It has been an emotional couple of Long Doggie weeks for me, but I need to go back to 2011 to explain how and why Long Dogs WA means so much to me, and to many others.
In November 2011 our beloved mini dachshund Tilly went missing. Following a week of desperate searching, letter dropping, emails, phone calls and facebook posts, I got the call from the ranger late on Friday night to say that she had been hit and killed by a car.
Losing a canine member of the family is always so very sad. We get dogs knowing that we will almost certainly outlive them, but when they are lost to sudden illness, disease, accidents or toxic events we are wounded in a way that stays with us.
It was at least six months after Tilly’s death before I could look at a photo of her with getting weepy. I am weepy now writing this nearly two years on. Every time I read about another long dog member leaving us, I cry. I know I'm not alone.
In Long Dogs WA you will find a group of people who understand that we need to grieve and mourn the passing of the shortest members of our families.
In this year that I have been involved with Long Dogs I have prepared a number of posts about lost and deceased dogs. I have cried every time. Each time I hear these stories it makes me so sad, but it also reminds me of the kindness of strangers.
Tilly never went to a Long Dogs walk. We were planning to attend our first one which was scheduled for the week after she went missing. That didn’t stop so many members of Long Dogs from sending us their kind thoughts and best wishes, both during that horrible week when I lay awake at night after spending hours tramping around in the rain calling myself hoarse looking for her, and after we knew we’d lost her for good.
When a dog goes missing you go through so many states. You blame the world, you blame the dog, and you blame yourself. Rinse and repeat.
You jump every time the phone rings, your heart races and then sinks with every email, text message or facebook comment. You reach out to people you never thought of before; complete strangers, the media, schools, vets, shopping centres, posties, and garbage men.
You are touched by the kindness of some and the callousness of others. You try to remember the kindness over the cruelty.
Rupert is still missing.
I know that anyone who reads this blog regularly would never keep a dog without making every effort to find his home. The not knowing is a cruel thing. I hope beyond hope that somewhere, someone can make this a happy ending for Jolene and her family.
Everyone loves a happy ending. Let’s make this one.
To end on an up note, here are a couple of videos of our little puppy when she was brand new. I love her as much now as I ever did.