Saturday, 8 November 2014

Old Dogs

A year or so ago Meg had a period where she experienced odd little " absences". She would stand, have no awareness of what was going on around her and just stare and shake. To me, it looked as though she was experiencing partial seizures.
These seizures disappeared after a couple of months and the vet seemed unconcerned when I took Meg in for a check up and so we breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Yesterday she had another " do" . And we were a mile down the beach promenade during a heavy rain  storm.
It couldn't have been in a worse place.
I didn't know if it was a return of the " fits" she had experienced before , or whether it was something more serious,It certainly seemed to be worse than ones I had seen her have before..... so I had no choice but to pick her up and head back to the car.
Now, carrying a sick dog whilst holding the leads of  three others during a burst of heavy rain is not the simplest of jobs and I was struggling a bit until a young woman who had been sheltering in her car in the car park next to the promenade jogged over and jumped over the wall.
I think I must have looked a little upset.
" do you need a hand?" She asked kindly and within seconds she had taken the other dogs' leads from me , allowing me to carry Meg more easily and she helped me back to the car, getting a bad soaking in the process..
She jogged back to her car after she asked if I would be ok.
Within a couple of minutes Meg had come around from her fit, and quite suddenly her eyes started to focus again and she started to push her way into the front passenger seat which is her usual position when we are out driving.
I turned to see where the young woman had gone, but she had left already.
I never got the chance to thank her.
Ten minutes later Meg was as bright and as clingy as ever.
Partial fits could be a sign of something serious. We all know that. But we will wait and see if things deteriorate further.
I am loath to suddenly start to look at what could be the cause..
Old dogs eh?
They break your heart
Meg asleep on my head after night shift last year

101 comments:

  1. Hope she's OK John x

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  2. I truly hope that everything works out with Meg, that this is just a momentary 'bobble' you can soon put behind you. I am glad that you received help when you needed it.

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  3. She is my fave dog of yours. The kindness of strangers mostly works.

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  4. My heart went out to you when I read your blog - I have been there - your whole world turns over during those times - Best wishes John

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  5. ah bless that little bundle of fur xx

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  6. Let's hope the kind young woman reads your blog.... she'll learn what a saviour she was.

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  7. As someone with two old dogs, both of which have serious medical issues, I know just where you are. When my oldest colllie turned 11 I started thinking in terms of weeks/months left and here he is at 12 still with me and enjoying life I hope Meg can continue for a long time.
    Peter

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  8. Dogs can break your heart. It is true.

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  9. Bless her it is so frightening both for the pet and the owner , our oldest Raffles has a heart condition and a few weeks ago had an episode , I dont know who was more upset him or me . Hope you are both feeling ok now

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  10. i've had a couple of heartbreaks over old dogs and i wouldnt wish it on anyone but neither would i wish them the alternative

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  11. Massive hug Meg from me and Anni B (though if she saw you in reality she'd be hiding as she's such a wuss). What a scare and thank heavens for the kindness of strangers. Hope Meg is ok and you have recovered from your scare.

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  12. Yes, they do break your heart. Hope she is OK now. x

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  13. Hi John,

    My old dog Gracie had many episodes that sound quite similar. The vet told me it was vestibular disease. It can be quite mild, although she did have a few serious bouts that left her shaky and unbalanced. It is so hard with old dogs. I am just now trying to make "the Decision" about my old foster dog.

    I hope Meg will have many happy and enjoyable days with you yet. Kisses to the sweet girl.

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    1. I know most of us have all " been there" but it's still upsetting... Especially as I felt more helpless than I woul have done at home...I had researched vestibular disease last year and some of Meg's symptoms do matchup... ....they also match up with a score of other problems

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  14. Our old dog, Kane was just diagnosed with vertigo (vestibular disease) after starting to stumble and zone out on us. It only lasted about 2 weeks and he is now on the mend. We deal with other issues, too as his eyes and ears begin to diminish. He will be 15 next summer. Apparently, vistbular disease could be caused from an inner-ear infection. It is very common and comes and goes in old dogs.They just need to be treated for the infection, stay calm (quiet home) rest and wait 'til it improves. I'm sending good thoughts for Meg.

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    1. Albert needs another vet visit so I may take Meg with him.

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  15. Hi John
    Please don't delay. Take Meg to the Vet to get some blood and urine analysis done. If there is an underlying cause, then you will find out early and treatment is more likely to be successful.

    If there is no pbvious underlying physical cause then you will probably be advised to monitor it. If the seizures become more frequent, they can be managed by Phenobarbitone. One of my cats is on Pheno for this, and it has worked really well.

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    1. It's an odd pattern for sure... She had blood work all done last time these fits occurred and nothing was found....I will take her on Monday ...she had another fit today when we were out for a walk

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  16. Ah, yes, the kindness of strangers, they do surprise us sometimes.

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    1. Bless her too..the girl was soaked to the bone

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  17. What a heart tug. That picture of Meg sleeping on you is one of my very favorites. Hopefully her episode is again a transitory thing or something that can be medically managed somehow.
    That young woman showed a good heart. Really nice to hear.
    Very best hopes for your little Meg.

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  18. So it was a sad-ish story John. Do you often wear a hat in bed? I bet you were thanking the girl but you just forget. x

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    1. I should have added it to my " odd list" of a few days back...yes Rachel I do love wearing my woolly hats in the house by only in winter

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    2. I sometimes wear a hat indoors too, and even in the office if I am cold. Did you see I put a picture of my house today after we talked about it last night?x

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    3. I did see it
      I love the colour btw

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  19. I love the photo of meg on your head! x

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  20. You were right - that was a sad post. I still wonder why we needed a warning about it, though. I hope Meg carries on happily for a good few years yet. I have kept that photo of her grinning into the wind like something from Star Wars, and look at it every now and then when I want to cheer myself up.

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    1. I was feeling sorry for myself last night ....it's easy to be drama queeny when you are in a cottage alone with a poorly pooch

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    2. Of course. Now I understand.

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  21. Wonderful ! A Good Samaritan just when you needed one. You reap what you sow as the saying goes. In my experience dogs suddenly age very quickly. Lucky Meg, she knows you love her.

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  22. Yes I agree John, dogs do break your heart. I think you have to tell yourself when you first start keeping them that they do not have our life span. One year of our life is equal to seven of theirs - but do hope it is not the beginning of something. Good samaritans certainly lift your spirits.

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  23. Oh poor Meg. Poor you. Hope it was just a momentary lapse and she remains as bright as usual in the future.

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  24. I think you experienced help from an angel. I have a little lump in my throat reading this. You know, I'll never get over losing Winston. I've had other dogs that I actually loved more, but something about Winston.....oh they grip your heart.

    Cindy Bee

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  25. Love the photo of you and Meg! So many good people if you think about it....My Dachshund, Rowdy had seizures for about a year before his back end and legs went out. Poor girl.

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  26. Love to you and Meg and hope she's okay. xx

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  27. Scary enough when it happens close to home...looks like an angel appeared with perfect timing...dear Meg...I can just picture her making her way to the front seat to be by your side...we have them for such a short time...hugs

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  28. aw poor Meg. I hope she is a lot better now. what a kind girl to come to your aid.

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  29. Poor wee Meg. I hope the vet can come with something to help her...and so glad there was someone at hand to help you.

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  30. We have one cat who has mini strokes..each time there is the fear that it may be the final one..give Meg a big cuddle from me..and have one yourself.
    Jane x

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  31. Sounds like Meg is doing much better. The experience was probably much more traumatic for you than for her. So I'm sending you cyber-hug from across the pond. (((((squeeze))))

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  32. Really glad someone came to your aid. One of our black labs had his first fit aged 5 and during it fell into a large rose bush - it was very frightening. We had to cut the bush down to get him out.

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  33. Let's hope its nothing serious.
    Hugs
    Briony
    x

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  34. What a doll Meg is - hope she stays well. I have a 9 yr old, an 11 yr old, a 12 1/2 yr old, and a 13 1/2 yr old; the oldest had a dreadful night last night and I was just agonizing this morning over whether or not it was time to make that final decision for her. But she's better this morning, and resting, and she's never lost her appetite, so maybe a little longer... She was our first dog, got her when she was just a few weeks old. It's just the hardest thing :(

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  35. If that photo is any indication, John, Meg knows she is in good hands. As will you.

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  36. Now I understand last nights post. Completely understandable to warn us ,,,, and yourself, that you were about to post a 'saddy'.

    I hope Meg is okay today, thank goodness for the kindness of the young lady, I'm sure any of us dog lovers would have done the same for a fellow dog owner in distress. She will know how thankful you were, don't worry about maybe not thanking her verbally enough ... she will have seen the relief along with the worry in your eyes.

    I have never had a dog with this problem but my childhood cat had seizures towards the end of his life, he lived with them comfortably for about three years before having one massive one that he couldn't come out of and I had to make the decision that only true animal lovers sometimes have to.

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  37. I am so sorry, John. Our love for our pets has no boundaries. I hope the vet will have an answer for you and something to help sweet Meg.

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  38. It is a most helpless feeling when we can't do anything for a suffering pet that can't tell us what is going on with them. I suppose its the price we pay for the love they give us. Hope you can sort it out and make her better.

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  39. Meg is a doll...she's in such good hands and she is so loved, that's really all that matters. She gets love and gives so much in return. Keeping you all in our thoughts that she get better soon.

    And I love the lady that helped you...those people that show up and help in a time of crisis, like a car accident or something and people turn back to thank them and they are gone...their work 'done'.

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  40. My mother in law used to do the same thing when she was alive, couldn't carry her anywhere though:) It was as though an iron rod had attached to her and through the spot where was stopped, she simply couldn't budge. Eventually she would come round and we could head home, soaked in a different department though:( Hope Meg is okay.

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  41. Maybe it's not that serious and just a recurring infection.....she says hopefully XX sending hugs xx
    Love the pic of Meg sleeping on your head :-)

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  42. Healing thoughts to Meg.

    A bazillion thanks to the girl who helped...renews some of my faith in human kind.

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  43. Jack has been doing that "absent" thing about a year now. Not sure if what he does is the same. I could hold up chicken nuggets or ice cream and it's like he doesn't know it - totally off in another world and non-responsive. A half hour or 45 min. and he'll be fine.

    Poor Meg... Poor you, in the rain no less! Bless the Gal who stopped to help!

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  44. We wish our dogs and cats went on forever, at the peak of their lives. Sadly, no. I too had a cat with what the vet called "late seizure syndrome." Whatever that means. He got a half a quarter grain phenobarb for the rest of his life and the only other seizure was the last one, years later. His name was Toe-Toe, and he appeared regularly for his morning dose. I always believed he knew it kept him on his feet, but probably he liked being mellow.

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  45. Oh no, poor Meg. I hope it's nothing serious.

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  46. I do hope Meg is going to be OK. Maybe you will run into the lady again to thank her, or post a note somewhere in the village. If you have a local paper write a note for the letters to the editor section. Occasionally I will see a note thanking a stranger in my local paper rather than the usual moaning and groaning.

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    1. A great idea....I have emailed the local paper a few minutes ago on your recommendation thank you x

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  47. Thank goodness for kind people - hope Meg weathers the storm - it is very distressing - you do feel helpless on these occasions don't you

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  48. I had something smart ass to say but, when the pets are involved it just isn't the place. Wishing many more years for the old girl.

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  49. I hope she will be o.k., such a little sweetie .

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  50. Good wishes that it passes. My last cat was epileptic and it was horrible to watch. Pets burrow their way into your heart then wrench it each time something happens. How sweet of your angel of mercy, the kindness of strangers is always really life affirming.

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  51. Poor old Meg. Sounds like the walks are getting too much for her John? They do break your heart. How old is she?

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    1. Dave....she is generally more active than any of the others Dave....and certainly more feisty

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  52. The kindness of strangers can move me to tears, as can stories of old dogs. After my second poodle had to be put to sleep I vowed I would never have another dog as looking after an old dog was so heartbreaking. Welling up now.........
    It didn't last - dogs bring us joy and tears, but mostly joy.

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  53. Hope Meg perks up soon John. I've spent a lovely hour catching up on and smiling my way through your blog. X

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  54. Poor old Meg. I hope it's nothing serious.

    By the way, do you always wear a hat in bed?

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  55. It's the only downside. They age so quickly in our years. One post like this and I'm blubbing at the prospect of my old girl's future. Damn you...

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  56. It's never easy, is it? Could her blood sugar have dropped? Thinking of you.

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    1. It crossed my mind iris

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  57. I hope she's okay. Keeping her in my thoughts.

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  58. Old dogs...they can break your heart. There's a blog I follow in the web edition of my local paper, and every Friday Nick the blogger posts a collection of reader's photos. This week's column was photos of senior dogs - so touching. http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/blogs/four-legs-good/10709530/Furry-Friday-Beautiful-senior-dogs

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  59. My heart breaks for you, John. It's so very hard watching our furbabies age. Big hugs for you and sweet Meg.

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  60. Oh what a darling dog she is, she is truly quite beautiful. How upsetting for you, and also how kind of the young lady to help out in the rain. It is tough to contemplate the future.

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  61. I do hope she is ok now or at lest for today/
    Old dogs they break your heart.
    Watson is almost 17 and thehamish is 11 everyday is a gift from now on.

    cheers, parsnip

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  62. Gayle...she had another " do" again on a walk today

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  63. THANKS TO ALL
    Meg is feeling the lurve xxxxx

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  64. Hope she's ok? It is very upsetting! Iv been thru many heart-aches over my little fur-babies! That was so nice of that young Lady to help you, hope she reads this! Sending you lots of loving thoughts across the waters!

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  65. Having recently read that you like to sleep with a pillow on your head, Dear Meg looks like she decided to be the pillow for you that you forgot to apply that particular evening. Such tenderness from a dog.

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  66. John, you didn't ask for any advice, but I'll give it to you anyway and hope you don't mind even though it's probably advice you already know and are doing and my apologies for that.

    I did read some of the above comments and see that your girl has had another "fit" I'm sorry to hear that. If possible when it happens, try and notice the time to see how long they are lasting, and write it down. We both know that what seems like minutes may only be 1. Second, keep a journal of when they're happening. Write down anything unusual that may have happened that day, what she was doing at the time, something different she may have eaten, if she'd just eaten, or done. Sometimes you can find a common thread that will connect the proverbial dots. I hope they pass John, I know that special place Meg has in your heart and how you're feeling at all of this. If I can be of any help, please feel free to let me know. Again, my apologies for my unsolicited and not needed advice...

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    1. Go good advice Kim, I have already logged the time and duration.......no precipitating causes except for a walk, so I wonder if excitement could've a factor?

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  67. *hugs* ♥ God bless, John.

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  68. Aww poor Meg...I hope she is ok.. hugs to both of you. Well done to the young lady who helped you, an angel when you needed one. Btw I love the picture of her sleeping on your head!

    Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  69. This is the hardest part of having pets. Good luck on your vet visit.

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  70. John,

    Great picture of Meg sleeping on your head :-)
    We get so attached to our pets, they're like having hairy kids, lol......
    I truly hope you're able to figure out what's going on with Meg. Sending you and Meg prayers.

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  71. They do indeed. Watch her on the stairs. xoxoxo

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  72. The story feels like being punched in the gut, J.G. Hoping like mad that she'll be okay for a good while yet. Here's wishing for you, dear little Meg.

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  73. Big hugs. Thinking of you all. Give Meg plenty of love as I know you do xx

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  74. Small acts of kindness go such a long way. I do hope that Meg turns out to be ok John. Give her a biscuit from me.

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  75. It has all been said above! So many people wishing dear Meg well….me too. Love to you all.XX

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  76. Struth, almost 100 comments, John!

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    1. Like I said..Meg feels the lurve

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  77. Been off for the weekend, what a hell of a post to come back on. Give the dear girl a hug from the two of us. Of all the dogs and others we have had it never gets easier. We devote our lives to their love and well being. I hope it turns out to be something that can easily be taken care of.

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  78. Oh, Meg. I wish dogs didn't get old.

    Love,
    Janie

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  79. Hi John, thanks for visiting Bag End :)

    I hope Meg is doing better now, and yes, they do break our hearts but we know that's going to happen when we enter into the relationship and form those special bonds. But still we do it - darn, we must be stupid . . .

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  80. I'm late coming to this, catching up on my blog reading. Sending lots of love to Meg, and I've asked the cats to send their purrs.

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  81. How is it that the smallest things sometimes leave the biggest scars? Best wishes to Meg. They do break your hearts don't they? But I wouldn't be without them. They and we are the lucky ones who are loved. Xxx

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