Losing friends

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while.

In theory I quite like the idea of blogging without obligation, but in reality I always feel guilty if I neglect to write at least once a week, and it has been considerably more than a week since I was last here (excluding the very brief post I just put up about my brother-in-law’s show in the Adelaide Fringe Festival).


We will never forget.

The last couple of weeks in our house have been very sad, to say the least. I want to make a metaphorical toast to two lost friends. The first, a very dear friend named Frank, who died very suddenly and far, far, too young.

The father of an absolutely wonderful nine-month-old boy, and the husband of our dear friend Anita, he will be missed more than we can say. The world is definitely a much sadder place without him. We’ll all be doing out best to make sure that his son knows what a brilliant dad he had.

cher 2

My darling girl with her goofy smile.

The second lost friend is one of my ‘bookends’, my beloved Cher. A year after being diagnosed with Canine Cushings disease, she succumbed to complications and had to be put to sleep. She was always such a noisy, happy little dog that the house is too quiet without her. Bo doesn’t bark when we come home, just stands with his feet pressed against the glass of the front door and then anxiously wags his entire body, as though he didn’t think we’d be coming back to him. He is being hugged for the two of them now, so he is getting lots of love and will hopefully feel happier again soon.


At Christmas time, Cher's favourite place was under the tree.

They say things happen in threes, don’t they?! Well, on top of everything else my Mum’s troublesome right knee finally gave way last week and this has left her immobile and incredibly frustrated.

To add insult to injury, after years of my Dad having wonderful treatment through the public health system and through one hospital in particular, Mum’s treatment has been fragmented and far less than satisfactory.

Now she’s relegated to using a walking frame. If you knew my Mum, you would know how hard this is for her. A young 69, she has always worked incredibly hard and walked everywhere to keep fit, and now can’t get around.

Not wanting to be all doom and gloom, though, I have to tell you of a couple of  kind acts which have meant a great deal to us all while we’ve been feeling sad… The first was a really touching gesture made by our vet, who came to the house to attend to Cher… When she had died, he carefully removed bandages from her feet so that she ‘could run in Paradise with the other dogs’ with her dignity intact.  It was akin to arranging a deceased loved-one’s clothes so that they look the best they can as you send them on their way.  An act more for the living than the dead, perhaps, but so genuine and respectful that it brought tears to our eyes all over again.

Mum with the dogs just after clipping.

Mum with the dogs just after clipping.

The other was when my Rheumatologist, whose list is closed and has been for several years, accepted my Mum as a patient and saw her within a week of asking. Michelle is one of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting and has always looked after me brilliantly, but I can’t thank her enough for the way she is looking after Mum. She will give her the continuity of care that she needs to get it all sorted out, and will have her walking without the frame in short order, knowing her.

I know that the world is full of good people and that there are many kind deeds done every day, but sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the sad and horrible things that happen, too, and to forget the good stuff. These gestures reminded me again how the cumulative effect of kind acts can reinforce your faith in people and ease the pain of loss or ill health.

The loss of Frank was yet another reminder of how short life is, and how you shouldn’t let good things go unsaid, or good deeds go un-done. So, I’m off to hug Bo again, and to tell the family how much I love them. 

My suggestion for today? Be safe; do something nice for someone just because you can, and make sure that those around you know how much they matter to you. 

Enough philosphising now – normal transmission will be resumed shortly!


Filed under family

4 responses to “Losing friends

  1. murfomurf

    Hugs from afar- life has been very sh*tty for you! Losing your doggy to that nasty disease must have been painful enough, but having the other ‘bookend’ pining is so difficult. Will you get a replacement, soon? That was the only way I could cope with our kitty. Marmy, getting killed on his third birthday a few months ago- we promptly adopted a fresh kitty, Bendix who has now filled a lot of the gap in our lives. I hope the rheumatologist can fix your mum’s knee without surgery- it would be awful for someone who loves to walk everywhere. Good luck with getting everything back on an even keel.

  2. Karen

    I’m so sorry to hear about Marmy getting killed, and I’m glad you have Bendix to love (glad for Bendix and for you).
    I don’t think we will be adopting another dog any time soon because this is the second time that Bo has lost the girl in his life, and I think he’s had enough for now. I know I have. We keep adopting dogs that have had hard lives and, while they have a fantastic time with us, we have them so briefly that we all get our hearts broken.
    Thanks for your good wishes for my mum, too – she’s doing a little better already, and is certainly much happier.

  3. Lyndel

    Hi Karen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your recent loses. When our beloved Goldie (poodle shitzu x) died of bladder cancer two years ago, I was so hurt by the immediate suggestion that we should replace her – as if you can replace a family member that easily. But we ended up with another dog within two months, largely because one of my children could not face life without a dog to love, cuddle and wrestle with. So we adopted Clara, a lovely young black min poodle. But she came too soon for me, and for a long time was a warm-blooded reminder of who was missing – she was ‘Not Goldie’. Fortunately, that has passed, and she is a full member of the family, in her own right. Cheers, Lyndel

  4. Karen

    Hi Lyndel,
    Thank you for your sweet comment. I’m sorry to hear about Goldie, but very glad that Clara is now a member of the family in her own right. I understand only too well that feeling of them not being the one you are grieving for, no matter how sweet they are.
    My reaction when my first dog died (about five years ago) was the same as your children’s. For some reason, rather than not wanting a ‘replacement dog’, I couldn’t cope without one. Every day for six weeks I trawled the dog adoption pages, needing a ‘fix’. On the day I decided I was okay and starting to cope again, a friend I worked with (who coincidentally did dog-adoption work in his spare time) came to ask me if I was ready to adopt. Two days later, I had a 2 1/2 year old male and a nine year old female – both poodles.
    This time, though, after losing Angel (the nine year old) after only 14 months, and Cher after only 3 years (we adopted her when she was 4), I can’t bear the thought of adopting another one. I still have Bo, and he is loving our attention, but I don’t want any new additions, I just want my three girls back.
    Hard isn’t it? The love is so strong and so unconditional in both directions, that losing them is heart-breaking.
    Give Clara a cuddle for me. Hope to see you on Friday.

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