Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Last Mabel Post

The Bluebells at Bodnant

Today has been Chris' birthday
We planned to go out for lunch and hoped to follow that with a visit to Bodnant Gardens to see the spring azaleas .
Not much to ask for your 43rd birthday
Simple pleasures.
Well, we did go out for lunch and the bluebells were out on the lovely Chapel walk at the gardens, and I played a game that I was enjoying the day and Chris kindly played the game that he didn't notice that really I wasn't.
It was good that we went out, the weather has been nice today


Mabel's condition deteriorated overnight. Her paws became oedematous and even though her breathing improved somewhat, it was obvious that she was suffering from a certain degree of heart failure.
The kind 14 year old vet scanned her again this morning and isolated masses on her liver and spleen, which indicated  to him (with all of her other symptoms) that she was indeed suffering from a probable and widespread lymphoma. A lymphoma which had certainly affected her spinal cord
The prognosis, given her physical condition was poor.


Like I said he was very sweet.
He came out with all those tried and tested kind words that I use at work every week,
and he didn't look too embarrassed when my face crumpled like newspaper as I said my goodbyes.
She died peacefully with her big fat stupid head in my hands...
and before I left, I kissed her gently on the nose as I have done most days since she arrived in Wales


Minutes later, I was driving an empty car home as if nothing had happened.
But of course , it had


I have posted before about a psychologist that I worked with, who always used to say 
"you feel what you feel", when faced with someone that questioned the validity of an emotion that they were experiencing 
Well I feel guilty and slightly ashamed
That's how I feel today.

138 comments:

  1. How very sad, John. Very sorry to hear Mabel didn't make it.

    And yes, you feel what you feel, but I don't see what there is to be guilty or ashamed about. You cared for her 100 per cent till the end.

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  2. Sorry to here about Mabel. To let her go was the best thing for her.

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  3. She had a great life because you loved her xxxx

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  4. Aww, bugger.
    You were loved sweet Mabel girl ;(
    ~Jo

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  5. Blubbering here at work :-(
    I'm so sorry for you John and sorry for myself that I never had the chance to kiss her sweet nose. She knew she was loved by you. Doesn't get much better than that.

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  6. So sorry to hear about Mabel - but I am so glad that she had her wonderful days with you. Love.xx

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  7. PS Happy Birthday to Chris.

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  8. I am so sorry for your loss John.

    At least she had the delight of living with you for her last months.

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  9. you had no choice John, none at all. Big hug for you and Chris.
    Sleep tight lovely Mabel.

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  10. I am so sorry. She seemed like such a sweetheart.

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  11. Oh John...when I didn't see any posts this morning on your site I was so afraid. I'm so sorry you lost Mabel. Heaven has another beautiful girl. You did wonderfully by her.

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  12. Big sigh of sadness in Alaska.

    So very sorry John. Hugs and Kisses too. xoxo

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  13. And now, free of her old, tired and worn out body, her spirit is free to romp in the beautiful flowers of spring, to frolic through your happy memories, and to, forever, accept your kiss on her nose.

    Blessings of comfort and joy to you both.

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  14. Well, I'm sitting here crying as I always do when I read about someone's pet dying. I know the pain the so well and it always brings it back to me for mine that have gone on across the bridge. (I dreamed about one last night.) She had a lot of folks pulling for and loved her through you. She was lucky to have you to care for her through the end. I am so very sorry.

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  15. You loved her...nothing to be ashamed about.
    HUGS
    Jane xx

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  16. Oh I am so sorry, John. You cared for her and loved her and no-one could ask more.

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  17. I am so sorry John to hear your terrible news about Mabel. She had a wonderful few months with you and couldn't have had a better home. Thinking of you.
    Love
    Jo xx

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  18. John, there is nothing and I mean nothing to feel guilty about and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. You loved her, it's as simple and as beautiful as that.

    I'm so sorry your heart has once again been torn by a dog...

    No more words...I'll light a candle for Mabel to find her way to the Rainbow bridge and I'm sending a virtual hug and a prayer for you to find comfort.

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  19. Lucky Mabel to have you and Chris. Now go take along nap. You know how sadness sucks it right out of you

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  20. She's gone to Rainbow Bridge now - a much better place where the animals there are no longer sick and in pain.
    Happy thoughts of Mabel and give thanks for the time you had with her.
    Happy Birthday to your beloved.

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  21. very sad to hear this. I am sending you a virtual hug.

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  22. So sorry to hear about Mabel. It's never easy to let one of your beloved family members, no matter how many legs. I feel sad.

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  23. Oh no! I am so sorry.xxx

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  24. *major hugs* I'm so sorry to hear it ended this way. :( Poor girl. Poor you.

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  25. Words are usually useless in such moments so I'm sending a virtual hug!

    Jon

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  26. Oh John, I am so sorry. I'm just bawling here, reading about poor Mabel. At least she was loved and you can't ask for more out of life than that.
    Hugs to you and Chris. oxo

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  27. Oh John, I'm so sorry to read this news. I've been away from the Blogosphere a bit lately and had thought Mabel was on the mend. I'm guessing you feel guilty for having taken her on, but she has been well-lived and loved with and by you as everyone has said. It wasn't your fault she got the lymphoma.
    PS Thankyou for the lovely Bodnant Bluebell walk and Happy Birthday to that man of yours :-)

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  28. Really sorry John. Take care and we will speak soon. Mx

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  29. Jeneane
    I feel as though I am not allowed to be hurting cos I have lost so many dogs recently
    does that make sense?
    perhaps not
    thank you and thank everyone else
    I mean that

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  30. I am so sorry John.

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  31. So sorry ,
    I will miss the Mabel posts .
    take care .XXX

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  32. It seems as though our first stop at your blog is on a very sad day for you. To hurt is as human as to breathe it hurts so much to separate because your spirits are connected. Keep sailing your vessel John.
    Mabel may the ground lay lightly over you so that you may be out from under and on your way to the bridge good and faithful dog.
    Sweet William The Scot

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  33. I'm so sorry to read this, John. Mabel was a lucky lady to have such a caring person there with her at the end.

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  34. I'm so sorry to read about Mabel. At least she had you, Chris and the other animals -- a nice family.

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  35. Oh no. I'm so sorry that you've lost Mabel. She was a lovely dog and a good friend to you. It's OK to feel. xoxoxoxo

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  36. I'm so so sorry. She was well loved. And I'm sorry it came on Chris' birthday. It's all very tough, and it feels like crap no matter what. But you did the best anyone can aspire to do, you gave all your love. Big hugs.

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  37. John, I am so sorry for your loss of Mabel. I am so glad she had you for her last months of her life. It's awful losing a dog and returning home without them. She will be missed on your blog. God bless you Mabel.!

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  38. I'm so sorry to hear about Mabel, I had been hoping for so much better news.
    Hugs,
    Helen

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  39. Aren't dogs lucky that they can just go gently to sleep at the end of their lives in the arms of someone who loves them.
    We are all feeling sad today but Mabel isn't in any pain and that's the best thing.

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  40. Oh, poor you and poor Mabel. X

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  41. thank you tom
    that means a lot

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  42. I am so incredibly sad. I just loved everything you told us about her and the photos were so sweet.

    I was impressed in the beginning with your approach to her and making her feel she had found a real home. I was so proud of both of you when you took her with you to what we call Veteran's Day and she behaved so well. She always seemed to go about things in a humble, quiet little way.

    What a blessing her time with you was to her. You made her feel so special and loved.

    Thank you for that.

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  43. I'm so sorry John. You did a wonderful job of integrating her into your family, and I'm sure she knew that she was really loved.

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  44. I'm very sorry for your loss of Mabel. She was a sweetie and I know she was very much loved. I'm sure Mabel enjoyed being a furry member in your family.

    Her daily kisses, warm bed, good meals and furry siblings to cause chaos with are priceless gifts she enjoyed thanks to you.

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  45. So sorry John. I'm shedding some tears with you (even as I smile at your description of "her big fat stupid head"). Thanks for sharing your Mabel with us.

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  46. So sorry to hear about Mabel. You are allowed to feel what you feel. It is quite obvious to all who read your blog what a kind person you are and your animals are all lucky to have such a wonderful caretaker.

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  47. As soon as i saw the title, i knew what was coming, and even then i cried.

    John, it's not your fault that you've "lost so many dogs in such a short time."

    They've come to you in various stages of their lives, and, i believe, leave your home most reluctantly.

    You didn't have Mabel with you for all that long, but i've no doubt she felt that she really and truly hit the jackpot once she settled down after her arrival. You allowed her to be a dog. You rescued her when she went into the pond at Andrew's, not realising what water was, and not so sure she could swim once she was in there.

    And it's never easy saying good-bye. They all have places in our heart and one doesn't replace the other.

    I'm sorry this happened on Chris's birthday, but i'm glad that you were together on this day.

    xxx

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  48. No need for guilt or shame but I see what you mean about - "you feel what you feel". You made sure that Mabel's last months were happy ones. It seems like yesterday that Constance departed.Night night Mabel!

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  49. John, I am so so sorry. Mabel was blessed to have a home with you.
    Xxx

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  50. People from all over are feeling sad tonight because Mabel is gone. Her last year had to be the best as she became the so loved pet of a very caring person. No animal could have had more.

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  51. John, you had already extended Mabel's life which was the BEST gift anybody can give. You have a lot to be proud of, sir!

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  52. Poor Miss Mabel! She was really just soo ill it's probably for the best. I'd been cyber stalking the blog looking for updates that maybe she was doing better. Hope you're doing ok. It's sad when they pass out of our lives.

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  53. John,
    You, Chris and all your loves are in my thoughts and prayers. Know that you did the kindest thing a pet owner can do, you like her die with dignity.
    You didn't keep her around and let her face live with a failing body..She died in your arms knowing that she was special and loved.

    Major Hugs from So. California

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  54. I know that I am only an occasional commenter on your blog, but I'm so sorry for your loss. And please don't feel guilt or shame for your emotional state. It's so damned hard to say good-bye when the time comes.
    You're in my thoughts. Rest peacefully, Mabel.

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  55. I'm sorry you lost Mabel, John. I know you had a sense that things weren't going well, but I was really hoping Mabel would rally. I guess it wasn't to be, but I'm happy she got to spend her last months with you in a loving home. Hugs to you and a toast to the wonderful Mabel who left us too soon.

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  56. I must admit that I don't believe in a Rainbow Bridge (for me or my pets), but I do very strongly believe that the love generated amongst and between life forms somehow changes the universe -- for the good. Bless the memory of good dog Mabel and you for your kind heart.

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  57. Oh John, we feel so badly for you. I think we can all agree though that you have given her a wonderful life the last few months.

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  58. John, I am so sorry, it's hard when you have to love a little animal enough, to let them go,
    My heart weaps with your's.
    Marie

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  59. Oh John...I'm so sorry to read this post and I'm sorry I've been away so long. I can't believe you're having to experience something like this again...so soon. Poor Mabel. The vet sounds like a good fellow. I must read back through the posts that I've missed to see when this started. You're such a softie...I can imagine how hard this is for you. You gave her a good life John...a VERY good life indeed. She was very lucky to have you ...and you for having her. ((hugs)) to you my friend. Maura X

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  60. So sorry to hear the news, John. Not surprised in the least, but still so sad. Saying a good-bye to a friend like Mabel is very difficult — I say this having done it myself.

    Blessings and Bear hugs to all of you.

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  61. Oh John what rotten, rotten luck. You've had a tough time lately and I am so sorry. It's all right to feel what you feel, you know. XXX Love and hugs to you and Chris.

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  62. I've been hoping for the best, and see a sad day has come. Reminds me that we aren't owners of animals, but guardians - if we're lucky. My best to you at this sad time.

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  63. Dear sweet Mabel. Dear sweet John. It may have been short, but Mabel had a good life with you. It didn't sound like there was anything more you could have done.

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  64. John, I know you and Chris are very sad now and you miss Mabel terribly, but just know that, in time, you will think of her and smile about all the happy memories.

    We are sad for you, and shed a few tears for you both and for Mabel.

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  65. RIP Mabel. A small monument perhaps?

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  66. Just my luck: No sooner do I take an interest in the antics of a bulldog for the first time in my life what does Mabel do? Die.

    All that can be said has been said in the above comments. You are one of life's good guys, John. "You feel what you feel". Indeed. Even better when, like you, you are able to show your emotions.

    Bear hug,
    U

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  67. Oh bugger it all John we are so sorry to hear the news. You gave all your love and then some. Poor sweet Mabel we shall miss her. God bless the ground you walk on, my evening prayer goes to you now.

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  68. I habe grown fond of Mabel as well John, but you did your best for her, and her time with you must have been a great joy to her. I write this with tears in my eyes. God bless. Love Vx

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  69. I'm very sorry John. It just doesn't seem fair.

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  70. I feel for you in your loss as I've been through the same thing - most recently with Miss Socks!

    RIP Mabel!

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  71. I was afraid of that. I'm so glad you were with her at the end though, for both your sakes.

    Beautiful, slobbery, tender, stupid, beloved little Mabel. Thank you SO much little girl! You generated an amazing amount of love and laughter around the globe during your cameo appearance in Wales. Bravo! You were delightful.

    You seem to attract the fragile ones for some reason, John. The colorful characters with tragic flaws that were only ever going to be here on brief stays. Thank god you have the sturdier bunch, too...Meg and William and George and the ever crafty Albert...to love through the loss. But even with them, this was just always going to feel like shit. Hang in there, my friend.
    Dxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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  72. So very sorry to hear about Mabel.
    Lisa x

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  73. Poor, sweet Mabel. She must have been hurting for so long before she let it show. She clearly loved being with you.

    Don't beat yourself up - you did everything right.

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  74. I'm so sad to read this and I am so sad for you. You cared for her so much and gave her a wonderful life while she was with you. My thoughts are with you. DanX

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  75. They wind their paws into your heart strings and take a piece of you with them when they go.
    I am so sorry.

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  76. So sorry - animals - don't they just break your heart.

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  77. R.I.P., Mabel. Sad news. Hope you're doing OK John.

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  78. Its the news ive been dreading all week. Go easy on your self sweetheart. xxxx

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  79. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. You did your best and it is hard work looking after any fellow mammal, and sad when they go

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  80. I know that feeling. You know you have done the right thing but the moment they're gone, you just want them back. It's awful.
    But you want them back the way they were before they were ill, so you know you've done the right thing.
    My tears are with you.

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  81. So sorry John. You did all that you could do for her. You gave her a great home and lots of love. What more could a pooch ask for?

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  82. So sorry to hear about Mabel.
    At least she knew whe was loved, and it was the right thing to do.

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  83. There is absolutely nothing about which you should feel guilty John. You made her last home so very happy.
    As for being ashamed - you have two choices - have her gently put to sleep or let her suffer and die naturally. With humans, sadly, we do not have the choice. You had it and took the right decision.

    Rest in peace dear Mabel.

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  84. John, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

    Hannah

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  85. I'm sad for you John. Bodnant must have been beautiful. Mabel isn't suffering now. You loved her & you will miss her - nothing to be ashamed of.

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  86. Difficult typing this through the tears! She was a lovely dog - I'll miss seeing her round the village. No-one could love their dogs more than you - she had a lovely life with you and Chris.

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  87. Oh sweetie, there is nothing I can say except how very sorry I am that your lovely Mabel has passed (((hugs)))

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  88. Oh dear thats sad. Poor you, and poor mabel. At least she had the benefit of your love and care.

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  89. Oh dear thats sad. Poor you, and poor mabel. At least she had the benefit of your love and care.

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  90. Oh dear thats sad. Poor you, and poor mabel. At least she had the benefit of your love and care.

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  91. Sorry to hear of your loss John.

    'You feel what you feel' is very true and fits with my experience also. I can recall times I’ve tried to ignore or deny certain feelings, but they persist.

    It’s best, I’ve found, to just express them. Set them free.

    It’s also true, that in time, all things pass away -- feelings and living creatures.

    I lost my childhood pet, a cocker spaniel named Pete, more than twenty years ago. I still remember him fondly, his eccentric behaviour and the smell of his ears: a cross between fresh baked bread and old carpet.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

    (-;

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  92. Mabel was a gift to you, nature knew you were the best person to care and love for her in the last months of her life and you did that admirably.
    Feel no guilt John you are a good man.

    Briony
    xx

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  93. This poem says a lot, I think, about those of us who choose to open our hearts to animals. I hope there is some small comfort in it for you. I'm sorry about Mabel.

    SEPARATE LIFETIMES

    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the neccesary plan....

    --- Irving Townsend ---
    "The Once Again Prince"

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  94. I am really sorry about Mabel - a really sad piece of news.

    PS: I have actually written another post! I took your comment to heart!

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  95. knackers.... sorry to hear it... I always say, as if it's going to be some sort of consolation or something, which of course it probably isn't.... but it IS true that with animals, as long as you give them the best life you can then that's all they can ask and all you can give.... better with you than with someone else who might not have given so much.... well done you - I am sure Mabel would be proud to be called your owner!!

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  96. sorry to hear that... sending well meaning vibes to you

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  97. So sorry John. It hurts so much when you lose a beloved pet.

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  98. Dear beautiful girl....you gave her such a lovely swansong....dear sweet mabel...I am so very very sorry....xx

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  99. Such sad news to receive early this morning John. I'm so very, very sorry for the loss of your dear Mabel. You'll be in my heart and thoughts today.

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  100. Such sad news to receive early this morning John. I'm so very, very sorry for the loss of your dear Mabel. You'll be in my heart and thoughts today.

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  101. Brought me to tears. So sorry for Mabel, you and Chris. She made a relatively brief but enormous impact. She was so lucky to spend her last days with you.

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  102. Oh, there are no words to make it easier. Take comfort in those around you who love you and do care. Your kind heart and loving spirit made Mable's time with you a true dream come true for her and you. You will always have that.

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  103. I am so very sorry.

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  104. Goodbye, dear Mabel.

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  105. Go Gently with yourself John. You loved Mabel and she knew it.

    She had a very good life with you and Chris.

    I am so sorry for your tragic loss.

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  106. Very sorry John. It is a sad day. x

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  107. Poor Mabel losing a much loved pet is so very very hard. It was obvious you loved her loads.

    We lost one of our cats at only aged 4. Went in to the vets to check -- Traveller's tummy was a bit distended and we thought worming him had failed. Turned out to be agressive lymphoma which had spread.

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  108. Love is....doing what is best, even when it breaks your heart.
    Kind thoughts for you from across the pond John. You big marshmallow (that was a compliment)

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  109. Oh John....I am so sorry. I have tears running down my face. I so hoped and prayed that Mabel would be okay. You know that she was so lucky to have you there to care for her in her last days. I know that may not make you feel better, but you were kind enough to help that sweet soul move from one world into the next with love and compassion. I really respect your kindness.

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  110. Just read the news. Poor Mabel she seemed such a game old thing. Sending BIG HUGS not the same as dog slobber I know but the best I can offer. Take care. XX

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  111. My heart is once again with you... for what it's worth. E

    Easy for me to say: Feel the loss; don't feel guilt or shame. You were wonderful to her and gave her a home and love when she desperately needed both. Good-bye always sucks.

    Hugs to you and a happy birthday to Chris.

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  112. John, So sorry to hear of Mabel’s passing. You gave her everything in life, we shall all miss that mug.

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  113. oh John I'm so sorry...dear sweet Mabel! So happy she had your arms to support her as she left you (and us) and your kiss upon her sweet furry face! and yes "you feel what you feel"

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  114. YOU have the right to your feelings because they are yours and NOT anybody else's...Peace!
    Happy Birthday Chris..imagine 43...many years ago for us over here...Cheers!

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  115. in my sadness for your loss...I almost forgot to wish Chris a Happy Birthday!

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  116. So sorry to hear it John. My thoughts are with you. Lane

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  117. Oh boy. That's a tough one to deal with. Dogs enrich our lives more than any other animal, I believe. Sometimes they jump right in, sometimes they creep in slowly. But in the end - they always steal our hearts. They are entirely at our mercy for their well-being. They cannot talk to us, but to communicate with them through a touch or a look (which goes both ways) is one of the most precious things. To have lost another dog so quickly is very difficult to deal with. I don't know if it is too soon to point out the sliver of light at the horizon: But you have a heart and a home big enough to give another dog the safe and loving home that it deserves. Take your time to grief, then pick yourself up and find another dog to fall in love with. This will never be a mistake although the end is always difficult and sometimes unexpected. My thoughts are with you.

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  118. John I'm so sorry to hear about Mabel. Sending you loads of love and hugs. Karen xx

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  119. I've just come back from our Sin City jaunt to read about Mabel and it has put a downer on my day. I never met her, but I will miss reading about her.

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  120. John, I've just read this post. I'm so sorry you lost Mabel. Hugs from me too.

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  121. John Gray's bog, Mabel, died in Wales. And folks all over the world puddled up at the loss. What a tribute! She did go gently. My condolences to you, John.

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  122. So sorry for your loss John. ((HUGS))

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  123. So sorry John - I dip into your blogs now and again and laugh and cry with you - Take care

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  124. I feel incredibly sad for you, John. I have so enjoyed reading about Mabel and can well understand how grief-stricken you must feel. Reciprocated love is a wonderful thing and I am so grateful to you for sharing Mabel with us.

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  125. Oh, God. How devastating. I'm so sorry.

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  126. I also send my thoughts and sympathy. You gave Mabel a time and she loved you for it. If we could all be so fortunate that someone would care so dearly. So Sorry..

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  127. I'm so sorry John - it's never easy loosing a loved one.

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  128. I am sorry to arrive so late with my condolences, John.
    I am sorry for your loss, but pleased to hear that you were there for her.
    Take care, Mo x

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  129. So very sad and so very sorry to read your tragic news. My great apologies for being late to send my condolences, thinking of you and empathising greatly. I'm coming up to the one year anniversary of our darling cat Fig and missing him more than ever.
    Anne.x

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  130. John, I am so sorry about Mabel but so glad you were with her and were able to ease her journey. One thing I've learned about grief is, it takes as long as it takes. Please. Do Not Let Anyone tell you, "it's been xx amount of time, don't you think it's time to move on?"
    It takes as long as it takes. Period.
    Dave and I always grieved for our animals and now I'm grieving for Dave and don't apologize for my messy emotions. Those that might be embarrassed may turn and go the other way, although, I think they are in for a hard time, eventually, when they lose someone they love.
    Feel what you feel; don't feel guilty or ashamed because what you feel is love and love is always right.
    I'm so glad you found a bit of comfort on my blog; God bless you.

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  131. So sorry to hear the news John. She was a peach.

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