I Cannot Lie By Your Fire

When we lost our darling Keely over the Rainbow Bridge last month, our furiend @KingTuttiFruitti’s mama @FlaCatLady sent us an excerpt from a moving poem about the loss of a beloved dog. We would now like to share the poem in its entirety with you:


A letter from #ourWinnie

As you all know, my perfect cosy little world with my beautiful Mama @Keely_Bobs was shattered last week when she left us to go to heaven and be an angel.

Our world has been rocked and all of us, Papa @PuppyNumber7, Nanny @JessieJaney and MIL @champagnesmurfi remain heartbroken & devastated. Mama has left a huge void in our lives and at times we have felt that we cannot carry on without her.

Mama taught me a lot of things during the short time we had together but the most impawtant thing she taught me was that without love we have nothing. When I said goodbye to her last Friday she asked me to remember this always.

Because you all loved Mama & have shown such love for her I said to MIL and Papa that I would like to have my own Twitter account at least until I leave to go to Guide Dog school in a few weeks time.

So if you would like to follow me my account can be found at @ourWinniePup.  Papa will vet all of my followers before I am allowed to follow you back, so no rude words or norty tweeters please.

Ode to Keely

We have been profoundly humbled and extremely touched by the outpouring of grief and tremendous support brought about by the passing of our darling Keely

We her family (Mil, Thomas, #ourWinnie and Nanny Jessie) would like to share some of the lovely messages we have received:

For Keely

written by Cookie @SadLovelyHeart

Our hearts are broken as memories of the love we shared fades into the mist of dreams. Our voices heard within the misty water-colored stains of tear drops resting on your soul. I will remember you as you are and have been – the only love that I will never share. As the days grow long and the nights go cold I will always know you are there … in my heart, in my mind and in my being. You were always the one, the everything, the beginning, the forever, and my all. I will never hear you again but I will see you in my thoughts and our heaven of hope and forever-love not lost some day. Wait for me as our touch and our breath become one – forever, now and always.


created by Nanny Jessie @JessieJaney

Keely Remembered

created by @DoggyMolly

Light a Candle

light a candle in honour of Keely


Remembering Keely – a dear and loyal friend

created by @Oz_theTerrier


Fondly Remembering Keely

created by #Nipclub


A letter to our #AngelKeely

written by @SpookyShorty



written by @Baxter_man


My Furend Keely

written by @DoggyMolly


Princess Balloons

Our furiend Gracie @furbabys has sent 5 hellium Princess balloons floating into the skies above Michigan. She has written Keely’s twitter name on them … maybe someone will find one and send us a tweet

Beautiful Keely

created by @CatGodessAthena


written by @VincentRocket

Think of Me and Smile

Rainbow Bridge Pet Song, sent to us by Thomas’ bestest, @DakotaBDog


Beacon bonfire to light your way, dear Keely

“I can see the bonfire from here, signifying all our love” @MrsDog

A Nighttime Ride

“A beautiul star streaking through. That’s the one. That’s the beautiful angel” @LeoBlue31

A Candle for Keely

“I lit a candle for Keely tonight” @LeoPussman

Rainbow Bridge

from Marie @cats_meows

Heart of sand

“wiv hugs” @dieseldawwg

Run Free

“Der is fields and fields fur yoo to run and play now Keely” @FreshOtis

Peace, Freedom and Health

“Sometimes a picture speaks more than words” @4catsstrapski (Bode)

The Road to Heaven


Light and Love

“Sending all my light and love to Keely as she goes OTRB” @LeoBlue31


“With all the love and light in the world, we welcome a loving friend OTRB. Keely, you are a special angel” @LeoBlue31

Thank you efuryone for your loving thoughts and wishes for our darling girl.

We are sorry we couldn’t collect all the pictures sent.

For those we have missed, we would be grateful if you would send them to us again for insertion into this page.

Thank you dear friends, your love and support are helping us to cope with our heartbreak. @Baxter_man & @Oz_theTerrier in particular have been an enormous help to Thomas during this time. Thanks guys.

A message to our friends from Keely’s mama (Mil)

Dear friends

Today I lost the best friend I have ever had in my whole life. Keely was my companion, my protector, the keeper of my secrets, the “person” that was always in my corner and the being that gave my life structure & meaning.

She was also loved by all of you on Twitter & I have written this post to try & help us in the grieving process.

Keely came into my life as a fluffy, snuggly  6 week old puppy on a hot June day in 2005. Having been lucky enough to retire early from full time work I had volunteered to be a “puppy walker” for Guide Dogs and Keely was the first puppy that they entrusted me with. I could not believe how tiny and adorable she was and I stayed up until gone midnight with her that first day, waiting while she settled to sleep & watching her breathe. We then started her journey of training & socialisation to enable her to become a Guide Dog. We had a lot  fun & challenges along the way!

Shortly before she was due to leave me for Guide Dog University our vet discovered a heart murmur & Keely was withdrawn from the training scheme & re-homed with me.

She then took enthusiastically to her second career of “au paw” dog helping me with the training of the pups that succeeded her, Quella, Smartie, Flora and of course #ourWinnie. Her job was to teach them their doggie manners & not to steal her sossidges! She did all of this admirably at the same time as being a fabulous pet, always ready for an outing & keeping one eye open for any extra nomming opportunities.

She was also a great traveller, accompanying me on holidays around the UK, preferably to places with great beaches for romping on. She had the sweetest most biddable nature of any dog I have ever known & I was looking forward to many more happy years of adventures with her. Everyone who met Keely loved her. And she loved everyone right back although she always had a particularly soft spot for the boys!

Her Twitter life was equally full & happy. As you know she met her soulmate Thomas @PuppyNumber7 and after a whirlwind romance they married in February 2011 in a ceremony that many of you attended. She was an enthusiastic pawty goer with a witty line in banter & always ready to join in any fun that was to be had. She also had her serious side & was quick to offer comfort to pals in need, either  furry  or furless, & injustice, cruelty or meanness would move her to tears.

You will know from a previous post that Keely was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. This is a thoroughly nasty type of cancer to deal with & Keely’s was of a type so rare that there was no clinical data or established treatment protocols for it. Her vet, himself a cancer specialist was unable to predict how the disease would affect her or how soon.

Although Keely was recovering well from her recent surgery & had shown no signs of sickness her health started to deteriorate on Wednesday. She showed signs of being in pain & was very disorientated. More vet visits, pain relief and medication followed. The vets were unable to pinpoint the cause of her symptoms but thought it could be due to an infection or blood poisoning following her surgery.  However, last night she became so ill and distressed that I took her to the emergency vet. She was sedated & kept in overnight. This morning she was no better & the vets were of the opinion that she had a neurological issue of some kind. Possibly a  tumour that was affecting her brain or optic nerve in some way.

When I saw her this morning she was unable to see and clearly in great distress and although I was offered a referral to a canine neurologist some distance away from our home where Keely could have an MRI scan, I took the decision that it was kinder for her to go peacefully to the Bridge with me holding her paw rather than to endure further investigations & possibly operations in a strange place surrounded by strangers. There was nothing positive to be gained from subjecting her to that as in the end there was no cure available to her. Keeping her alive at any cost was never an option for me & I had been prepared to take this decision ever since she was first diagnosed with lymphoma.

Keely returned home with me & was carried out to lay on the grass in the meadow that she loved to patrol. #ourWinnie came out to say goodbye to her & then left to be looked after by a dear friend of mine.  The weather today was perfect, sunny & calm & we laid her on her bed under a sun umbrella. I stayed with her telling her how much I loved her until the vet came at about 3pm UK time. She then passed peacefully over the Bridge with her head cradled in my lap and my arms around her. The long meadow grass was waving in a soft breeze, the butterflies & bees were fluttering & buzzing & the combine harvesters were rattling in the distant fields. Probably the only perfect English summer day we have had this year. A perfect day for Thomas’s perfect English Rose.

Being prepared for something does not make it any less difficult and although Keely is now free from pain mine is only just beginning. Every pet owner understands the suffering of pet loss & how it never leaves you. My heart is broken but  I find comfort in knowing that Keely had the best life of any dog I have ever known. She was loved & cherished for the 7 years she was with us on earth and up until the last few days enjoyed every day that she was here. She will never suffer the indignities of old age & I am grateful for every minute that I spent with her.

She had many doggy friends  and I have fantastic memories of her both in real life & Twitter life. We have been lucky enough to tweet up with some of our pals on Twitter & all of these experiences have been life enhancing.

I have not yet decided what I will do with Keely’s Twitter account, it is too soon & too painful to make this decision but I hope that I can somehow keep in touch with all of you kind people.

Writing this has been cathartic for me as has reading all of your lovely words of comfort & tribute for which I thank you. You all mean more to me than you will ever know.

Lorraine xxx

A letter to our furiends

We know that many dear pals are resting on #KeelysPorch after learning that our very brave girl underwent a rather traumatic operation on her back to have three lumps removed. Cross sections were sent off for analysis and the results are not good. Keely has a rare form of lymphoma.

We are not able to give you much information at this stage as Keely’s mama needs to speak more with the vet; as you can imagine, she is struggling to come to terms with this sad news. At this stage we don’t know what the treatment regime will be, nor do we have a prognosis. Please be patient with us; as soon as we know we will let you know.

The plan at the moment is for Keely to recover from the surgery, get fit and strong again, and for her wounds to heal with no infection. This is very important and we are happy to report that everything is looking good in that respect. Keely will see the vet again in about two weeks for further tests and to decide on a course of treatment, which will most likely involve chemotherapy.

I know that you will all be very, very sad to hear this news. Please join the #pawcircle for Keely but know that it is her wish that efuryone remains cheerful. Keely wants to have fun on twitter and doesn’t want pals to be gloomy – we may have many months yet to have fun together.

As a special request (and you might find this odd) Keely’s mama and her vet would like you all to write down on a piece of paper exactly what you think of this horrible disease and how much you hate it for attacking Keely. You can be as virulent as you want in your disgust and you have permission to use all the norty words you know. You should then set fire to the piece of paper (in a safe place) and watch it until it burns away completely. This can be very powerful magic.

May I also ask that when you have a quiet time, please picture Keely in your mind with darkness inside her. Then picture balls of light invading that darkness, smashing it to smithereens and throwing it out of her. More powerful voodoo.

Thank  you.

With love from Thomas on behalf of his beautiful wife Keely

“Keely’s Star”

Keely & I wanted to have a star to call our own so I have been scanning the skies to decide on a constellation that would be visible to both of us for much of the year. And after much teeth grinding and paw wringing, I settled on ‘The Hunter’, Orion.

Orion is located on the celestial equator and is one of the most conspicuous and recognisable constellations in the night sky. This prominent constellation will be visible to us both at some time during the night for most of the year, the exception being May – July when it will appear in the daylight sky.


Having chosen the constellation, I then narrowed my search for the right star. The choice wasn’t too difficult – the occasion being Valentine’s Day, I could not go past the 8th brightest star in the night sky, Betelguese.

Betelguese (Alpha Orionis) – representing Orion’s right shoulder – is a bright red supergiant star also known as the Valentine’s Day Star.


I then contacted the International Star Registry and arranged for the star to be renamed “Keely’s Star”. And on Valentine’s Day,  I presented my love with a Star Certificate recording the name change. Her very own star !

Star Certificate

Keely’s Star is about 10,000 times brighter than our sun and about 650 times the diameter. In fact, if we were to replace our sun with Keely’s Star, it would engulf our planets out to the orbit of Mars! Impressive enough, but in its heyday the Star would have reached Jupiter.

Keely’s Star is a massive star as well. It may contain as much as 20 times the mass of the sun. But because of its large mass, it is a star that will run through its life history fairly violently and quickly – the star has already consumed the bulk of its hydrogen fuel in the core; it is shedding vast bubbles of gas into space and is on the way to a stellar graveyard.

It is thought that at the moment the Star is switching to helium, carbon and other elements in a series of partial collapses, refuelings and restarts, but someday soon (astronomically speaking) it will run out of fuel, collapse under its own weight, and then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion. When this happens – could be tomorrow or a few hundred thousand years from now – Keely’s Star will brighten enormously for a few weeks or months, perhaps as bright as the full moon and be visible in broad daylight. (In fact, when you consider that it takes 640 years for the light from Keely’s Star to reach us, the supernova might already have happened!)

Your easy to use guide to the night sky in your area:

Link to The Sky Tonight (United Kingdom) – http://www.astronomy.co.uk/skytonight

Link to Stardate (USA) – http://stardate.org/nightsky

Link to The Sky Tonight (Australia) – http://aswa.info/nightsky.html

Link to Astronomy NZ (New Zealand) – http://www.astronomynz.org.nz/the-night-sky/the-night-sky-2.html

The One That Got Away

Hello Everyone ! It’s Keely here …

@RumpyDog is one of my newest furiends on Twitter and I am very honoured that he asked me to write a guest post for his blog all about Guide Dogs here in the UK. I thought our furiends might like to read it too:

Firstly a little bit about me. I was born on 5th May 2005 at Guide Dogs breeding centre in Leamington Spa in the UK. I was destined to become a Guide Dog and for the first part of my training I was sent at 6 weeks to live with a volunteer puppy walker, I believe you call them puppy-raisers in the USA. Personally I think that is a better term as at such a young age we do very little actual walking.

Me as a cute puppy

Many people ask why Guide Dogs place puppies at such a young age as most breeders don’t place puppies until at least 8 weeks of age. The reason is that we are going to be more than pets, we will have a very important job to do and the experience of being in a safe domestic environment at such a young age will stand us in good stead later as we get used to everyday experiences, noises and sensations such as TV sounds, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, door bells, visitors and other family members.

Our puppy walkers are encouraged to take us out into the big scary noisy world as early and as often as possible, they carry us in the early weeks until our vaccination programme is complete. My ‘Mum’ took me with her wherever she went, on buses, trains, on car journeys into busy town centres and into shops, offices, cafes etc.

This is all in addition to the normal things that a young puppy has to learn such as being clean in the house, being sociable with other dogs, walking on a lead and the basic obedience commands such as Sit, Stay, Come etc. Potential Guide Dogs also have to learn to go to the toilet in a specific area before leaving home for a walk or trip out and to associate the sound of a whistle with being fed. The former skill obviously prevents us having “accidents” which would be hard for our visually impaired owners to deal with and the second means that we will always return to our owner’s whistle as we think it means food! A highlight of any Labrador’s day!

The aim of all this early training is to produce a well socialised and good mannered young dog with a calm unexcitable temperament that can then be trained by professional trainers to become a guide and companion to a visually impaired person. Don’t think it’s all work and no play though, we get lots of off lead training too and play which is very important to strengthen the bond with our owners.

I did quite well in my early training although I do have a very sensitive temperament. However, shortly before I was due to leave my Mum & go to Guide Dog school my vet discovered that I had a slight heart murmur. I was sent to a specialist for further heart checks and sadly Guide Dogs made the decision that I was unsuitable for further training. You will appreciate that visually impaired people develop a very close bond with their Guide Dog and it was felt that it would not be fair to a Guide Dog owner to have a dog who may not be able to work up to the expected age of around 8.

The happy outcome for me was that my puppy walking Mum got to adopt me permanently and I now help Mum with the other Guide Dog puppies that she raises. We have 3 more, Quella and Smartie who are now breeding bitches for Guide Dogs producing more lovely healthy potential Guide Dogs, and our last one Flora who was a daughter of Quella and is now out working as a Guide Dog. We are on the wait list for another pup and as Smartie is now pregnant we are hoping to have one of hers this October. We also often have other pups to stay with us whilst their puppy walkers are on holiday so I always have lots of furiends to play with.

Quella with Mum

Me with Smartie when she was a puppy

left: Flora as a puppy   right: Flora’s Graduation Photo

For further information about UK Guide Dogs please visit Guide Dogs UK . I am sure there are many similar service dog organisations in the USA.

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