Feeling Hopeless

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It’s been two weeks. Two weeks since our little beagle Hope went missing on the farm. She hasn’t been found. Since the second day she was gone I knew that something terrible had happened to her, I just didn’t know what. People said we should keep on searching and we did. But there has been nothing.

We’ve had to deal with a lot of loss at Vastrap over the past two years. First, Tumi who had an inoperable tumour in her uterus and then her daughter Paris, who died from a snake bite. Felix and Poepsie cat have also both passed. As much as I loved those animals, they were not mine from the start so I was able to manage the grief. But Hope was different. She was one of Coco’s puppies and I helped raise her from the first moments she was born. She was the smallest of the litter and always looked different to the others, with a very dark black coat and a small white triangle on her neck. She had the biggest, softest ears. She was fiercely independent and from the start ran wild on the farm, jumping off the bakkie at will to chase after things. We should have done more to train her or contain her, but she was so happy being free. I don’t know if it helps to have regrets. The reality is that farm life poses all sorts of dangers for dogs that one can’t completely sanitise. Still, the other dogs had relatively full and long lives, but Hopey was not even two yet.

I don’t have adequate words to describe how sad, empty and heartbroken I am feeling. I will miss her very much and so will Coco, her mother and partner in crime. She was so kind to Livia and never minded being sat on or smothered with love. She would often sneak off to curl up on my pillow and always came to me for special cuddles and hugs. Goodbye little one. Vastrap will never forget you. Rest in peace.

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Sunday Best

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We took a slow walk down into the valley earlier today with the dogs. The autumn days are sunny and beautiful, but there’s a definite chill in the air signalling winter is near. Far too quickly, the poplar trees have lost their golden sheen. Little Livia has finally found her feet at 16 months. She’s changing by the day and is totally ready to run and clamber about as she experiments with different sounds and actions. She had her lunch down in the vlei with the dogs mulling around and the sheep and cows grazing in the distance. Duma, our 4 month old boerboel puppy, is getting so big! But he is a very friendly brute and has adapted well to our pack. A bit of quiet family bonding with my loves was the perfect way to end off a relaxing long weekend!

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