Star … a message from her mummy

Dear friends on #StarsPorch

Oh, where to begin. It has been just over 24 hours since my baby girl and I said our final farewell. I feel like I haven’t seen her for ages. The pain is quite unbearable to be honest.

image41 I wanted to take some time to tell you all about our day on Wednesday. It was an extraordinary day. Star and I shared Popchips for breakfast and then she licked the bag out and had another meal. We then went and sat on the green for over an hour. She was bright and alert and many of her friends came by to see her. She kept looking over to me which always means she wants me closer so I went and sat on the grass with her. She crawled into my lap and buried her head in my sweatshirt. It was a real cuddle. We simply needed to be together.

When we came back in she got on the sofa and snoozed for a while and my Godmother came to see her. Star was so happy to see her. After a few more Popchips she moved to her bed in the living room and snoozed. At lunchtime we cooked her some chips, her absolute favourite and I fed them to her one by one. My mum and I were sitting in the living room watching some television while she slept and half way through the afternoon the most beautiful thing happened. Star woke up and kept staring at me. She did this a lot when she wanted to game and image1would often give a low growl to get my attention. I got on the floor and lay next to her facing her on her memory foam mattress. We had a brief but wonderful game and as I went to get up she stretched both her front paws out and placed them on my left arm, looked me straight in the eye asking me to stay. I did. We spent about ten minutes just looking at each other and she started to fall asleep. Exhausted from a lack of sleep I soon fell asleep with her, holding on to her. It was the deepest of sleep I have ever experienced, it was like we shared the same dream space and within that fusion we slept for over an hour, waking only once to see each other still there and when we finally woke I felt something had changed. I’m so very grateful to my mother for capturing this on camera with a photo which I share with you here.

After another meal it was time to go on the green for one last sit out . Once again Star just wanted to sit on my lap and be as physically close to me as possible. She wagged at her friends and was surrounded by love but she was tired and I could feel that. We sat until just before 8pm and then came in and Star settled on her bed in the living room. She had a long cuddle with me and with my mum and stepdad then went into a natural deep sleep, peaceful and calm, surrounded by her family. Dr Roger was with us for the evening and we all sat chatting,surrounding her with normal life, me holding her paws. She was enveloped by love and passed away in the most peaceful way I have ever witnessed, as her natural deep sleep was just quietly extenstarded. We are both indebted to Roger for loving her as he did and giving her the best care, right until the very end.

Dearest friends, I have such peace that the timing for Star was just perfect. I have calm in my heart for her. She didn’t suffer at all, I was never going to let that happen, but she was tired and on Tuesday morning I felt the time was near and Star started to communicate with me in a different way. The #TiaraTuesday party this week was so special, to see so many avatar’s changed was wonderful and what a celebration. I can never thank Rosy and Annie enough and of course dear Bear for giving us Tiara Tuesday and for never missing one ever. What a wonderful tradition that became.

Star was an inspirational dog. I met her when she was five days old and she literally lit up her litter. She was the only golden pup amongst her 8 black brothers and sisters and her mum and dad both black,so from the start I knew she was going to be different. She sat on me that day, and never really stopped sitting on me from that moment on. Her spirit really shone from her, she had a love forimage4 life and for all people and dogs. She never snapped at any dog, not even when occasionally provoked on the beach. She was a pacifist with a serene soul who lived her life with joie de vivre. She came to work with me everyday at the studios, was on set with me all the time during photo shoots, she has sat in multiple edit suites and recording studios and together we lived the perfect life. She has a family who adore and worship her, my amazing Mum who she used to watch intently for any treats and my stepfather who she knew she could  con an extra long walk from.  She had her own unique relationship with them and they were her comfort when I was ever away working. Star gave us all a very special summer this year and as a family we sat on the green and each day our crowd grew and we made some wonderful new friends. Star loved a brown lab called Byron and all together at our home by the sea we simply had the best of times. From the moment she came to me she stopped traffic. People would cross the road to meet her and talk to her, commenting on her prettiness astar3nd how happy she was. What a blessing for me. What a blessing for this world.

Our life on Twitter began when Star was asked to be the Labrador to promote the DVD release in the UK of Marley and Me and she was asked to create an account. She did photo shoots with Woman magazine, OK and Best magazine and she walked several red carpets attending the dog premiere of the film in Chelsea. The bank of photographers didn’t phase her at all, she was used to her Mum!

So from that came all of you, the twitterati  and our dearest friends. I’m not a social media fan particularly but through Star this world opened up to us, a world of wonderful like minded souls and gorgeous animals from around the world and so our hearts were stolen so many times over. We have met so many of you in person, through our beloved Keely, our first heartbreak and then Winnie, we finally got to meet Lorraine when Chloe arrived. Chloe and Star became bestie’s and Lorraine became one of mine. Ouimage42r bestie trips to the Cotswolds at Christmas were something that we looked forward to so much, a most favourite time of the year meeting with Isla and Hugo and Hector and Moss and Asha and Ben and Fin. Just glorious chaos of dogs in pubs and Lorraine and I shopping with our girls Chloe and Star. Then we had our tweet ups at our home in Devon, the besties again, running on the beach and paddling in the water. Star was so full of joy on her beach and meeting with Kathy and Strider and Alfie and Billie always produced so much laughter in the sand. Some we already knew, our beloved Aunty Christine and Uncle E and the joy we had at the cottage. So many special times with them and Jess and Bear and Marty.

Through the magic of a Labrador called Timber who captured our hearts and then broke them when he left us, we made life time friends with his Ma and Pa, Barb and John and have shared so mstar2any wonderful times together in England. And because of a fellow Golden girl named Chloe from Vancouver we met Pat Pancoust, our “Canadian sister”. This summer we were all united in the UK and made the most special memories. Pat named Star and Star’s brother Mel Honourary Canadians and got them Canadian collars and tags and Barb and John bought Canadian pillows on their first trip which became Star’s goto pillow for comfort. She loved her pillow.

Then a dog called Tracey came into our life and we fell in love with her. She was so similar to Star and when we lost her we were devastated. The gifts that Tracey’s mum Lorraine has showered upon Star and Mel have been so amazing. The perfect crystal name tag in the shape of a heart and the massive bag of gifts more recently for her 13th birthday, all so precious, thanimage12k you.

A few weeks back we were lucky to meet with Dougal and Chico and the legendary Wiggle and Olive and handsome Oban and ‘Lucy the lab’ Mom and what a photo that impromptu meeting produced. Lily the Labrador who is a dear original friend and the amazing Simon who fought the battle against cancer so bravely and was an inspiration to us all. Simon helped us with our fight and they were tweethearts from across the miles. He left such a void but what a legacy. Doris we loved and lost and Blue and Ruger and Lucy the lab and Rudi. Bear who changed the world. So many many more loved and lost. Always remembered.

I was torn as to mention names or not for fear of leaving someone out which I will do because I am exhausted and bereft. But please know you are all loved and you have all made our time on Twitter so special. Fred the dog who held paws with Star most recently and the ever wonderful Sir Alf our mainstay on her porch. Alf you were our security. The wonderpaws gang, the Vizzler gang, Sadie, George, Beautiful Bliss and Annie and Zeke and Sidney, Jess, Lynn, Anniegolden, Bea, Megs and Ori, Max, Kingsley, Cinammon, Lucy YellowLab, JessieJimage6aney, Doofer, Bunnybell, Ginger, Wennie, Whiskie and Flynn, Moose, Hamish, Briar, GeorgeW, Annie W, Molly and Judy, Daisy, Henry, Sir T, Lilli and Archie, Albert, Merlin, Rita,Cassie, Rosy and Betsy with their takeaways and to all of our pals I can never thank you all enough for loving my girl the way you do and for all the amazing times we all shared. When Star became a Dame, I could not have been more proud and I can’t tell you how much that meant. Thank you Bliss and to everyone who put her forward.

A special mention as well to Thomas, the backbone of Twitter for so many of us. Thank you for your unconditional support and love and to all your family as well. And Gracie Kitten, Star’s first feline friend. You and Foz and your mummy have brightened our world daily. Our human friends as well, Harriet, Lori, Lilac, Aunty Fi, Jim, Aunty Suzanne, Carla, Sue, Julie, Jane and Val, Rick and of course Dana. Dana your daily tweets not just for Star but for all those poorly image32is just so very special. What a comfort that has been and I thank you as Star’s mum for all that dedication and love.

Thank you to each and everyone one of you for loving her. Thank you for the fun. Thank you for the Tiaras and the tribute name tags you are using and for the flowers that are being planted in her name. She loved pink and Wednesday morning our white rose bush grew a single pink bloom.

We had a very special service yesterday for Star at a crematorium in Newbury. I drove her there in the morning having kept her with us overnight. I didn’t want any form of generic end for her, collections and morgues were just never going to suit my girl. So with Mel and the family on board and with our Labrador taxi sticker from Gracie showing proudly on the back of the car, we drove her. We had an hour service and we said our goodbyes and read out many of your comments in the chapel. She was sent OTRB with a printout of her Damehood being announced and a tweet from every single one of her anipals. And so my friends she takes the love you all shared with her . She was wrapped in her best pink blanket from Chloe and Lorraine, her head resting on her Canadian pillow with her collar from Aunty Pat by her side. Her toys from Gracie and Lorraine B were with her as was a photo album of pictures of all her loved ones. She had the gold tiara she wore on Tuesday from my Goddaughter with her, letters from her family and my favourite T shirt. She left this world with all our love with her.

And now my friends, just timimage2e for me to say a few words to my girl.

Precious Star, what a gift from God you are and will always be. I have always lived life for the moment, trying to put in more than I take out, but you taught me how to love and live and laugh on a whole new level this summer. Your serene beauty which came from inside your soul blessed us daily. Your bombastic ways as a youngster carried on till your teens and you will always be an eternal puppy to me. Your utter love for life manifested in so many daily gaming sessions, a thing to experience of just utter joy as your happiness spilled out of you. The way you ran to greet; the way you sat for years on the pillows on my bed, oh the days of #PrincessPillows; the chaos you caused at Christmas and birthdays with your love of shredding and ripping the envelopes from our hands even before we had read the card inside; the way you danced across the sand, smacked Byron in the face to get his attention; always wanted to sit where I was sitting, the days you sat watching me decorate Star’s Cove, oh baby girl just so many many beautiful memories. You gave your family the world, you taught a new level of kindness and love to share in your name, you made our family complete. I could not love you more. We could not love you more. My heart is shattered, my chest feels tight, my arms so empty and I am lost without you. How will I ever move forward without you, my baby girl? The world feels vacantimage11.  I did not hear a single bird song yesterday , the world went quiet. Thank you for the love, thank you for the friendship, for the fun and the laughter and the quiet times contemplating this world together as we sat on the beach, on the green, on the sofa. Yesterday I reached down to touch your head, but you weren’t there so I reached into my broken heart my precious girl and found our love.

Thank you Star for all that you are and all that you gave us. Life simply can never be the same but I will make sure that your life legacy lives on. My girl, my friend, my precious Bubba Star. You were my everything and I’m yours forever. Love you. Mummy xxx


[Pals, please leave a message for Maria by commenting below. Thank you]

Ruger … a sad farewell

Dear pals

Our little Twitter world has been rocked again by the sudden loss OTRB of our dear pal @RugerBlue from New Zealand yesterday, 17th August.

RugerBlue (3)Ruger was a fine, upstanding dog and a steadfast friend, and was very much loved by his fambly and efurryone he knew on Twitter. Tenderhearted and supportive, he could always be found on a poorly pal’s porch or riding the bus to keep vigil.

He was smart, witty and kind, efurrything you could wish for in a Twitter pal. He was a loved (and hungry) member of #BigBed (often first in line at meal times) and a special furiend of Molly @taliessa, Jeff @JeffMusk, Emmett @Emmett_Dog and Sammy @SammyTheBoxer, to name but a few.

His favourite food was everything except lettuce.

He loved a pawty and only a few days ago he was with us to celebrate my engagement to Merly @Ausimerlin and the arrival of our beautiful daughter Rita @Ausifairydust. He was a much loved Uncle to me and @ourWinniePup and a very loved and dear friend of Mama @AngelKeely and Papa @PuppyNumber7.

The love of his life was a beautiful fellow cattle dog called Diesel @dieseldawwg, who will deeply miss him.

Especially poignant, today, 18th August, marks his 13th birthday.

We know that we will all meet again over the Rainbow Bridge but it is so hard when loved ones go on before us.  He leaves behind his doggy sisfur Izzy, kitties Keltie & Sally, and his heartbroken mum and dad.

Please join us in an #Arrrroooo4Ruger and drop by with a comforting word for Diesel and his fambly.

With love, Chloe
@ourChloePup

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Aunty Ingrid @NoCrybabyDoGs

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After a long struggle with her health, Aunty Ingrid passed away earlier today. She and her doggy Daffy had always been kind to us, especially when Keely went to the Bridge, so we couldn’t let this sad occasion go by without saying something about our dear friend.

One thing that really struck a cord with us was that Aunty had a wonderful gift – she had a way with words. She touched many with her words and brought comfort to those who grieved. She is silenced now but the poems she wrote will forever speak to us.

And so it is with a mixture of sadness, pleasure and gratitude that we reproduce a couple of our favourite poems here. Efurrytime we read them, we will remember Ingrid. Rest in Peace, Aunty *soft paw* and sleep sweet in Rainbow’s light.

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When Pepi @PepiSmartDog died, Aunty Ingrid adapted a religious poem for the Bridge and sent to it Michelle, Pepi’s mum. This is the poem:

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For those who are wondering, Daffy will be welcomed into the home of the pawsome Aunty Dana @danapixie, where we know she will be loved and treasured for the rest of her days.

A Vale And A Birthday

Please click to read all of Janis’ post. Her huMum Sabine has made a very generous offer – all you need to do is leave a comment on their blog and you will be helping to remember Aunty Jane and Animals Australia to save animals from cruelty. Thank you.

Aunty Jane

jessiejaney jane aged 6 yrs with Puddin the Poddy Lamb

Jane, approx 6 yrs old

My dear friend Jane

I learned of your passing today and my heart is so sore I feel it could burst at any minute. We never met in all of the 3 years or so that we knew each other but we spoke via Twitter nearly every day. Those who don’t “get” Twitter will fail to understand how I could howl with grief on hearing the news but our friends will empathise completely.

I don’t know any details of your passing other than the date 26th December 2013 which was 2 days after we last communicated, when you told me you were sick. I was expecting you to surface at any moment with a cheery welcome and a joke about Nanny’s nip habit but in my heart I knew that something had to be deeply wrong for you to be away from your beloved anipals for so long. In any event the how, the what and the why are irrelevant, all I know is that I will no longer see Jessie’s sweet face pop up in my timeline, and my life and that of many others will be the poorer for it.

You were so very popular on Twitter and many friends will have special memories of you. Those memories will be a wonderful thing in years to come but right now we are all devastated; heartbroken that you have been taken from us and also that we did not know how sick you were.  Typically, you kept that to yourself and dealt with it in your own way, which I respect. I’m so glad that I told you I loved you in my last DM to you. I hope you saw it.

We shared so much in the time that we knew each other – a deep connection forged firstly through a shared view of the world and love of animals, then deepened into true loving friendship as we wove our stories and got involved with the fun to be had on Twitter.  Your Jessie was a beautiful flowergirl when Thomas married his darling Keely, and she then moved in to “keep house” for them along with @PinballBob and @TigerBoytheCat (after stowing away and accompanying them on their honeymoon).  You shared our joy when @ourWinniePup came along and Jessie was promoted to Nanny. Who knew that she had trained at Norland Nanny School?!

Your sadness matched mine when Keely went OTRB and we grieved with you on the passing of your bestie @toughteddybear and many others. It is hard to believe that this  time last year we were welcoming @ourChloePup into our little Twitter world and Jessie had dusted off her Nanny uniform once again.

Jane, I am sad that I can’t thank you for your love, support, humour, understanding, compassion and kindness. Whilst writing this I have been holding on to the scarf that you sent me for Christmas and it is wet with many tears. I wish you were here so that I could tell you how much you meant to me. I will try to smile when I think of you because I know that is what you would want.

My friend, I will miss you and I will always cherish your memory. It was a privilege to know you and to have you call me friend.

With squeezy hugs from Lorraine, Petal Chloe and Poppet Winnie, love for ever xxxxx

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A note from Thomas:

Pals, many have asked what happened to Aunty Jane @JessieJaney, and while we don’t know much at the moment, we will tell you what we do know.

Aunty told some of us on Christmas eve that she was not feeling very good and would be offline for a few days. She told us not to worry and that she would be OK. But we didn’t hear anything, despite many of us leaving DMs, emails and telephone messages.

Then last night a very good furiend, Janis, expressed her distress and anxiety to Nan, realising that no-one had heard from Jane for about a week, and asked Nan to phone Jane’s local police station. The policeman who answered (Constable Blair) was helpful and after listening to Pop, he contacted the local hospital. Then he rang us back and said that Aunty had been seen by the hospital on 26 December but had not been admitted, and that was all he could find out.

Pop was not to be deterred, so he phoned the hospital himself. He spoke to a nice lady at the switchboard, who was very concerned once Pop relayed the story to her. When she learned that Aunty Jane was battling MS, she contacted the MS Ward and found out that yes, Aunty was definitely there on 26 December but had not been admitted. We all presumed she must have left the hospital and perhaps had become poorly again and gone to another hospital. The nice switchboard lady told us to sit back while she herself phoned all the other hospitals, then she rang us back and confirmed that Aunty was not at any other hospital.

So Pop rang Constable Blair back. Pop said he could tell things were hectic at the station (this was midnight New Year’s Eve, after all) but he explained that we still couldn’t find Aunty Jane and the constable said he would send a car to check. However, just a couple of minutes later Pop’s phone rang and it was Constable Blair again. He said he had checked further and was very sorry to have to tell us that Aunty Jane had passed away at the hospital on 26 December. He didn’t know any further details.

We are trying to contact Uncle Hugh – we have sent emails and Aunty Freya @charshy_pup has left a card at Aunty Jane’s house with some of our names and numbers, hoping Uncle Hugh will call us. We don’t know what has become of Jessie, it is one of the things we need to find out.

Click to enlarge card

Click to enlarge card

In Memory of Yoda

My Mum came across this poem recently and thought we would publish it in our blog for all the oldies out there in rescue and for those who are kind enough to take them in especially our big-hearted furiends @S_and_V_Clark who are mourning the loss of the wonderfully sweet and gentle @Yoda_Clark

One by One
One by one they pass by my cage
Too old, too worn, too broken they say
Way past his time, he can’t run and play
They shake their heads and go on their way
A little old man arthritic and sore
It seems that I am wanted no more
I once had a home, I once had a bed
A place that was warm and where I was fed
Now my muzzle is grey and my eyes slowly fail
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong
I got in their way, my attitude wrong
Now I sit in this kennel, where day after day
The young ones are chosen and taken away
When I had come to the end of my rope
You saw my face and again I knew hope
You saw past the grey, the legs wobbly with age
And felt I deserved life beyond this cage
You took me home, gave me food and a bed
You gently stroked my poor tired head
We snuggle and play, you talk to me low
You love me so dearly and make sure I know
Although I have lived most of my life with another
You outshine them with a love so much stronger
I promise to return all the love I can give
To you my dear friend, as long as I live
I may be with you for a week, or for years
We will share many smiles, and a few tears
When the time comes, that God deems I must leave
I know you will cry and your heart it will grieve
When I arrive at the Bridge all brand new
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you
And I will brag to all who will hear
Of the person who made my last days so dear.
Lisa McCaskie