I don’t know what I’m doing….

Living with this crappy ailment means half the time, I don’t know what I am doing. Ground down by pain and overwhelmed by fatigue, you lose your mind. I can get up whilst thinking about what I am about to do, like go and make a drink, or hang the washing out, and by the time I have walked the 3 metres from one side of my bedroom to the door, I will be wondering what it was that I had got up to do. It’s absolutely crazy.

If I get distracted, by something else, or someone suddenly talking to me, that’s it, it will take ages to remember what it was I was up to again. I know now that it’s all fibromyalgia related, at first I was really concerned I was getting dementia real fast or something, but then when I had a better patch with the fibro, it got better again.

I have had a really weird day today. Plans thrown out the window, firstly, because of the weather, we were going to a market, been planned for the past week, but now we are under a tropical storm, that has dumped nearly half a metre of rain on us in the past 36 hours. So, we could drive a couple of hundred km’s to get there, as the direct, 30 km route is too dangerous in this weather, it is very mountainous, very narrow and winding, and very prone to landslides with heavy rain. The prospect of driving all that way, although I was excited to go to the market, was not exciting at all.

So, I spent, and wasted 2 hours this morning waiting for a bloke to come and buy my trailer, who never ended up showing up (the second one now), then he organised to come this afternoon after 4 pm. He still never showed up, and now wants me to wait until next week. Then he might not still buy it. What is wrong with people ??? We decided after the morning debacle, to head out anyway, but closer to home, not half a days driving.

We went to a few Op Shops, which was productive, we got a few things we were looking for, and then went to Bunnings for some stuff to finish off the kitchen renovation. Then, I treated mum to lunch, and we wandered around the shopping mall for a bit, got a few other things we needed, then headed home to be back in time for the chap who never showed up.

We pottered around this afternoon when we got back, I contacted another potential buyer of the trailer, who is just as fickle as the previous two I have discovered, put the last 2 handles on the new kitchen cabinets, tidied up my tools which were spread everywhere, cooked some steak for dinner, and now, I am just about ready for bed.

We have had so much rain, it’s incredible. While driving around today, it was torrential. In some ways, it was time to come home when we did, with basically rain so heavy that even on well drained roads the water was at least 2 inches deep, and with even deeper puddles where the rain was frantically trying to get away, it was exhausting. You have to be on your toes when it’s that wet, especially with so many lousy drivers out as well. Since I started writing this 20 minutes ago, we have had 25 mm of rain, or about an inch. I told you the rain is heavy.

It’s actually funny. Last night, I went to bed at this time, and we have basically got exactly the same amount of rain as the same time last night. This time last night we had had 189.3 mm, today, up to now we have had 186.9 mm. The rain is supposed to be like this for a few more days, and it is currently being slated by those in the know to be the biggest rainfall event in over 2 decades. Crazy, the first few months we have been here, we have had the highest daily temperature ever recorded here, and now we are experiencing the wettest period in over 2 decades.

The past couple of days have also been tough. Every time we have gone out, and then returned home, we have been expecting to let Smudge out after being inside in the air-conditioning to do her business, but she is not here. Same in the mornings when we get up. You get so used to having a pet around, I mean, 17 years is a long time, that it is all the regular things you do automatically that catch you off guard. I am sure it will be some time before we get past this, she was such an amazing little dog. Gee I miss her.

Andy.

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I lost my best friend yesterday.

For nearly 17 years, she was my best friend. She went through everything with me. She was there during the worst of the time I had with my ex, and it was her that kept me going. Smudge, the best little dog I have ever owned, left us yesterday.

For the past week, I was concerned, she was not quite herself, although she was eating well, and enjoyed her afternoon walks still. She even was belting around the yard with Jack on Monday afternoon, just like a puppy. It was the little things, the smallest things that I noticed that would be barely perceptible to anyone else.

On Wednesday afternoon, she started to have a bit of trouble with her back legs. Not much, just a bit weak. She was also a little moody. Then, yesterday morning, both Mum and I woke to her crying. She had soiled all over the floor where she slept in one of those little pet pens in the lounge room, she was always an inside dog, she was a Jack Russell Terrier, but when our fog of waking abruptly out of deep sleep at 5am started to lift, we realised she was bent leftwards, she couldn’t straighten out, and she was falling over. Mum picked her up, and she was covered in muck, so she took her in to give her a wash, while I cleaned up the rest of the mess.

After her wash, she sat with mum for an hour, and went to sleep, but she was ever so compliant, not at all like the feisty little dog she has always been. We knew that things weren’t right. Once I had cleaned everything up, and got her bedding clean and into the dryer, She woke, and mum, needing to go to the loo, put her down, and she was still the same, bent and not able to stand. She was obviously distressed about it, so I picked her up, and cuddled her, which made her calm and relaxed again. When jack got up, I had a quiet word with him about it, before he came out of bed, and said that it didn’t look good, to prepare him for what might be going to happen. Me and mum, although we hadn’t said anything to each other, had already thought that this was the end.

Once it was time for the Vet to open, we went down, and took her. I knew that was going to be the last drive in the car. The vet looked her over, and without a second thought, told us what we had suspected, she had had a stroke. We are not the type of people to make an animal suffer for our own selfish reasons. The vet told us that it was highly unlikely that she would probably last the day out. You never want to make the decision, but we had to. Jack and I went out to the reception while the procedure was done, and then we went back in when it was all over. I’m crying as I write this still. I wanted to write yesterday, but just couldn’t.

Smudge had an amazing life. She had lived in four states, Western Australia, where she was born, New South Wales, Victoria, and finally, in her last couple of months, Queensland. She had travelled from one side of Australia to the other on more than one occasion, and from top to bottom and back again. She had flown on planes, rode on trains, had a ride in a semi trailer truck, and countless road trips in the car. She had numerous doggy friends, but only ever took to the immediate human family, and up until Jack, didn’t like kids, the result of some nasty little shits when she was a puppy.

When she first met Jack, when Jack was only 3 months old, and she was 9, I was apprehensive as to how she would react, but she took ownership of him, and every moment they were together, she was right there by his side. When he went to school, she would look for him, and when it was time for me to pick him up, she knew he was going to come back with me, and her excitement at the prospect of him coming home was obvious.

We are now without a pet, but Smudge was more than that. She was my best friend. We knew the time was coming, we were fearful that she wasn’t going to make it to our new home, but she did, and she handled the trip well. 17 is a long time for a dog to live. In dog years, she was a very old lady indeed. She was loved, and also she loved us. She wasn’t a pet, she was a member of the family. Although the events of yesterday are fresh in the mind, it is the memories of all the joyous moments that are coming into my mind. She most certainly was the most amazing little dog I have ever known. I dare say, that I may not even be here if it wasn’t for her. She protected me at times when I needed protection. She gave me comfort when I needed comforting. It will be hard for any other dog to stack up to her.

Rest in Peace my little Smudgee, you will ALWAYS be in my heart.

Andy.