It's with many tears and a heavy heart that I write this - my lovely little Sugar finally gave up her 3-month fight against kidney failure and passed away peacefully early this morning.
I noticed that she seemed to be off colour soon after getting back from my ten days at California in September, and she was also drinking far more water than normal - and what goes in must come out, so she was going out into the garden more than usual. A check up at the vet's pointed to a possible urinary tract infection so she was given a 2-week course of tablets to see if things improved. They did seem to help at first but then the water drinking and subsequent weeing increased to the point where she was frequently wetting her bed. A second visit to the vet's and a scan of her reproductive organs showed nothing so she was booked in for a full scan - which revealed that one of her kidneys had packed up completely and the other was finding it hard to compensate. Only a major operation would do any good, but at the age of sixteen-and-a-half there was no way I would put her through it so the only alternative was to keep her on the tablets which helped and care for her until the inevitable end.
At first she wasn't too bad, still enjoying walks in the fields near home, but those walks quickly became shorter and slower to the point where finally she could only manage a couple of circuits round the garden. Then she lost her appetite for her normal food so since last Friday I've been hand feeding her little and often with whatever she would eat, supplemented by formula milk, though she eventually started to refuse that. Although the thought of losing her was hard to contemplate I knew I couldn't let her suffer so I rang the vet and was assured that she would be in no pain, so it would be okay to just make her comfortable and let her drift off in her own way.
On Tuesday I took her to the beach for the last time, carrying her from the car park down onto the sand. She took half a dozen slow steps on her own then I wrapped her in her fleece blanket and sat in the dunes with her in my lap - and it broke my heart knowing she would soon leave me. Yesterday I got a miniature fibre optic Christmas tree and put it near her bed where she could see it - I'd so hoped that she would still be here for Christmas but I knew it wasn't to be. Then last night I gave her a bath, put her in a clean fleece hoodie to keep her warm and tucked her up in her bed - I checked on her a couple of times during the night and she was sleeping but when I got up this morning she'd drifted peacefully away.
Although I've known for a while that the end would come sooner rather than later it's no easier to bear and I've been in bits for most of the day. I know I still have Sophie and Poppie but Sugar has given me love, laughter and companionship for almost sixteen years and now she's gone there's an empty space in the room and a Sugar-sized hole in my heart.
Sleep tight my little friend, I'll miss you always xx
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it