Wednesday, 20 January 2016

My sad farewell to Benji

Long before I had children or even thoughts of children I lived in Manchester and longed for a dog. I would trawl the rescue sites online in my lunch hour and try and persuade Mr D to let me have one, but to no avail. Then one lunchtime I saw a picture of the most gorgeous little terrier looking very sorry for himself in his kennels and so I did a naughty thing and rang up the sanctuary. They told me he had just been returned for a second time as he was quite a handful. So I booked an appointment to go and see him in Sheffield and amazingly Mr D agreed! When we got there the little terrier we had come to see was in the very last kennel and on the wall was his photograph with a message underneath saying “Benji. Don’t be fooled by his cute exterior!” and the rest you could say is history. Benji came home with us that very day. He was a little superstar in the house and seemed so happy to be in a home with a nice comfy sofa and lots of cuddles. He had the most amazing under bite which made him always look like he was smiling. It soon became clear Benji wasn’t fond of visitors, postmen or anyone walking past the house. When we first took him out for a walk he went for every ankle he passed and tried to grab a ladies handbag and went absolutely nuts at any other dog he saw. He was quite spirited but I loved him from the moment I saw his little furry face on the internet so I wasn’t going to let any of this bother me.

Over the years Benji mellowed (a bit) and he was my best friend and travel companion. He came on many adventures with us, even to Auntie Katie’s wedding! He walked all over the Lake District, up mountains and chased sheep in the highlands of Scotland, he attacked the waves on all the beaches in Northumberland. Came with us camping and accompanied us on part of our honeymoon in Cornwall and was a resident in Doris are fabulous retro caravan. He even fell in to disused canal in the Cotswolds, luckily on the end of his lead, and had to be rescued by Uncle Simon.

There was and never will be another dog like Benji. Some of his quirks were he REALLY didn’t like motorbikes, or tractors or ice cream vans. He didn’t like other dogs, although a few he did especially female westies, but border collies were on the top of his hated list along with builders and postmen. He also wasn’t very keen on small children...

Benji’s life definitely changed when my big girls Lily and Daisy were born and I was quite nervous about how it was all going to work. When Benji came home from Auntie Katie’s and the two little babies were in the house he didn’t seem to mind until they cried and then Benji joined in and howled! My poor neighbours. But he adapted, we just had to put up a few stairgates and I think we would have managed but when Molly and Nell arrived eighteen months later it all got a lot more complicated. I was determined I was going to make it work. Benji was one of the family and I loved him to bits, even if he did have a fondness for eating pooey nappies, but the poor little chap wasn’t get any younger and he wasn’t getting the attention he deserved. Christmas 2012 was an incredibly difficult time for us, my new-born’s weren’t feeding or sleeping well, and they suffered from silent reflux and had a cow’s milk intolerance which hadn’t yet been properly diagnosed. I knew that I was being selfish by making Benji stay and he was starting to get snappy with the big girls so I made the very difficult decision to try and find a new home for him. But who would take on a thirteen year old terrier with his “quirks”. I really thought we wouldn’t find anyone suitable and I wouldn’t contemplate sending him back to a rescue centre but then fate intervened and we found ourselves in touch with Gillian, ours and Benji’s saviour.

Gillian, like me ten years earlier, fell in love with Benji from his picture and when she met him the deal was done. I knew Benji was going to a home where he would be the centre of attention and receive all the love and cuddles (not to mention ice cream and fish and chips) he deserved. Benji and Gillian were my friends on Facebook so I could still see Benji and keep in touch.  Gillian and her partner Colin cared for Benji for three years and nursed him when he was ill. And when it came to the end of Benji’s life he went to sleep feeling safe and loved in Gillian’s arms and is now at peace and bouncing around and causing mischief once again in doggy heaven.

Goodbye Benji my gorgeous furry boy, you brought so much joy, fun and laughter in to our lives. I will never forget you and thank you Gillian for all the love and happiness you brought to that little man you will be always very special to us.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Mermaids and MAYHEM

So it has been a while since I thought about writing a blog post. It gets to the evening and all is finally quiet, after fourteen hours of LOUD and the playroom is tidied and the dishwasher unloaded and the washing put on and the tumble dryer is on and the washing is put away and the clothes are out for the morning. I just about have the strength to turn on the laptop and lift a large glass of wine to my lips and all I can do is sit and try not to think about children for a few hours before the night shift begins!

People keep saying to me “oh but it must be getting easier” and I politely smile and say yes in some ways but what I really want to say is “ come to my house and spend twelve hours in this mad house and then you wouldn’t think about uttering those words to me”!!!! Of course in theory it should be easier. The Bigs are at school and the Littlies go playgroup in the morning but inexplicably it isn’t and I feel more exhausted than ever. Maybe it is because they are all so good at School and Playgroup that the moment they run out of the door they crumble when they see me and tantrums and inter- twin fighting begins. I also seem unable to keep all four happy at the same time. There is always someone crying.

Christmas was a joyous mix of excitement, chaos and screaming. We now have an abundance of fairies (Daisy asked for a Fairy village), unicorns, dolphins and mermaids. Santa brought Lily a mermaid with a dolphin, because Lily LOVES dolphins, the mermaid wasn’t a lot to write home about, some might say Santa found it in a very cheap shop! Molly and Nell love mermaids so Nanny bought them a beautiful Ariel doll each from the Disney store but yet the three of them spent most of the time screaming and fighting over the inferior mermaid who came close to being beheaded on a number of occasions. SO Mummy decided to find the cheap shop that Santa may have bought the mermaid from and bought two more for Molly and Nell. Molly and Nell chose them themselves. One had a pink tail and pink hair and the other had a blue tail with yellow and green hair and a seahorse friend. They were asked repeatedly if they were happy with their choice, to which they replied they were. When we got home all was calm for about two minutes and then Nell decided she wanted a pink mermaid and then Lily got home and wanted the mermaid with the seahorse, not her original one that they all fought over, there was lots of crying and I thought my head may explode. SO the next day Mummy went back to the cheap shop and emptied the shelves of mermaids! Lily got the mermaid with the seahorse and Nell got the blue version of the pink mermaid (as there was no pink ones left which was a bit of gamble!) and then I felt sorry for Daisy who wasn’t at all bothered about dolls or mermaids so I bought her a new purse for her precious monies. At the end of the day everyone was thrilled except Lily who cried because she now wanted the sparkly purse that Daisy had. At this point I texted my other half and said I can’t deal with twins any more they are just too hard and to bring home a bottle of wine SOD dry January.

My next instalment will cover the merging of twins in to one bedroom…..