I have written about this before so I apologise to those of you who have heard this before. On 10th September 2014 I picked up the children from school and we trudged to a street in Newquay called Polwhele Road. The task was to deliver Bella’s poster to every one of the 218 residential properties on that road. The four of us took it on like a bit of a military operation. We were well practised having had 8 weeks rehearsal. The children came to me one at a time for posters and I directed them to which houses they should deliver posters and of course I delivered my fair share too. About half way around this substantial cul-de-sac Kayan (aged 8) asked me a potentially harrowing question through pure childhood innocence, ” Mum, don’t you think that maybe Bella might be dead?” I replied with patience although sighing inwardly (I had had many adults suggest the same thing). “No Kayan, she isn’t dead.” This was a satisfactory answer for him and we carried on with our task. It took us over an hour but the task was done efficiently as a well practised team. Little did we all know at that time but 24 hours later we were to be reunited with Bella proving my point that, sometimes you have just got to have faith.
I got my first negative review today for my book , ” I would not recommend this book but some might enjoy it.” I am not really sure how I feel about it to be honest. I poured my heart out in my book, it was totally honest and I spoke from my soul but clearly someone didn’t like it. I suppose in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter what people think of me but it’s still hard to take criticism when all I have done is be honest. Not everyone likes me and understands me; boy I know that believe me but I am me and I am not going to change. All I can do is try and if people don’t appreciate me then really that’s their choice isn’t it?
A local resident had words with me today. He said my car was driven too fast past his house yesterday when leaving the horses whilst his children were walking home along the road. My husband was driving yesterday and I politely stated I would speak with Craig and mention he needs to drive slower. He appeared satisfied with my reply. At the time of speaking with the man I couldn’t immediately recall the ‘incident.’ I have since managed to dig the memory up and do recall seeing them and we honestly drove slowly past them as we had only just pulled out of the gateway of the yard. His interpretation is massively different to ours clearly. He felt so strongly that he wrote a notice and stuck it on the livery yard gate and then went and complained to the owner. I feel well and truly told off when hand on heart I can honestly say we did nothing wrong. It turns out he has a reputation for upsetting people, I just need to accept it really is much ado about nothing.
If you rely on the media then the news of the day is all about Mr Clarkson and much as its “news” it’s not massive or important to me.
Today has been trying for me. One of my horses has been a handful and another has shown me that his level of care needs to be increased in order for him to be more well as is often the case with veteran horses. In addition I have been trodden on scowled at and shouted at today; it’s been a massive contrast to yesterday. That however is life. Ups and downs are part of it and the struggle of life. Today is just one day of my life journey which I will obviously get through. I consider myself quite a strong person and strength is what we all need to get through the difficulties we face.
I have to admit I haven’t really enjoyed the day but I remain positive that everything will be ok and I will manage. Thankfully however being reminded several times that some famous person lost his job has been a distraction from my otherwise fretful day.
Whilst driving down the narrow country lanes to the horses this morning I came across a man on the verge alongside his stationary red van. He was holding jump leads and waved at me as I approached. I wound my window down and asked if he needed a jump start -“Yes please.” I pulled over and we attached the leads but unfortunately the van was flatlining so to speak, there was no response despite trying a few times.
After a bit of synchronised head scratching he mentioned he was a member of the RAC and we agreed that really contacting them was the next feasible step. With the help of the amazing technology that is the mobile phones of today, I got the number for the RAC for him off google and he telephoned them. He didn’t know his location so I explained to him geographically where we were and then, again using my iphone, obtained a postcode for a nearby farm on the same road. Once he had relayed all the information to the RAC on the phone I left him and set off on my slightly delayed journey. He thanked me for stopping and for helping him “No problem” I replied.
Whilst driving off I felt satisfied that I had done my good samaritan bit and started to ponder why the couple of cars that I had passed on that road a few moments before had chosen to ignore his request for help when he had tried to flag them down. Probably too busy was the conclusion I came to. Everyone is busy aren’t they but does that mean that we don’t stop to help when someone asks?
When I went to get my gorgeous Corgan in two of the other liveries were in the field, they had found a shoe – it materialised to be Corgan’s. Bummer was my immediate reaction, I knew my farrier was away and imagined it was going to be difficult to contact him. It was. His phone was off – as he said it would be – if he was away.
Luckily a farrier was due this morning at the yard for other people’s horses to be shod and it was suggested I ask him if he had the time to put the (fortunately found) shoe back on. I was nervous about asking him – I didn’t know him and Corgan can be a pig to shoe at times. The farrier was, however, despite his busy schedule, more than happy to put it back on and Corgan was, surprisingly, extremely well behaved.
This morning has been a nice one, I helped someone and then someone helped me. We were all in the right place at the right time and the request for help was met with a ‘happy to help’ reply. How lovely. X
Shortly after getting Bella back my elderly Siamese cat, Fudge, fell ill; he stopped eating and was not drinking at all, had horrendous runny poo and was dribbling from his mouth (almost foaming). This persisted for three days and on the third day I took him to the vets as an emergency (the vets aren’t open on Sundays so they had to call an emergency vet for me).
I was told after a quick examination – which involved listening to his heart, feeling his stomach and taking his temperature -he most likely had a tummy bug. The vet gave me some probiotic paste and told me to administer it three times a day and syringe water into his mouth. We went home. Fudge was desperate to go back outside when we got back but we didn’t let him out. He howled all night long and then the following morning we let him out. Less than 30 minutes later we had a call from the vets (he is microchipped). He had been picked up by someone who was concerned for his welfare and taken him to the vets. I went and picked him up and brought him home and carried on with the treatment.
He stayed in but was very unhappy and at 3am the following morning we let him out because we could not stand the howling all night long again. At around 4pm that day we had a call from the vets, this time the RSPCA had picked him up and taken him to the vets. The vets said they were concerned for him and of course I was too and reminded them that I had already been to them for a diagnosis and was in the process of administering the paste as instructed but, had noticed he hadn’t really improved much at all. They said they were to carry out some blood tests.
An hour later I got the dreaded phone call, I was informed he had acute pancreatitis, was massively dehydrated and had possible kidney or liver failure. The vet told me there was nothing they could do and Fudge needed to be put to sleep. This was hard to swallow but I said I would come and be with him for his last moments.
There was objection to this by the vet but I insisted and eventually he agreed. Craig my husband was desperately upset “I can’t come in with you” he said with tears in his eyes “I know” I said, understandingly. Fudge has been in his life longer than me. He was Craigs pet with his late wife. The drive to the vets is normally a five minute drive but the traffic was horrendous and it took 25 minutes that night to travel less than 2 miles. During that time I decided to put Fudge’s fate to question, I asked myself (without emotion and objectively) whether it was Fudge’s time to go. I was fully prepared for the answer to be yes. You see the experience losing Bella has taught me how to detach myself from my emotions, I believe I wouldn’t have been able to speak to Bella telepathically when she was lost if I hadn’t mastered detachment from my emotions. Anyway, I asked the question and the reply was “No it’s not his time.” I was surprised by the answer so asked the question again, I got the same answer several times over.
When I arrived at the vets I was ushered in and the vet had the needle ready. I bravely and strongly (I am neither of those things) said, “I would like to know what the options are and then I will make an educated decision.” The vet looked taken aback. “There are no options, he will not recover.” I had to push really hard and even ended up asking him what would the treatment be if Fudge was human and I was told there would be nothing they could do, he would suffer a little longer and then die. The vet was very insistent that the kindest thing was to put him to sleep. I, however, said I wasn’t prepared to not try and help him, I told the vet I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t try to help our longstanding family friend of 15 years and if he wouldn’t try I would look at alternative treatment such as homeopathic methods. He reluctantly agreed to put Fudge on a drip, and that is exactly what happened.
After two days he was well enough to come home. I went to the spiritualist church on the Monday night and, appropriately (and not because I asked), healing was taught. I immediately then started to give Fudge healing. I also put a plea on my facebook page for people to send positive and healing thoughts to Fudge which many of my lovely members did for me.
Two weeks later I registered him at a new vets and took him for a health check. I told the new vet the history and she said, apart from him being underweight he was healthy and well. Fudge has made a full recovery and now sleeps beside me everynight in bed curled up by my head- he never did this before he was ill. Craig has told me several times how brave I was to question the vet and insist that we try and help Fudge as he said, he would never have had the courage to question the professional verdict.
I am very clear on the fact that if it had been left up to the vet and Craig Fudge would have left our lives last October but thankfully he is still very much a massive part of our lives. He has regained his weight is healthy again and very much a massive personality and presence in our family. I am glad I trusted my instinct on this occasion. I was convinced it wasn’t his time to go as much as I knew that Bella was very much alive when she was missing that was what kept me relentlessly searching for her. X
As many of you know I took up learning animal communication (something I didn’t believe in) out of desperation along with conventional methods to try and find Bella when she was missing. A few weeks after she disappeared a good friend’s cat went missing and she asked me (also in desperation) to see if I could help find him using my new found skills.
Well of course I would try to help but I explained to her that if I was any good then surely I would have found Bella. She understood and still asked me to try for her. When I contacted the cat I asked my first standard question (which I had asked Bella many times before)”Are you alive?” I got back “No.” This took me by surprise, so I asked again and again and again. Each time I asked the reply was a resounding “No.” I asked him to show me what had happened and what I saw wasn’t pleasant. He was lying in the middle of the road with cars either side of him. It was not a nice feeling and it took me some time to pluck up the courage and relay it to my friend but I did and I just told her that obviously I was a novice and wasn’t always right and I hoped I was wrong. Anyway that was the beginning of August.
My friend continued to search for her cat as did I Bella and then Bella was found and I was ecstatic. My friend kept searching however. In November she managed to find him. A kind lady saw one of her pleeing posts on Facebook and messaged her. She had found the cat on Henver Road, he had been hit by a car. She buried him but not before taking photos of the cat in case she was able to track down his owner.
Honestly when I heard this it took my breath away. I have since tried to help a few people find their lost pets using animal communication but without success. I so wish I could do it successfully as I know only too well the personal anguish that is losing a much loved animal. X
Extract from FindBella book,
“One day, whilst distributing posters on Trenance Hill in Newquay with the help of my kids and James, I came across a lady tending to her well manicured garden in the sunshine. I gave her a poster and briefly explained Bella was missing. She was an elderly lady and very chatty, friendly and sympathetic. She told me how her daughter had lost her cat (also called Bella) some time ago and had spent months and months searching high and low for her. She said just at the point where she felt she could search no more and was ready to give up the cat turned up just curled up on her bed as if nothing was amiss. This gave me great hope. I was so wishing that my Bella would just come home too. How amazing would it be to go home and just find her waiting at the back door?”
I have been meaning to, since finding Bella, return to this kind lady’s house to tell her that I, miraculously, did find Bella as I wasn’t certain that she would have heard the news. It’s been on my to-do list since I found Bella but I just haven’t managed to squeeze it in. Today, however, whilst in a shop in Newquay she was introduced by a new friend of mine to me, as her mother. “This is the lady who lost and found her dog, mum,” Lisa, my friend said. Of course I recognised her as she did me. Extraordinarily the daughter who she had spoken about when I met her that day whilst delivering posters is Lisa! I took great pleasure in telling them both that they were both mentioned in my book and Lisa’s mothers response was rather emotional. She was touched I remembered her and honoured that she got a mention in my book. “That’s my claim to fame” she said with a smile. Well of course she should get a mention, she was one of the many that gave me inspiration and hope and I thanked her again for her support whilst Bella was missing. How amazing that her daughter and I should have recently become friends. It really is a small world.
I am trying really hard to trust that everything will be ok. It feels like a big step handing over ownership of one of my beautiful horses who I have owned for three years to someone else. I have spent the time I have owned him getting to know him and pandering to his every need. Passing that responsibility onto someone new is difficult and daunting. However I know the person who is to have him very well and she loves buddy more than words can say but I still can’t help but fret. I need to trust that it will all be ok but honestly I am finding that incredibly difficult and in the meantime I find myself inadvertently lecturing her on what the right things are to do with him when she hasn’t even asked for my advice. As another good friend advised unless asked for advice resist the urge to offer it as its condescending and patronising. I would hate to consider myself either of those traits but think I have adopted both of them undesirably. Note to self, learn to let go and trust that it will all be ok because it will be however hard it seems.
Something unimaginable has happened, I have fallen in love with a mare. I have hankered after a mare since I retired my beautiful showjumping mare, Tess, 3 years ago. Recently I went to go see a horse with a friend and ended up falling in love with another horse on the yard – quite by chance. Amazingly it has all fallen into place but what has happened is that one of my horses (which I love with all my heart) has now to be sold to my sharer – who loves him more than me. It’s a strange feeling – I have to let go of a being that I love to make room for another that needs me even more – it’s a weird situation to be in to be honest but my husband is insistent that two horses is enough for me which, of course, it is but, oh my god, it’s hard. If it was up to me I would be surrounded by many animals and, of course, I am. However in my eyes there are always more in need and, unfortunately, I can’t save them all. A line has to be drawn and my husband has done that because, believe me, if it was up to me I would attempt to save every one of them. My soon to be new horse is one of those that needs saving and she has told me so very strongly that she needs me to help her. Who knows what the future holds eh? All I know is that I am destined to help animals.. The future is bright isn’t it, but the unknown future is a little scary and intimidating too. I know it will be ok but change and sacrifice is hard to bear sometimes. X
Everybody is entitled to their opinion aren’t they? When it comes to the non extremist views i.e. not, should I behead another human being or not, but the more everyday and more ordinary decisions, the line between what is acceptable and what isn’t is blurred. So many judgemental people have an opinion to offer because apparently they are more expert.
I learnt this a few days ago when I posted a picture of me and my sharer riding out our horses whilst leading our dogs to which we received criticism (from the minority I might add) advising it was dangerous and that the dogs could take the horses down at any unpredictable moment by their uncontrollable behaviour.
The thing is many individuals (including me and my sharer) know their animals/pets extremely well, in that they know how to control them and they have a good trusting relationship with them. There is risk in horse-riding itself, of course, and one could arguably say every time you got on a horses back you put your life in your hands but, I know my animals as does my sharer and at the age of 37 we are hardly children and know and can take responsibility for our actions, we don’t need supervision. I certainly wouldn’t take my horse and dog out riding together (and wouldn’t allow my sharer to) if I didn’t have complete faith and trust in them. We know them extremely well and if push come to shove and there was a situation I am pretty confident that we (both) would let the leads on the dogs (who have good recall) go rather than take the horses to the ground. However, apparently, there are more informed people who feel it is their duty to educate you on every aspect of your life perhaps because they consider you incapable of it by yourself? How insulting. I shouldn’t have to justify myself but there are so many uneducated judgemental people that, in this case, it feels necessary
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion as I said, let them have their own views and get on with their lives at their risk. It’s a learning curve for us all. I am a firm supporter of my mother’s view; if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. Let people live their own lives, make their own decisions, their own mistakes – what right have we to preach how it should be done? If you are not being reckless or unduly irresponsible why cannot you be left to live your life the way you see fit providing you are not hurting or putting anyone in unduly risk? The nanny state is a little depressing at times. Let us breathe please. We aren’t toddlers. X
Today has been a good day. Nothing particularly exciting has happened but I feel happy and content. I have had a lovely ride on my horse Corgan with the gorgeous Bella in accompaniment, followed by a coffee and chat with a good friend (that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for losing Bella) and then the time spent this afternoon with my husband has been nice and normal and pleasant. Our evening ahead is one of domestic paradise (for me anyway) with a bath run for me when I came back from walking the dogs by my hubby and then a culinary masterpiece prepared also by said husband after which he will morph into the sofa beside me and spend a couple of hours being very passionate about ‘the beautiful game’ (in his eyes – I am not into football myself). Today has been a normal but nice day and one where I have found myself feeling grateful for what I have. We are not rich (in the monetary sense) but I feel rich in so much as the friendships and relationships I have with my animals, my friends and my family. Lucky me. Tomorrow I intend to be miserable – only joking. Life is good and I am grateful for my lot in it. X
Just had a lady who lives in Ross on Wye call me to ask if I had found Bella as she has seen an advert for a black patterdale springer and thought of Bella. It was lovely to tell her my happy ending and how much I appreciated the call because of course it only takes that one person to question a situation like Jill Birch did for me and it can result in lost dogs being reunited with their families. Bless you. x