On My Own

Hello again. It’s me, Buzbuz. I know I haven’t said much for a long while now but it’s been quite a year. My mum, Cinderella, died in the summer and, well…I didn’t really want to talk about anything much, to anyone.

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I’m not sure I want to say much about it now – it makes me too sad – but I want to let you know what’s happening in my life and I want to start feeling a bit happier, even though nothing is the same without my mum.

Mostly, it’s just really quiet without her. I was sure at the beginning that she’d come back. I knew she’d been ill and I knew that Deana was burying something in the garden and crying a lot, but I just didn’t make the connection. Mum wasn’t there but she’d come back. Of course she would. She’d never leave me. We’d been together every day for nearly 13 years. And so I just carried on, going on walks in the woods and sleeping lots but one day it hit me hard that she was gone, forever. I mean, I know I will see her again. All dogs know that. And I know that sometimes she comes back as a little ghost and has a wander round our house when she thinks we’re all sleeping, just to check on us, because that’s what dogs do. I can’t snuggle up with her or ask her to lick my face clean, but I can see her and that makes me feel a little bit better. But also a little bit worse when she leaves again. Deana’s dog before us, Luigi, still does it sometimes, even though he never lived with us at this house, even though he never even knew me and Mum.

When it hit me that Mum had died a few bad things happened. I had my first fight with a terrier in the forest. I just let her have it. Deana had to wade in and separate us. And then I developed separation anxiety. I had this at Megan’s house. I went there to stay whilst Deana, Bano and Sidney went to Miami on holiday. I howled in my bed (which I’d never done before, ever) and I pooed everywhere. I couldn’t help myself. Everything felt wrong. There was no Mum, no Deana and I wasn’t in my house and howling seemed the only thing to do.

And since Mum died, I’ve developed an allergy and have to use a nebuliser which I hate. And I’ve started to forget things. I forgot, for example, that I haven’t jumped out of the car for years and I jumped and landed badly and slipped my disc. And sometimes I forget that Mum’s not here and I walk round the house looking for her. It’s not all the time, but it worries Deana. The vet said I have a touch of dementia. Deana just hugged me tighter and drove me back home. I don’t think she can take any more bad news from the vet. I forget other things too and twice, Bano and Sidney have found me panting on the bath mat upstairs. I had no idea what I was doing there or how to get back downstairs.

I’m trying to remember everything but sometimes I just find myself in front of a cupboard door and I don’t know why I’m there or what I’m doing. Deana says it’s an age thing. That she keeps forgetting I’m an old dog. I was always the baby but without Mum, I’ve got the oldest paws and tail in the house.

Before you think this sounds like the beginning of the end, I’m not ready to go anywhere yet. I miss Mum and when I slipped my disc and couldn’t go even for a short walk, I almost gave up, and thought how lovely it would be to go and find her, but now I’m back outside again, having my walks, seeing my friend Reg, everything feels better. And Deana likes this time of year too. She’s been taking lots of pictures of me and she tells everyone that for a few weeks I’m the exact same colour as the leaves.

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