Saturday, June 08, 2013

Good Night Morgan

Samurai, Ninja Doggy

Hi Folks,

This wasn’t the Blog I imagined publishing upon my return from my Malta trip, but then the way life throws us a curved ball at times means we don’t always see something that lurks around the corner to upset life. It makes it all the more important that we spend what little time we spend on this spinning lump of rock floating about in space wisely, especially concerning those we love. I actually began this on Tuesday, but couldn’t finish it for one reason or another.

Last week was a very busy one for me and also one marred by sadness too. I have always believed as a storyteller that for the reader or the viewer, if the story is on screen, to experience sadness whilst participating in the story’s telling one must first show happiness and vice versa and this roller coaster we call life is certainly evidence that this is true.

The week started on a bank holiday here in England, so I was unable to do any of the things I still needed to do. With that in mind, I continued to work on the strip pages for book two. One of our dogs had taken ill over the weekend and Margaret had taken her to the vets. Morgan was given antibiotics and a day or so later she seemed to be picking up. Margaret slept downstairs that night to keep an eye on her, as she had been doing for a few nights.

We both returned to the vets on the Tuesday and her temperature had gone down and she seemed to looking much better. The same day I sorted out the car insurance for another year and the road tax, so they wouldn’t lapse whilst I was away in Malta. I also sorted my travel insurance and turned my money into Euros at the post office. All that remained was for me to find the right bag to pack my things into and finish off the pages and all was well.

I tried several bags in our possession that day and found all of them wrong for one reason or another. I was flying with Easy Jet and at the time of the flight had a policy of no weight restrictions except being able to lift the bag safely to and from the overhead lockers, but there were size restrictions. I continued to work on the pages and look for the right baggage for the remainder of the day, whilst uploading updates on my trip in all the places that either the Malta Workshop organisers had put up onto the web or I had.

It was a rush, but things were going fine.

Wednesday morning arrived and I was still working on the pages. At eight-thirty in the morning I had a doctors appointment for a check up, which went well. At eleven o’clock I had a hairdresser’s appointment. All that remained was to finally pack a bag that would work for the flight. I remember asking Margaret how Morgan was and she said she seemed fine now, which was great.

Around lunchtime Margaret came into my room and I knew then that something was wrong. She was going to take Morgan back to the vets, she had rung them and they were expecting her. I told her I would drive and Margaret said it was fine as I was busy, but I said it was fine she could stay in the back of the car with Morgan.

We set off and poor Morgan was in bad way, she was panting like heck. The traffic was bad and every light between the vets and us was on red. Life seemed to be moving in slow motion outside of the car, but inside it was awful. The panting had stopped and for an instant I hoped she was calming down. I looked in the rear view mirror and I saw Margaret’s head bent over Morgan and I guess I knew. I asked if she was still okay and Margaret said she thought she had gone. I continued to drive to the vets and we dashed inside, hoping and praying she was still okay.

Sadly she wasn’t and we lost one of the best dogs we have ever had. Morgan was a beautiful, white Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a little black patch over her right eye. She was so gentle with other dogs and was the best Mum a puppy could ever ask for. Margaret had had to force her to come away from her puppies to go to the vets – that says all you ever need to know about Morgan. She loved people and she loved children too. One of the last photos we have of her is with our Granddaughter Phoebie. We were devastated, especially Margaret who spends all her time with our dogs. She asked me to tell her she was dreaming, but I couldn’t it was so very, very real. We stayed with her for a while and then giving her a last cuddle each we left.

It was awful and words cannot adequately describe the feelings there and then.
My flight was due to set off in the early hours of the next morning, but how could I go along now after this. I didn’t want to leave my wife like this. I told her I was going to contact the guys in Malta and explain and rearrange the trip for another weekend. She told me I couldn’t do that, as it would let so many people down and that she would be fine.

I’m not sure how long I hung around with Margaret, not really doing much except trying to chat and staying with her, but eventually I returned to the pages, which is sometimes how I deal with these kinds of situations; throwing myself into my work.

The rest of that day is a blur compared to the absolute clarity of the preceding moments of the day.

My parents called to see if I had found a bag and it was hard, but I told them what had happened. They told me that my Dad’s younger cousin, David, who has a couple of market stalls had been speaking to them and had the right size of bag for this flight and so arranged to pick one up for me.

I held that evening’s Fantasy Art Unlimited class, returned home, finished off the pages and packed my bag. I then had a bath, dressed and went downstairs to Margaret. I felt awful at having to leave her.

Folks that don’t have pets may think all the above is madness, but they are part of the family and you do speak to them all the time and the love they return is incredible. Even now I miss her and the cuddles and fun we had together and Margaret so obviously does, as she spends so much time with our dogs. I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for her back home whilst I was away in Malta.

I was fine during the trip, whilst I was with the organisers or the folks I met whilst out there, but it hit home every time I went back to my room to sleep.

I arrived back home and Margaret picked me and upon my return I saw that she was still hurting a great deal. Although we have lots of dogs here, it still seemed quiet and strange not to have her hanging about with us. I spent all of my time with Margaret on Monday and every time I went into different rooms I felt her absence even more.

As we moved through the week other things hit home. I made the evening meal on Tuesday and she wasn’t there helping me – she always hung about with me watching and getting the occasional treat off me.

I realised also that a week previous we had been oblivious to what would happen the following day, she had, as I have already said, looked to be improving. Her trip to the vet had us all feeling relieved that she was on the mend. Her temperature was fine; she was eating and looked much better.

All morning Wednesday I was aware that the week previous these were to be Morgan’s last moments with us. I wish that amongst all the excitement of the impending trip and my goal of completing the pages for the second volume of Worlds End I had managed to spend a little more time with her, but that wasn’t to be. I did speak to her that morning before things turned out for the worse and for that I am grateful.

Wednesday passed and we missed her like mad – the week had gone by so fleetingly. That evening I watched the latest recorded episode of Game of Thrones and she wasn’t sat at the side of me on the chair or on the chair as I sat on the floor in front of it, allowing her the full seat. This was the first episode of the series were this wasn’t the case.

Thursday arrived and Margaret returned from a trip out and with her were Morgan’s ashes. I remember placing my hand of the wooden box and saying welcome home sweetheart. I went tearfully into the kitchen, as I didn’t want to upset Margaret again, she was suffering enough.

Morgan’s ashes now reside alongside Cocoa’s in a large planter outside on the patio. There are three pots. The first near the gate to the middle doggy patio, a middle one next to it, both containing flowers and then the new third one. Every time we go out to the main garden we pass them by and that is a comfort of sorts. Margaret planted two little climber plants and a rose tree in the planter and over time it will look lovely.

The entire week has been tearful at times and I write this Blog with some of those still, but now, although she is so sadly missed they are tears of joy for being able to say that for five years I was privileged enough to share my life with her.

She was a wonderful dog. She was a beautiful white Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She was great fun to be with. She was great when out walking, although if you let her off the lead she would toddle off with nary a care in the world, so it wasn’t wise to do this, unless you were willing to wait for her to decide it was now time to go home. She loved it when Margaret would take her and her friends to the Park in the car or on the fields at the side of the house. She nearly always sat on the front seat next to Margaret when they went out.

She loved food, people and children and she cared for her puppies like all good Mums do. She was perfect and everyone that met her loved her. Like Bentley, she would pay me a visit wherever I was in the home. She loved the garden in Summer, but she didn’t like the cold.

She had a way of looking so sad for herself that one couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She was the only dog we have (Bentley included) that was allowed to sit next to me at meal times. She knew just how close she could get and that was far enough away and she would do this so sneakily I could swear she was a Ninja. In fact I used to call her Samurai, Ninja Doggy, in a mock Japanese film voice-over voice. She seemed to love that. Below she shares a chewy with Bentley .

She loved cuddles, but would push you away when she thought enough was enough. Yes, she was a real character and one it was great fun to be around. Her relationship with one of our other dogs a female called, Tilly was wonderful to watch. Each of them would help to rear the others puppies. They were great friends, as you can see below.

Colin, Morgan’s mate has been moping about this week. He so obviously misses his mate. He seems a little better as of this writing, so hopefully things will eventually go back to normal, as is the wont of life. Here they are together on one of the settees sharing the warmth of the sunshine coming in through the front bay windows.

A lot of folks now miss her; such was her impact on all of our lives.

She may not be physically with us any more, but she will remain forever in our hearts

I hope that wherever she is she can feel all of this love.

Now I would just like to say thanks to everyone that has helped to make this sad time all the more easier. Our family and friends, the guys in Malta, the folks on the Internet that sent emails and comments and to one guy in particular, Gordon Robson, who upon hearing about this sent an email sharing a Blog, where he writes of his own loss when his dog sadly passed away some time ago. I have to admit that it brought more tears when I read it, but it helped because someone understood what had just happened. So thanks again, Gordon.

It’s still hurting and although they say time is a good healer, I don’t think that is the case – I think we just learn to accept it.

I’ll end by saying Good Night, Morgan – you little sweetheart. We miss you so much, but thanks for the memories and the love you shared with us all.

Next: as promised all the news from my latest wonderful Malta Trip.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
June 8th 2013


Lew Stringer said...

I'm very sorry to hear of Morgan's passing, Tim. Pets are part of the family and dogs are highly intelligent. My condolences mate to you and Margaret.

Kid said...

Sorry I haven't responded sooner to this, Tim, but I've been in bed on and off all day because I've got some kind of bug. The sad thing is, that those who have never had a dog just can't understand what all the 'fuss' is about, but - as you say - it's like - NO, it IS losing a member of the family. I still have dreams about my dog to this day, and sometimes wake up thinking 'where is she?' Then I realise that she departed 15 years ago. No words I can say can make it better for you, but at least you know that I (and some others too) understand just how you and Margaret feel.

Hopefully it's a small measure of consolation to you both that you have Morgan's puppies to remind you of her.

All the very best at this sad time.

Tim Perkins said...

Thanks for the kind words, Lew.

We miss her like mad here.

She was always a big part of our lives, even amongst all the other dogs we have.

Tim Perkins said...

Thanks for the kind words again, Gordon.

Morgan was so much fun to be around.

She touched our lives in so many different ways.

There are reminders of her all over here, which is great, but those can never replace Morgan herself.

Hope you are feeling better real soon.

Tim Perkins said...

By the way, guys, your words and throughts mean a lot to Margaret and the rest of the gang too.

Thanks again.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

Tim, having just lost one of our most beloved pets over the last month, i know exactly what you're feeling, and i send all the best thoughts and wishes that i can. These creatures impact our lives so much with their love and companionship that it just breaks our hearts when they're gone.

sorry, mate, for your loss.

Tim Perkins said...

Thanks for getting in touch with your kind words, Charles. They do indeed touch our hearts. Even now, just over a month since we lost her, Morgan is still very much in our minds and our conversations.

We're also sorry to hear of your loss too.

Our memories are what keep them alive in our hearts.