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  1. I didn't post in Remembrance last year when Merlin died. It was almost too much to bear to post on social media, but I managed to (and was unbelievably grateful for the generosity and support I received. I will never forget it. All my love and gratitude goes to each and all of you who were there, and especially to my precious friends in the WFUBCC. FF&F, my friends.) I was never able to find the right words for a remembrance post. All the poems and lyrics in the world, however beautiful, seemed to fall short - except maybe for W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues. So I included that in the video below. Today marks exactly one year since he died and left my heart in pieces. Remembering Merlin I will let the video tell what's in my heart whenever the word "Merlin" sings that magical song in my mind that no one else can hear. All I can say is that, despite the sudden and painful loss of my beloved Sagan barely five months before I lost Merlin (they both succumbed to osteo), despite the end of my marriage, it is the loss of this incredible dog, my cheeky, impertinent, funny, one-in-a-million dog, that dealt the fatal blow to my heart. The pain is still so raw that thinking of him, seeing any old picture of him (I took thousands), or watching a video of him (he looks SO alive....) still tears me apart. I still cry for him every day and I can say that it is the worst, most heart-wrenching pain of my life. Despite adopting my sweet little heart healer Pippin, who is doing a grand job, and whom I love dearly, the emptiness and the grief are still so overwhelming. I didn't expect it to hurt so much a year later. He is in my thoughts constantly, and on good days his absence feels like an ache that breaks my concentration and won't leave me alone, and on bad days the grief is paralysing and overwhelming. I don't trust myself around people when that wave of grief hits me, and I don't always get a warning. I would give all the riches in the world, every last thing I own and the remaining time of my life for one more day with him. Enough. He was my everything, and I will miss him forever. I can't tell you how many times I have envied the comfort that some of my friends experience from their belief that they will see their loved ones again. But I know I most likely won't ever again set eyes on the most wonderful soul that I was so very, very lucky to know and love. The memories will have to be enough, and the pain of his absence will have to be endured. If there is a silver lining in all of this, it's that it has made me more inclined to listen to others, to feel compassion and empathy for other human beings as they, too - as we all do - navigate the fears, frailties and losses that life throws at us. Indeed, my friends' losses of their beloved hounds hit me twice as hard these days. “Yours is the light by which my spirit's born: you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”― E.E. Cummings Thank you for reading and remembering him with me today.
  2. Today is my special wizard's 9th birthday! I can't believe it! I adopted him when he was 2... how far we've come together, sweetie. Those of you who know Merlin and have shared some of the worry and stress I've experienced over his numerous medical problems won't be surprised to know that the wizard is till goofy, opinionated and the hands-down the most impertinent dog I have ever met Despite having been slowed down by his arthritis, despite being plagued by his IBD, and despite the fact that he has suffered three seizures, his spirit remains indomitable - as is fitting for a wizard of his stature, of course These days his favorite pastime is sleeping. He could sleep virtually 95% of the time and he'd be happy. His all-time favorite thing to do is nap in the sun and today we are going to break all the strict diet rules and give him some peanut butter spread over ice, which he absolutely adores (both the ice and the peanut butter). The one thing that seems to have changed more than any other over the years - in addition to his beautiful white face, of course - is his affection for his brother Sagan. He loves to be around him these days. He is always cuddling with him, makes a huge fuss and statues if DH is walking him and I go elsewhere with Sagan (Sagan is younger and in better health and needs longer walks); and when Sagan had a dental last week, we were so touched to watch him greet his brother at the door. Merlin was beside himself with joy at the sight of him. Who would have thought that he would have become so fond of the brother he used to view with a certain disdain Happy Birthday my sweet Merlin! I love you so much!
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