I’m going to be honest, I really have struggled this past week.
Having published part 5 it was a real accomplishment and at the time I felt so relieved.
It had played on my mind for weeks before, (from the very beginning of when I started blogging) questioning how I would even be able to release it on paper, and wondering what to write without sounding overly depressing.
But it’s been the days since releasing it off my chest and into the world, that have hit me the most as I didn’t quite realise the impact it would to transport myself back to those shoes or how much energy would be required to relive it.
It had since made me question my future blogs and if I wanted to continue with it at all.
“I’ve had to come to terms with knowing that from this blog onwards, it’s not really about Luna anymore; it’s about coping with grief.”
So I have had a little word with myself and told myself to sort my sh*t out and I’m ready to rock and roll with gushing about our new member.
I’ve just finished baking banana bread for Ryan’s return on Friday (he tells me it’s one of his 5-a-day 😁) and the house is smelling amazing.
The star of this weeks blog is comfortably nestled on my lap whilst I reminisce the story of finding… Saint Conroy. 😍
It was unfortunate that Kim Kardashian had decided to steal our boys name before it even was a boys name so instead, it now looks like we copied her… thanks Kim! 😆
Some would say (and still do)… what is it?
Others say oh my god and squeal!
And the majority… well they don’t say anything, they just look in horror. 😂
“Our little fur baby Saint. Our little saviour.”
For anyone who knows me, getting a dog is not my cup of tea. I LOVE dogs and they love me but walking in general combined with the element of rain/wind/cold, picking up poo, having dog hairs in the house and muddy paws on my polished floors is just not a bit of me! 🙈
However, Mr Conroy (as ever), had other ideas…
Ryan – “I want a dog.”
Me – “😂😂😂😂”
Ryan – “I think it would be good for us darling.”
Me – “😂😂😂😂”
Ryan – “Well I’m just going to have a look at some anyway.”
Me – “😂😂😂😂, darling you don’t do cardio. Walking a dog is classed as a form of cardio.”
Ryan – “True, what about a small one then, just a really small one?” 😇
Me – “😳😳😳😳”
So we (I use this term loosely) decided on a very small dog along the lines of a miniature daschaund, a chihuahua, Pomeranian, something small and cute (like Ryan). 😂
I also thought okay he’s onto something here, small wee’s, small poo’s, small walks, small paws, small attitude (YEAH F**KING RIGHT)! 😁
He continued his campaign, explaining his pro’s on why we should get one (all day everyday for about 3 days). I completely agreed with the majority of his points and began running out of con’s other than what do we do when we go back to work?
“It seems so long ago now even talking about it. It feels as if we’ve never not had him!”
The days between Luna’s service and New Year were a real blur.
There were technically only 10 of them but somehow they merged into one, albeit it a few of them had special names, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year.
We were on a repetitive wheel of breathing, eating and sleeping… anything else being a bonus.
“This period was a real blur, one I have purposely kept as a blur as nothing was worth remembering. It was a sh***y time.”
We were enduring the harsh observation of everyone’s life continuing. They were all enjoying their build up to Christmas, baby bumps in Christmas pj’s and my baby’s first Christmas wherever we looked.
Luna’s personalised baubles hung on the tree, whilst her Christmas Eve baby grow with dressing gown and Mrs Clause outfit and booties hung in her wardrobe.
It was hurting me that because I’m so annoyingly organised, I was slowly killing myself with these reminders every where I turned of what I ‘haven’t’ got…
“We had gone from being so busy focusing our heart and soul on her service that it was hard to wake up with nothing to do. We had no purpose. We were simply surviving.”
So Ryan was 100% right (for once), we had prepared for what felt like a lifetime for a little person to transform our lives, fill our time and empty our pockets.
It felt pretty f**king sh*t for it to be taken away so fast without warning.
I agreed that a dog would give us the kick up the ass we needed, and to get out of bed in the morning. He would have to depend on us for feeding and walking and it would give us the opportunity to get out of the house daily and exercise… even if it is just for 15 minutes. That’s all his little legs can handle (Ryan’s that is, not Saint’s). 😂
“The main reason we got him was to have something to love and something to love us back.”
We also knew that people would want to visit and want to see us again but this time they would have a distraction from the tears or awkwardness.
Genius idea my darling. Let’s do it.
And that’s where 625g of pure fluff and love entered our lives, (no not Ryan he’s 700g 😁) Saint was the solution to our problems.
3 days after Luna’s service, we had found ourselves a new goal. To find a little man of our dreams, (for me, another one 😍).
We filled our days browsing through pets at home and gumtree to find ‘the one’ hoping we would ‘just know’ which one was right for us.
Every other advertisement, Ryan expressed his love for a different dog and we became a bit stuck as we loved them all.
It was the perfect thing to fill our time by researching, browsing and discussing. We were actually getting excited again, a feeling we hadn’t felt for a while.
We discussed getting a ‘teacup version’.
A teacup version is basically half the size of a normal dog roughly the size of a rat/ferret. 🙈
Super cute and super small (like Ryan) because let’s face it, it would be hard for him to feel big against a normal sized dog 😁, so the smaller kind would be perfect.
“He’s always said that good things come in small packages so I thought we could put his theory to the test!”
We came across the advert and Ryan asked the seller for more photos and if he was free for a viewing after Christmas.
He was the last of the litter and fluffy but still he was a boy so we were happy to have a look. Only 10 miles away we couldn’t not view him even though originally we were looking for a short haired brown boy… but we ended up with a mid haired white boy with blue eyes. 😍
My blue eyed boy.
We chose a boy as we already have our girl and our family dogs had been boys and we found these easier to look after.
“In less than a month I had gone from a household where Ryan was outnumbered by girls to now finding myself outnumbered by boys.” 🙈
The seller sent us some more photos and agreed for us to visit the day after Boxing Day. This photo is quite honestly enough to melt anyone’s heart. Oh. My. God! 😍
We stayed at Ryan’s mums until late Christmas Eve, skipping our yearly tradition of visiting the local church for carols by candlelight.
I had only ever pictured taking Luna with me and hushing her throughout the songs and readings, using this tradition as her first.
I was also (to be quite blunt) pretty f**king pi**ed off with God and questioned ‘his’ reasons for taking my daughter. So I didn’t fancy it.
We returned home quite late dreading Christmas in the morning but ready to hop into bed and stare at his little photos before sleeping.
“It was the most magical feeling looking forward to something again and to fall asleep excited.”
As we opened the door it was stuck on something and would only partially open.
There it lay an envelope of love. The most beautiful present I have ever seen.
I had received this gift from my amazing ladies at work. Emma is a photographer and she had taken all of my bump photos throughout my pregnancy. She captured them perfectly and they are now the most priceless and treasured photos I will ever have.
Lisa is my old boss and has migrated to Portugal to start a new life in the sun. It was her home we stayed in when we visited Portugal for our babymoon.
They had previously visited and presented me with a tiny box and locket inside.
Well sh*t me, it’s amazing. I felt too young to wear it in case I would lose it or damage it!
At the time Emma said she would fill it with pictures of my choice and return it to me. A couple weeks had passed and that time was now.
I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOT! 🙈
“Her timing was impeccable, I could now wear my locket on Christmas Day.” ❤️
Automatically my spirits lifted and I felt for the first time since I held Luna in my arms, that she had returned to me once more. I could feel her with me again, but this time, for good.
“I went to bed not feeling so bad about it being Christmas Day tomorrow. I had the greatest gift of all.”
We got through it thanks to our amazing families all being together and the noise distracted our minds. We would sit in the corner and secretly look at his photo thinking OMG we could be getting him in 24 hours!
We kept him our little secret to avoid any further disappointment and he was our little light of hope.
The morning came and we were so excited like children but unusually after Christmas had passed! 😁
He was only 10 miles from us and we headed off to get there for 12. We took an old throw just in case as it had the smell of us and our home and we pulled up outside.
“The destination is on your left.”
I actually couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
All of the houses in this col-de-sac were your normal plain, white or brick other than this one. It was covered in beautiful plaques, pink butterflies, and a pink door.
Surely this had to be a sign? 😳
I had to check again as I couldn’t actually believe Saint was the other side of the pink door.
The symbol which is used for baby loss is a butterfly because it symbolises that life is eternal. Here we were outside the only house in the street with pink butterflies… crazy sh*t.
I discreetly took a photo (crap one I’m sorry) and we nervously approached the door.
This would be our first time talking to strangers and holding a conversation. We were so so nervous and had agreed in the car that we didn’t want to tell them about what had happened.
“The thought of going in with a sob story was making me cringe and I felt embarrassed. We agreed not to mention anything unless absolutely necessary.”
We were greeted by friendly faces and lots of noisy dogs 😁, we walked into the living room and saw a super large crate with 3 of the SMALLEST DOGS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
IS HE EVEN A DOG!?
I was amazed. The seller opened the gigantic crate and out came our crazy pup. Only 8 weeks old but acted 8 feet tall he strutted round the living room onto his throw and ran wild.
He was all over me running up and down my legs and trying to lick my face. 😍
I fell completely in love.
Due to the Christmas period her home was full of family and it was the first time I had seen another baby. This baby boy was only 6 weeks older than Luna and seeing his gorgeous little face was the hardest thing.
“I felt off guard, overwhelmed, and teary so I eyeballed Ryan to do the talking while I blinked the tears away. I kept my head down and focused only on Saint.”
Ryan asked for some information to spark conversation and distracted any attention from me. The lady explained everything we needed to know about chihuahua’s in general, the teacup version, his eating and sleeping habits, his mum and dad, and brothers and sisters.
She continued to explain that Saint is one of 5 and he has the nickname Naughty. 🙈
WE SHOULD HAVE STUCK WITH NAUGHTY.
His brothers Bolt and Blue are sold to a couple and he also has a brother called Casper and a sister called Luna.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I bolted upright and said sorry did you say Luna?
The lady replied yes it means the moon.
I absolutely crumbled.
I couldn’t and still cannot believe it. Out of all the names in the world and all the names that could have been chosen for his litter, Luna just had to be the one didn’t it! 🌈
Ryan very quickly and very strongly explained why we were here and what had happened as I’m sure the whole room was looking at me like who is this f**king weirdo having a meltdown in my living room? 😁
They were all a bit taken back and the lady explained her husband had died and although not the same, she could hugely relate to the grief we are experiencing.
This was her reason for the butterflies outside her house and her love of her dogs and her horse.
“We all very quickly agreed that we now HAVE to take him because what Luna wants Luna gets and she obviously directed us to him for a reason.”
Well done baby girl. ❤️🦋
We were so prepared for Luna’s arrival we chose not to get a thing until after he was in our arms.
We headed for pets at home to kit him out with all of the necessities. As we were shopping with Saint in blanket, a lady on crutches passed us and commented on how cute he is to her friend.
5 minutes later the same lady hobbled all the way to the back of the store to see us again and asked to see Saint.
“It was already proving to be an amazing choice as out of no where strangers were talking to us for nice reasons.”
She went on gushing about how lovely he is, before congratulating us and saying dogs are by far better than children anyway.
Um. Good lord if only she knew… 🙈
Within a few hours he had transformed our lives. People wanted to see us / Saint. They wanted to come round, they wanted to talk and text and suddenly there was a subject to deflect the sadness.
He was creating happy conversations.
“He is exactly what we needed to fill our home with some much needed laughter and to help take the attention off us and onto him.”
We introduced him to his human sister Luna and spent the entire afternoon making his bed, playing around, laughing and taking thousands of photos and videos.
After taking this photo I began feeling really different. I felt almost immediate guilt for being happy and for even getting him.
Was I replacing her?
I tried to continue being upbeat and bedtime soon came. We created a temporary bed in our room using Luna’s toy box and used my maternity pillow for good use. It felt good that some of her things came in handy and were even being used but I also felt awful for using ‘her’ things.
The first few nights were simply f**king awful.
I woke to his cry every few hours. We took in turns getting up with him to reassure him and tucking him in our dressing gowns to rock him back to sleep seemed to do the trick.
He would then just cry repeatedly. I would lay with my pillow over my head and cry myself. Why had we done this? Why are we torturing ourselves? Why have I replaced her? Why is she not here doing this?
I thought it was just a phase and that it would pass.
It got worse.
I would wake every morning feeling so sick. I would be over the toilet trying to make myself sick and get rid of this feeling. I thought it may be where I hadn’t eaten much or had eaten something dodgy, maybe I have a bug, or maybe I’m ill?
I spoke to our mum’s about it and we figured out what it was. My broken heart. 💔
“Seeing them together was slowly killing me. I was grieving so heavily I was becoming ill.”
Although Saint had made Ryan’s life, he was crushing mine. I hadn’t seen him so happy and I loved nothing more than poking my head round the corner and seeing them playing and laughing or to come downstairs and find them asleep together.
But it was also breaking me.
That should be Luna. 💔
I was beginning to resent Saint. I was beginning to dislike him. I wanted to take him back. I wanted him out of the house. I wanted Ryan to myself. I wanted to feel better.
Although in the same house we were becoming distant ourselves. One of us always had to always be with the dog and it was getting to the point where we wouldn’t be waking up together anymore as Saint would be up at 6 and Ry would sleep on the sofa with him until I woke.
“I was missing my best friend at a time I needed him most and I was slowly resenting our new friend…” 😞
Ryan took me for a surprise day out and his brother looked after the dog. It was the first time we had spent quality time together in a few long days and I was so excited.
As soon as we left the house I felt better again. We went for crepes (my fave) had a walk along the Barbican and rekindled.
It was exactly what we needed.
As soon as we finished and it was time to head home that feeling returned and I dreaded it.
I dreaded coming home to MY OWN HOME!?
I even feel like a pr**k as I type that and you must be thinking it’s a f**king dog woman, but it was killing me inside and I had no solution.
I explained to Ry how it was making me feel and how on Earth we were going to get through this. He offered many times for us to get rid of him, but I know deep down he didn’t want to but would do it for me.
“I never give up on anything in life and he wasn’t going to be my first.”
I stuck at it as best I could and my mum reassured me that the sickness will pass but it will take time. I hung in there and gradually began feeling better over a few weeks.
I would stare at him in the evenings as he nestled in to my dressing gown, so content in my arms and think why can’t I just love you?