Rina turns 14.

Time, whole days and birthdays scoot past faster and faster as I get older. Now aged 61 it often feels like someone has pressed the fast-forward button on my life. There’s rarely enough hours in each day to squeeze in work, walks, reading, writing and leisure. I’ve been trying to post this blog for a week and finally it’s happened.

537302_10151976763573766_1585218625_nRina, the love of my life, celebrated her 14th birthday on the 30th April, 2016 – already a week ago. Every year in mid-April I take her to the vet for her annual check-up and injections. Last year, 2015, the doctor informed me Rina had developed an erratic heartbeat. She cautioned that Rina wouldn’t live forever, and I had to be careful not to over exercise her, or make her climb steps. Rina’s actions had already told me the same story. On our daily walks she’d stop and look up at me when she was ready to be carried. Most days she completed half the walk, but sometimes she lasted only a few minutes. Steps were the same; when she felt chipper, she ran up them, but on other days, she stopped at the bottom and waited to be carried.

IMG_2448I rationalised the vet’s bad news, figured Rina and I had it all under control, but I was still shocked to hear that my darling was in the winter of her life. Life without Rina is unimaginable. We’ve been constant companions for more than seven years, ever since we adopted each other in December 2008. We spend just about every hour or every day together.

Back at the vet a few weeks ago, Rina underwent her annual check up. She’d survived another year, but the doctor confirmed that my darling still had an erratic heartbeat. I suspect the doctor’s diagnosis is correct, but I also question checking her heart at the same time she has just shoved a thermometer up her bum. Rina hates this and gets quite agitated. There’s no accounting for tastes.

IMG_2446So we live every day, together having fun or just in companionable silence. She still helps me write her memoir, Two Poofs and a Poodle, but like her little heart, progress has become erratic. We were aiming to celebrate the completion of the book on her birthday, but we still need another month or two to complete the saga.

Book completed or not, we celebrated Rina’s birthday. Good friends, Carol and Sherry, took Rina, Bayu and I to Cafe des Artist for a celebratory dinner. Bayu surprised us by having a special cake made for his Princess Rina. It was a special night; a night of friendship and love.

13062107_10154137704988766_1887949068784710090_nOur goal for the next year is to keep living and having fun. Rina and I will finish her book, and on her 15th birthday, we will celebrate not only another year in her life, but a book launch as well. I look forward to this, but hope it doesn’t come about too quickly.

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