I am sorry for the radio silence, especially to all those lovely folk eagerly awaiting news of our next planned litter. You are on the Waiting List.
If you have emailed in the last few months to confirm that you are now ready to have a Glen of Imaal terrier puppy - please don't worry - you are back on the list.
We're very keen to try for a second-and-last litter with Clodagh. Unfortunately, we have just missed one window of opportunity. But another is due early next spring and we hope to try then. I'll keep you updated.
For now, we are engulfed in profound sadness. We have recently discovered that our extraordinary and magnificent Sky has cancer.
Horrendous, inoperable tumours ravage her inside. She still enjoys her food and completes her daily walks enthusiastically with that same purposeful waddle. Despite recent weight loss, she appears fine. But we know she is not. Our precious time with her is finite.
Sky is only eight and a half years old, with no previous health issues. Like a sudden and unwelcome cold snap, grief comes early, bringing with it an icy jolt of guilt and regret. And a frostbitten heart. We both feel we had one job - to give our dog a long and happy life - and somehow we failed her.
It is difficult to spot a tumour early when your dog is naturally pot-bellied. Having a litter can alter a female dog's physique. And some Glens, however hard they try, grow tubby without exercise. Weight gain and ageing can also disguise something nasty lurking within.
The disrupted routine and lack of home comforts explained away Sky's occasionally subdued mood. Most of the time, she was perfectly upbeat and loved all the beautiful walks; socialising every day with other dogs and their humans.
Sky cheered up once we got home and it took another two months before we noticed any physical change. Her stomach gradually expanded and only became more prominent as she inexplicably lost weight.
A painful lesson, but we intend to have our dogs scanned annually from now on, as well as the usual perfunctory check-ups.
Sky now dines on cooked chicken most days, with a weekend treat of juicy steak. A few stray scraps find their way into the other two bowls. We have introduced delicious meaty chunks of raw food too, and the occasional soft-boiled egg. Clodagh and Florence can't believe their luck.
5 December 2022 - Norfolk, UK
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TO THE FAB FOUR!
I've Got A Feeling that Florence will have A Day In The Life, with plenty of hugs and a few more treats than usual. They are the Fab Four and I'm rolling with it. This would all work better if she were called Lucy, Eleanor or Rita. And we had Beagles instead of Glen of Imaal terriers. Throw me a bone here.
What a Magical Mystery Tour we embarked on, one year ago today. Why, it seems like only Yesterday. Were we all in a Yellow Submarine, Jo? No of course we weren't. Don't be silly.