Ralphie goes to Heaven

I was just floating around in heaven the other day. Flitting around from colour to colour on the Rainbow Ridge – supervising the new additions that tend to take advantage of the space.

Even I, Miss Fudgie-wena, took advantage when I first arrived. I mean it is ginormous fun to leap through the rainbow and become rainbow coloured – especially when you have a long bod like I do – but let’s furry face it – doing that a gazillion times becomes old very quickly.

We don’t want to wear out the rainbow now, do we?

So like I said, I was supervising things, sniffing around. Generally making my own self useful where ever possible, when I heard that there was a commotion going on at the Pearly Gates.

Curiosity won and I decided to go take a peek.

Sometimes I can calm things down a smidgeon – me being a peaceful old furry lady and all.

There was a big crowd. Everybody was pushing and shoving and trying to see what the problem was. Such unbecoming behaviour in heaven.

Heard some whispering that a cat had arrived at the Pearly Cats that was so big they were having a hard time finding angel wings to fit.

Now there are rules in heaven about wings. People get people wings. Dogs get dogs wings. Cats get cats wings. Pigs would love to have wings but everybody knows they can’t fly.  They have to snuffle around the place.

Nosed my way closer to the front of the crowd to see what was going on.

A large black and white cat was sitting looking extremely disgruntled. Various pairs of wings were being fitted on his back and just as quickly discarded. Every now and then the cat would twitch his whiskers and raise its yellow eyes to heaven – which is pretty hard to do when you are already in heaven. Clearly he had been in a spot of trouble because his nose was a total mess.

“Gerroffme!” He yowled – as the 37th pair of too-small wings was tried on his back. “I’m not a freaking fairy!”

Saint Peter looked on – a bit disapprovingly.  Getting to Heaven’s Gate is quite an achievement – so you do not want to jeopardize actual entry into heaven once you are so close.

Had a feeling of déjà vu. Thought something looked a bit familiar.

Suddenly it hit me. Ralphie!

But what was my Ralphie doing in heaven. He wasn’t due for a good couple of years.

Sidled up closer to check that I was not getting short sighted. I WAS NOT. It was indeed my old furry bud, Ralph.

Gave him the nose.

Oi! Hullo Ralph.

His cat eyes opened wide and his whiskers quivered bravely. He smiled with all his sharp pointy fangs. Even his eyebrows wiggled and jiggled with joy.

Fudges!  Ralphie murmured and slinked his furry body against mine. We nuzzled for a bit. It felt like home.

What is the problem Ralph? I breathed in his ear.

He hissed…. Get these silly wallies off me.  I. Am. Not. A. Fairy Cat!

I looked at him with big brown eyes. Ralphie! Do not jeopardise your spot in heaven. Just take the wings and shhhhh… You are going to be an angel – not a fairy!

Ralphie, however, was having none of it.

He shook and shivered and refused to even vaguely entertain the thought of having any sort of wings on his back.

Saint Peter’s face got blacker and blacker.

Eventually he intervened… “Ralph…” he murmured in a silky smooth voice… “would you like to go downstairs and catch rats for Old Nic?”

Ralph looked at me – not really understanding the question properly. For a smarty-pants cat he’s quite doff sometimes.

I shook my head vehemently. Then I suddenly had a brain wave. I whispered to one of the flighty angels who were responsible for fitting the new additions with wings.

She reappeared with a nice selection of mouse wings that could be worn on Ralph’s legs – like manly spurs.

Clearly Ralphie thought that this whole idea was not too shabby because he gave in and let them attach the wings. He fluttered those wings and flew like an angel.

Saint Peter breathed a sigh of relief.  So did I.

Zoomed up next to Ralph and gave him the nose.

Hey… it’s not so bad up here… come on – I’ll introduce you to Zed, Skunk and Looseyfur. Then let’s go see what mom is doing downstairs.


(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.


Heads and Beds

(Dog’s Blog 429) As I mentioned the other day – I don’t like my box anymore.

Not sure why… maybe it’s too hot in there. Then again I didn’t like it on a cold night either – so that’s probably not really the reason.

But this proved to be a bit of a problem because mom did a good job of closing up my access to under the bed. Managed to get through that one time, but then she made a different plan and the second time I almost got stuck trying.

She hates it when I have those little tikky fits under the bed and crunch my head into the wood. Drives her demented!

I’m not fond of it either.

Plus it’s Thunderdog season. All my panting and performing when I am scared out of my furry knickers is not a pretty sight.

Heard mom and Alpha murmuring on the bed.

Hmmm….. said Alpha. Right then. Let’s do it.

Looked at mom… Do what?

Never you mind Fudges, she replied, you’ll see soon enough.

They took me for a little trot around the complex and then went off without me.

Came back later with odd stuff. There was a lot of activity and noise. Sawing noise… clacking noise… grinding noise.

Worse than that wretched vacuum cleaner.

Nobody offered to carry me up the stairs so I dragged my own self up and peered into our room.

My woggledy whiskers! Whatever are you doing? Put that bed back at once.

The bed was upside down and all unmade. Alpha and my boy Luan were hovering over it. Mom was smacking it with something. They had all gone completely crazy.

Fled to Luan’s room and checked out his bin to calm my shattered nerves. Sadly there was nothing interesting in it.

Much later the activity ceased and our house returned to normal. Alpha offered to take me upstairs for a look see.

See what? I looked around the place and noticed that my box was gone.

Hey… wait a minute… the boards that mom had stuck to the bed were gone too.

Whoorf hrooof! I prepared to slink under the bed. Chunky chop bones! I did not have to slink so much either.

Turns out they made the bed yet another block higher and put nice thick foam rubber under the base of the bed, so that when I tik and jerk and bump my head – it’s now nice and soft and squishy. Mom shoved my duvet under there as well.

Not too shabby!


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.


Dog’s Blog #119

Think poor old Mom is losing it a bit, you know. She needs to get out more.

She chats away to me like I’m a person and can understand.

 I can, of course, but that is beside the point entirely. We understand each other perfectly – in fact, sometimes she does not even have to say a single word and I know exactly what she’s thinking.

You, on the other hand, are probably having a cynical snort and thinking – oh yeah – like what?

Hmmm… like I put my paws on her leg when she’s busy tik tiking away and she bends down and smooches my nose. I sniffle around in her hair a bit – like the way it tickles my snout. She looks at me with big eyes. I know she’s thinking she’d much rather be playing ball with me outside on the grass but she has to get this bit finished before she can move her butt one single inch. I slope off to the couch and sulk. Patience Fudge – she says to me– in a while. Blergh. Those ‘whiles’ can be very long.

Or… I look at her, then glance at the washing machine.

She flashes her fangs and says OK Fudgie wena. A quick one.

I flash fangs back.

Am not really looking at the washing machine of course – am looking in the direction of the door to the garage, where they stash my football. Off she goes, gets the ball and we play footie for a few minutes. Not long enough but better than nothing.

Sometimes I just have to sigh rather loudly and she leaps up going oh my gosh I’m sorry Fudges – it’s a whole hour past your supper time. Yah! Like I’m so starving my backbone is leaning on my tummy skin already. Am about to ring up the SPCA and lodge a complaint. Have no clue what a whole hour is but it certainly is one huge big lot!

If I’m really lucky she’s forgotten to cook my chicken bits and then has to open up a tin of that gourmet dog dinner instead. Yum.

Plus – she chats to me when we go on our morning rounds in the complex. Now this is really not cool. For two reasons. The first – am too busy sniffing up the news to listen to her yabbering, plus am having my own chats to the mutts behind the doors. Not always friendly conversations either, and the level of yapping is a tad loud.

Secondly, even I, the hound, have noticed that if people catch her talking to me, they look at her oddly. Clearly most sane bodies do not simply chat to their canines in a calm, friendly, normal tone, whilst enjoying a morning stroll.

Seems to me they either ignore them, yanking the leash in the direction they want to walk in, never mind the poor dog. (And lets furry face it – who is the walk for? The human or the dog?)

Or they yell. Our neighbors’ are always yelling at their mutts –SHURRRRRUUPPPP Marly – reverberates in the air.

Jeez lady! Your dog’s not deaf you know – you don’t have to use such capital letters. Yelling at us does not help – not one bit. In fact, it makes us confuzzled and we are likely to do the complete opposite.

A nice firm tone works much better.

Mom never shouts at me. She always speaks nicely – not even when I ate the couch or messed up their room. Heh heh! Too cool – she gets mad and uses capital letters on Alpha if he ever shouts at me!

He says I’m a spoilt brat. What rot! That is not one bit true. I’m a Fudge.