(I’m telling you mom – that Thunderdog is lurking up there!)

Feh! It’s that time of year again. I start panting and sidle up close to mom.

What’s wrong Fudges? She gives my ear a scratch. Is it time for your pill already… noooo – I think not.

I give her the nose. Move your legs – I’ll just cozy up here under your desk with you.

She looks at me – but there’s no space my woof. And it’s still sunny outside. The weather is just fine.

Ohhhh… It’s coming, don’t you worry.

I give up trying to squoosh all our legs under her desk.

She’s right, there’s a most inconvenient bar in the way. Was I a tad younger I might have had a go at gnawing it off, but my fangs are not quite as fearsome any longer.

Sure enough, the sky gets all dark and gloomy. Then it starts to rumble and shake – in my head anyway. There is an incredibly brilliant flash… and that Thunderdog bellows in the sky.

Ralph comes skidding into the bedroom – whiskers twitching, eyes wild. He’s not a fan of the Thunderdog either. He scrambles onto mom’s lap. She has to move her chair back – there’s no space for both of them under the desk either.

I scuttle around the bed and dive into my box.

Must say – my box is not too shabby now. In the beginning it was horrible. Mom had put a mat in which I could scrunch into position, but every time I moved the whole box made a lot of noise. Then she got the idea to cover the box with a duvet and put a big fat cushion in it.

Thought it might be a bit hot , but it’s nice and cozy and also a bit soundproofed. Almost as good as being under the bed. Sometimes Ralph intrudes, which is just rude – especially when he claims the fat bit of the cushion.

Edge – the grey kitty who now has a name– does not particularly like the noise either and burrows under Em’s material boxes when he hears the first roar.

Sjoe, says mom. What a bunch of sissies you furries are. Just smell this rain – it’s delicious.

Delicious! My woggley whiskers – now she’s really losing it. Come inside immediately woman and close that balcony door.

She hangs over the railing and catches some raindrops. Then a bolt of lightning cracks nearby and the ferocious growl of that mutt in the sky even makes mom jump.


Bella Bids Fudgie Farewell

(The final Dog’s Blog #432)

Was barking bored, snoozing outside in the sun because nobody was paying me any attention when I dimly heard a car in the distance.

Somebody’s coming… galloped to the gate and checked out the scenery.

Nothing! Just a couple of moo-dy old cows glaring balefully at me. Then suddenly there was a flurry of activity. People arrived and started unpacking stuff.

Sniffed them… hmmm… never met these humans before. Nope… not even the little one.

Heard another car pull up and bounded back to the gate. Oooh… these are familiar smells… they belong to my friend Fudge.

Mom, Alpha and Grandma!

We all smooched. Then Fudge appeared.

Shame… she looks a bit unsteady on her feet. Maybe the long trip has been a bit much for her. Driving in the car makes me feel horrible too.

We did the little sniffy backside welcome dance thing but Fudge was not as interested as she usually is.

Turned out the little person’s name is also Bella. Was quite confusing, every time someone called “Bella” I obediently presented my own furry butt, only to be told… “Not you dog Bella. Human Bella”.

Later on that evening I accompanied all the humans down to the tennis club. Sadly, there was a nasty little snack there that tried to pick a fight with me and I ended up being sent home. No fair!

Fudge got to stay. She chose a smart spot under the braai and licked up all the chop fat that landed on the floor. Lucky for me Fudge’s mom is a softie and she snuck me a whole chop when nobody was looking.

I’m allowed to sleep inside now – although my humans have gone off to Australia for a bit so I’m still outside. Hope they’ll be back soon – it’s a tad lonely without them.

Slept with Grandma in my humans’ room. Fudge slept next to her mom in their room. Poor thing, she keeps having these weird hic-type things. Don’t think she is feeling very good.

Next day Alpha, Mom and I took the little person for a walk down to the river. Felt bad because Fudgie stayed home with the others – but I never miss a chance to have a swim. Went leaping and flying as soon as I spotted the water.

Oooh! A dip in the river is just soooo delightful. Paddled around chasing my own tail for a bit. Then shook some water on the little person – come on – play with me!

Seems she is not as keen on the water as I am.

The following morning my poor friend Fudge looked even worse. Her mom and Alpha looked really miserable too.

Next thing I knew they all went off in their car. Oi! Hullo! You’ve just arrived. You can’t leave now.

They came back much later, but sneakily parked the car by the orchard. They were both weeping and snicking. I could not see Fudge anywhere. Then they hefted out her duvet and foofled around. Mom came inside the fence and looked around for Fudge’s ball. She took it back to the orchard.

Something was terribly wrong.

I watched whilst they spent a long time in the orchard. Then they got back into the car and drove around to the proper parking place. I dashed up to the gate.

Mom buried her face in my fur… Oh Bella, she wept… my Fudgie is gone.

Alpha’s face was all wet too.

Gave her hand a lick – no worries – I’ll look after you.

I did not leave her side for the next few days.

Note from Mom: 

As you may have read, our darling Fudgie started suffering from epileptic fits in February 2016. Eventually we were advised to put her on meds (Pexion) which she’d been on for about 4 months. In the beginning the pills worked well – but in the last few weeks they had become less effective. Fudge had had a couple of full-on fits in the space of a week and had taken to jerking and tikking a fair amount more than before (hence the foam rubber under the bed). Then she’d have days when she was just fine.

She travelled peacefully to the farm in the Eastern Cape. We were all looking forward to no stairs to worry about and a huge garden, river and veld to play in – albeit it very downscaled playing to what we were used to do.

It was very windy for the first few days and this bothered Fudge greatly (there is no wind in Pretoria!!!). She started flatly refusing to take her pills. No matter what delicious morsel I stashed them – she was not interested. Her condition got worse without them and I had to resort to forcing them down her throat. Something I had never had to do before – not even last year when she was so sick with IMHA and had to take over a thousand pills. She also started drinking copious amount of water and we feared her kidneys might be packing in. She was not sleeping much and every time her eyes closed she would jerk awake. I spent large chunks of the nights sitting on the floor gently stroking her and holding her paw but she was clearly uncomfortable and distressed.

In two days her quality of life severely diminished right before our very eyes and we could see that she was suffering – stoically – in good old Fudgie fashion. This time it did not look as though she was going to rally around as she had done so often before and be okay again.

It was the 23rd of the December and we were out in the boondocks – halfway between Barkley East and Rhodes. There are no vets on tap like there are in the city.

We had to make a tremendously difficult and heartbreaking decision. One that was best for our precious doglet.

Kerneels, Chris’s brother kindly helped us to locate a vet in Aliwal North who was willing to assist. He mentioned that he had to go out – if we missed him we should just wait. We drove for 2 hours and were incredibly lucky to catch the vet just as he was leaving. He agreed that there was no need to cause extra stress and move Fudgie from her comfy spot on the back seat, all snuggled on her pillow and duvet.

He was gentle and quick.

Our hearts shattered into thousands of pieces as we held her whilst she breathed her last.

We took her back home to the farm and buried her in the orchard, next to little Zorro (my mom-in-law’s Pekinese) who had gone to the Rainbow Ridge a month or so earlier.

Fudge, the big-hearted dog with the blog, now has the most fabulous resting place. Her life was a ball.

Thank you all for loving her almost as much as I did.