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Grief, behaviours, & general mayhem

It is very easy in the world of blogs, tweets and posts, for people to adopt a superior attitude. We have all seen it.... from the 'influencers' and wannabe's, to the pious and preachy, they all want to demonstrate how you can try to emulate their success. They are also, usually, supremely confident that you will never succeed.


Well not here!

Recent weeks in the Bloghouse have been a nightmare, and we are all feeling ragged. I would quite like it if a proper grownup was around, to set us all straight.


To start with, my elderly spaniel is now very unsteady, having developed late onset epilepsy...

sadly common in her breed.

It is horrible to watch your beloved dog in the throes of a fit. Harder still is the loss of the dog we knew....her first few episodes were huge, and some of her brain wiring is forever changed.

It is a little like caring for a loved one with dementia.


The behaviour of the other dogs has been.....well, a nightmare if I am honest.

Norman is deeply worried by the sudden flurries of unexpected activity, barking and yelling. He clings to my side, as his comfort blanket, which has now twice resulted in me sprawling full length, dignity in tatters.


Why is there yelling?

It appears that my angelic little Cookie, who rarely puts a paw wrong, has a hidden side to her nature and reacts to fits occurring with rapid and full-on pack instinct....and the instinct is to attack.

Cookie picks up on the earliest cue and races to poor Lola before I have registered that a fit is starting. Whilst I am yelling "No!!" and "Leave!" as I run to them, Cookie is already biting. Yesterday required a vet visit, as she broke skin and bit deep. At least poor Lola is totally unaware, whilst deep in her fit.

Logically I know this is fear driven response. It is classic pack behaviour. Consulting one of the best dog behaviourists I know reassured me that it wasn't my fault, that I wasn't missing a trick or being a lousy owner, but also left me depressed that this sage source of advice had no answers either, given the situation.

Thankfully, occurrence is sporadic now (thanks to meds) but that also means keeping them permanently separated is not an answer.

There are no answers, except the saddest of all...because Lola's heart is already weak, and it will succumb to the strain of epilepsy at some point. I cannot even find the words to articulate my grief.


In the midst of this, my house clown is grieving too. Charlie has never been a deep thinker, bless him, but he stands guard over Lo with a worried frown and is now always at her side.

He knows.

We all know.

And Charlie is dealing with it better than any of us.


So, for those who follow posts here or just find us by accident and think to themselves "there sits another know-it-all who wouldn't be so confident if she had to deal with real stuff".....

I can confidently tell you that the Bloghouse is very real, and we really are not coping at all this week!








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Guest Blog #2 - Cathy Symons

We are very grateful to Cathy for giving her time and expertise to create this post for The Bloghouse. For those who may not have come across her work..... Cathy Symons is the author of Blind Devotion