and very protective of us and I can't help but love him, although there was a stage that I hated him, because he kept fighting with Pluto. He also knows my moods so well and what endeared me to him after he had gotten older and I stopped thinking he was cute, was because of the fact that on days that I was really feeling down about Clint or on the days that we had been to court for Clint's case and I was very upset, Spike would lie by me and would not do a single naughty thing the whole day. When I cry, he cuddles up to me and looks just as sad.  He is Mark's dog and does not come near me when Mark is here, but as soon as Mark leaves he is my shadow.  He loves his toys and when I say Spike get your toy, I can say it softly, in a normal tone of voice, in a conversation I am having with someone else and he knows exactly what I am saying and he runs around like a mad thing looking for his toy. Or he will bring me his toy and sit down and bark at me so I can come and play.  One day I was cooking and we did not have our usual play session, we play in the mornings when I get home from dropping Chad off at school and then again in the afternoons when Sheila leaves. I was busy cooking and he kept standing at the back door barking and running off, coming back and repeating it.  When I finally took notice he had brought all his toys to the back door, each time barking and because I took no notice, he ran off to get another one.  He is just so cute. He is the most photographed of all our dogs, OK it is a tie with Miss Piggy.  He thinks he is a poodle or lapdog. Just after we got him Mark had a back op and had to basically lie in bed for 6 weeks and that is where spike spent most of his life, lying in bed with Mark, cuddled up in his neck and he still lies like that and forgets that he is no longer a puppy.
Spike Sleeping With Mark & His Ducky
10 week Old Spike Sleeping With Mark


3.5 year Old Spike Still sleeping In Mark's Neck
12 week old Miss Piggy (8 Feb 2011)

Miss Piggy our adorable gorgeous Bull Dog was my birthday present in 2010. Chad asked me what I wanted for my birthday the day before my birthday. I hated celebrating my birthday or even acknowledging that it was my birthday since Clint died, but felt sorry for Chad, because I am sure he thought he was not good enough for happy times and birthdays, so I told him I wanted a little Bull Dog with a pink ribbon around her neck. Thinking that would never happen, but he ran and told Mark and the idea was sold. Getting another puppy was such a great idea according to them. They started the search for a bull dog, which proved almost impossible and then Chad found a breeder in the Animal Talk Magazine, who was just up the road from the shop.  He had so many puppies. We went to look at them and Chad ands Mark spotted one that they were so drawn to, I did not notice it, because it was already 11 weeks old and I wanted a younger puppy. We told the breeder we would think about it, and let him know, as we had a shop and were very tired down and did not want to leave the puppy alone at home, but were selling the shop. The other reason was that the puppies cost R7800.00, which I thought was far too much for a puppy. Chad nagged and nagged, so we went back to have another look. Then there was a big fight, because Chad wanted this little 11 week old puppy and I had seen a couple of others that were younger.  The breeder and his assistant were also pushing this other dog on us. The deciding factor was the price, the younger ones cost R8600.00 which was almost a thousand rand more than the other one and Mark and Chad both liked her and I was torn between a couple of younger ones, so we took her and as they say the rest is history. We got our little Miss Piggy and it was the best thing we could have done and the best dog that we chose. There were fights about her name and because they chose the dog, I got to choose the name and she is named after Miss Piggy in the Muppet's, because she looks like Miss Piggy, at a stretch of the imagination. She has brought us so much joy, she is just such an amazingly cute dog. She is not cuddly and lovable like the other dogs, but as such character. Unfortunately, her cute personality and character has caused her to be a monster at times, because she got away with every little naughty thing she did and was never disciplined, but we still love her and she still gets away with a lot more than she should without getting reprimanded.
Miss Piggy in Pluto's Bed 17 Weeks













Miss Piggy Waiting For Chad (22 Weeks)









Miss Piggy 12 Months









Miss Piggy After Her Monster Walk (17 Months)



















We also have Koi Fish, which we got for the pond in Clint's Memorial Garden. We started off with 20 and now only have 8 or 9. We have no idea what happened to the rest, if birds ate them or whether they were washed out of the pond during a bad rain storm. We once found one outside the pond that was dead, but have never found any other dead ones.

Our budgies, I bought with the money that was in Clint's bank account. We had four and one died. I think she was egg bound as she lay so many eggs and during one batch of egg laying, she died. They had small cages, two in a cage, but now have a big indoor kind of Avery, which Mark bought for them and they are now in my office, but we put them outside to get some sun and outside air, on the weekends and some days during the week.

A Dog's Life

And these cute, intelligent, loyal and loving animals are what make up our little family. They love us unconditionally and are there in good times and bad times, through all the love, tears, happiness and sadness.
Afternoon Nap Time
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