I think spring has arrived although it’s quite hard to tell as one day it’s sunny and then the next day it hails. We’ve even had snow recently. But overall I think it is here. The garden smells different and Deana’s been busy mowing the grass and planting flowers. And even though my eyesight is getting worse, when we go to the forest I can tell that everything is brighter and greener. Sometimes I don’t like this – the brightness hurts my eyes – but mostly it’s nice. The ground is harder and that means Harry doesn’t get carried over the mud (I feel a bit jealous when this happens even though I don’t like being carried myself) and there are just so many more smells to explore. Spring also means that the back door is left open for me and Harry to come and go as we please which is a good thing as the garden smells waft inside and also it means I don’t have to use the dog-flap. We have a new one and I’m not too sure how it works. Harry says it’s more or less the same as the old one but I’m not sure he’s right. If he is, why does he pee inside so much?
And we’ve been to the groomer’s too, which is another sign that spring is here. Deana decided not to cut my hair herself this year, which is a good thing as she is not very good at it. (Even I could tell I looked like a flea-bitten teddy left under a bush for years). The grooming parlour is inside the same building as the vet and I could smell the vet as soon as Deana walked us inside and I thought oh no why has she brought us here? And I started to panic breathe and have bad thoughts about Harry needing the vet, not me, but fortunately neither of us was there for the vet and we went straight into the groomer parlour, which was a huge relief.
It took a whole hour for the groomer to sort out my hair. Most of it has gone now, apart from around my ears and head where she left it a bit longer. I feel so much lighter and fresher which means there’s less chance of my needing a bath or any type of cleaning (yay) but the very best bit was that for the whole time I was there, Deana stayed with me and stroked my face. I know that she knows I have dementia but it’s not all the time, not every day, and I hope that when she looked at me at the groomers, she could see that I was having a good day. I forget things and sometimes I don’t know I need to pee until I’ve peed, but I’m still me. It just feels sometimes like there’s less of me. I don’t know where the rest of me goes and it scares me as much as it upsets Deana. She smiles lots when she looks at me and I’m having a good day. I like it when that happens.
Another thing that was nice about being at the groomers was that all these memories came back of me and Mum, getting our hair clipped when we lived in Malta. Deana would drop us off just as the island started to heat up and we were hot and sticky and then we’d say goodbye to most of our hair and trot home, ecstatic to be so much cooler. I miss my mum. She loved spring and summer. She loved sunbathing until her fur was warm. She liked pottering about the garden and stopping to nap in the sunniest spots. I sometimes forget she’s gone and I half-think that I’m going to find her by the trampoline or out by the pond and then I remember. Maybe that’s where the missing bits of me go – they’re with her. She’s keeping them safe for me.
Harry doesn’t seem to notice that some days I’m not myself. Maybe because he hasn’t known me for very long. I think though that it’s more to do with his personality. He’s happy to be here with Deana, happy to have me as a friend, happy to have walks in the park. Happy to be carried over mud. He’s almost always happy. And not much bothers him, including me. My mum would have loved him.