Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Little Dog

Yesterday I sadly had to say goodbye to my dear little dog Scully. As I wrote in a post a while ago, she started having seizures a few months ago, for unknown reasons. Since then she has been taking barbiturate medication to prevent them, which worked until a couple of weeks ago when she had another couple of seizures. These events, as anyone who has ever witnessed them would know, are extremely distressing and frightening, for the animal and of course for their owner. The vet advised the only alternative was to increase her medication which I did. The downside of this is the possibility of side effects, the worst of which is liver damage. This is ultimately what happened to Scully and she began to be quite ill and yesterday went into liver failure. I had no alternative but to give her a merciful escape from pain, suffering and fear. We are very fortunate now to have mobile vet services and I called one of these. The vet who attended was kind, compassionate and sensitive and we were able to give her a quiet peaceful farewell in the comfort of her own home with me and Fergus near her. I know this was the best thing to have done for her, but it breaks my heart to lose such a dear little friend.

Compared to boisterous, gregarious Fergus, Scully was a quiet, docile and almost anti-social little dog. Not having been brought up as a pet, she was always very shy with people but once she became comfortable with me the bond that developed between us was a very special one. She loved being with me, would sit by my side for hours while I worked at the computer, occasionally putting her paws up on my knee as if to say, hello. Or if I was lying in bed she'd come in to the bedroom and look for me, her little face appearing around the corner of the bed, just wanting to make sure I was there. When she'd have to go out at night for "calls of nature" she would rush back inside, running down the passageway, anxious to be back with her little "pack". Food was one of her greatest joys and she would become so excited at the thought of imminent dinnertime, dancing around on her hind legs waiting for the bowl of goodies to be placed on the floor, so she could gobble it up at lightning speed.

She was a darling little dog and I will miss her gentle quiet presence every day. Fergus is a little lost now without his other "mummy" as she was his birth mother but we will both adjust in time. We are glad she is at peace now. Goodbye dear Scully. I will always miss you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy birthday Andrea!

Thirty-five years is a long time to have a friend. They have to be pretty good to last that distance and my dear friend Andrea certainly fits that category.
We first met because she was a close friend of my boyfriend, at the time, and had come back to Adelaide for a flying visit from a sojourn in France. Fortunately (for me) she didn't stay in France and even though the boyfriend of the time and I went our separate ways, Andrea and I got to know each other well and became great friends.

Today is her birthday, so happy birthday Andrea, may it be an enjoyable one for you. I hope you get at least a bit spoilt, you deserve it. Life has been a bit too free with its slings and arrows in your case lately, my dear and I hope it lifts its game well and truly in the coming year.

This photo was taken at my sixtieth birthday and you can see just how gorgeous this gal is when she gets frocked up!

Much love and bon voyage for your trip which is coming up soon. Have a wonderful time.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Women Writers

I was in the library the other day looking for a particular book which I found, but then I noticed, sitting on the shelf near it, the book "At Eighty Two: A Journal" by May Sarton

When my second marriage ended and I moved into a tiny cottage on my own, I felt very alone. Returning to the single life after seven or so years of being in a marriage, despite the fact that it was my choice to do so, was a major life transition. Although small and cosy in atmosphere, that house felt very empty and silent for quite a while. Around that time I found in a secondhand book shop May Sarton's book "Journal of a Solitude" and as it seemed so apt, I bought it.

My introduction to the world of this delightful woman writer was a joyful one - I felt so much in common with her, as do legions of her women (and men) fans around the world. So when I found another journal of hers in the library I had to borrow it. Once again it was a delight to be transported to the world of this woman, who even though grappling with the infirmities, indignities and debilities of age, creates a world rich with wonderful insights and descriptions - her beautiful house in Maine overlooking the ocean, her many fascinating friends, books she is reading, poetry, food, her beloved cat, flowers and so much else. I found with this book, as with the earlier one of hers, you quickly feel as though you know her so well, and slip into her life like an old friend. It was only a few months after she finished this book that she died, so sadly there will be no more journals. But there are earlier ones I haven't yet read, as well as novels and poetry, so I can add them to the endless list of books to be read.

One of the colleagues she mentions is Carolyn Heilbrun, a well known feminist and author, who was also an amazing character In reading about her life, I came across this quote about her, which sums up so well what I find inspiring about so many women writers and of course hope to re-create in some way in my own writing, eventually
..."She argued for the importance of the uniquely feminine experience of reading in clear, candid language: "Women, I believe, search for fellow beings who have faced similar struggles, conveyed them in ways a reader can transform into her own life, confirmed desires the reader had hardly acknowledged, desires that now seem possible. Women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read, and women call the bearer of that courage friend."