Hello to all our wonderful new friends! Thank you for investing your time and support in Luna’s story. After sharing the news across my social media platforms, and of course through the generous re-blogging of Days 1-4 by Paul Handover at https://learningfromdogs.com, activity on the page has soared, with up to 400 views in one day! We are so very grateful to all!
I have been slightly reluctant to post this blog because for the first time in this so-far, so-good, smooth-running journey, we’ve hit a bump in the road. We knew this venture would not be without one and, as I have reminded myself, life doesn’t always give you lemons and for this blog to be truthful and authentic, it must report the lows as well as the highs. On Monday, I received an email from Olivia containing both good and bad news.
The good news, which we were overjoyed to hear, is that Luna is ‘in great spirit, very loving and playful!’. I have attached a link to a video of her at the bottom of the blog. She had had her veterinary appointment and has successfully been vaccinated, micro-chipped and blood tests taken. During the blood tests, she was found positive for a disease called ‘anaplasma’ which is transmitted by ticks. However, in combination with the rest of the blood tests, the vet said that it seems that she is over it and thus she does not need to be treated. Because she has been infected, she will appear as positive to the tests for a few more months but it is nothing to worry about.
The bad news is that, due to Luna being in season, she could not be neutered as we had hoped. This created a few problems and left us with two options-
1.) She stays with Olivia for another 6-8 weeks until she can be neutered, recover and travel with the charity..
2.) She comes over on the date originally planned and would get neutered in the UK. The issue with this second option being that she would not be able to travel in the charities van to the ferry as she is in heat and so we would need to arrange alternative transport.
This left us in a dilemma, for although we miss Luna incredibly and want her home ASAP, we have to think and act according to what is best for her. Being a dog mum is not as easy as I thought. After consulting with various family members, we decided together that Option 1; Luna staying with Olivia for the operation, was the way to go.
We came to this agreement for several reasons, which I will explain. Primarily, we know that Luna is settled at the kennels. In allowing her to have her operation and recover in Greece, it makes her transition to the UK less stressful. She can arrive in her new home and start fresh rather than one of her first experiences of her new home, and of new owners, being a negative one.
Secondly, Option 1 means that we wouldn’t have to make alternative arrangements for transport which, as we know with the animal-friendly taxi from Day Two, aren’t always reliable. We trust this charity, they have built a relationship with Olivia, with us and with Luna and we would prefer to continue our journey with them. It is very precious cargo after all!
Thirdly, although cost has never been a factor in any of our decisions (including the initial one to transport a dog over the Mediterranean Sea), we must also remember that we are currently saving for a house for the three of us to live in for the many happy years to come – we have a viewing on a house at 4:00pm today! Oliver works incredibly hard to support the both of us whilst I am finalising the completion of my degree and working two part-time jobs, and we are also budgeting for preparations for Luna’s arrival i.e food, toys, bed. With this in mind, the cost of neutering in the UK is much higher, and therefore paying for the extra boarding will most likely work out more cost effective.
And lastly, until we do acquire our own space, Luna will be in the company of my other family dogs. With her stitches in, and her playful nature, this could be dangerous and so she would need constant supervision, the kind she is already under with Olivia
This decision has been one of the hardest to make because it really prolongs her homecoming for us however we feel that it is the right decision, for her.
With this situation ringing in my head, I decided to do something cathartic. I put pen to paper and I wrote a poem. The poem was to be read at the upcoming ‘Poetry Slam’ event which I co-host with my friend Mary Lee-Slade at the University Centre at Blackburn College. The event raises money for various charities, with the ARC Centre in Blackburn which supports refugees and asylum seekers in the area, being the chosen charity this year. The night works just like a karaoke event, you fill out a slip with the name of your own poem or a favorite poem and wait to be called to read it aloud before a supportive audience of family and friends.
This is the third time we have organised the event and like the blog, it has grown and grown! Audiences are seated around intimate tables, refreshments are served as well as a raffle and it generally goes down really well!
Please find my poem, titled ‘Little Moon’ below:
It was inspired by Alice’s question to me whilst at the kennels, do you believe in fate?’
There’s a funny little thing called Fate
She works in tandem with the world
She’s prompt and never acts too late
As her star-crossed plans are unfurled
“It’s Fate she got the job” they say
Fate also brought their first child
What Fate brought me was here to stay
A wanderer, young and wild
Fate brought me a gift as black as night
And was not a moment too soon
For when we most needed the light
Fate brought us our own little Moon
But unlike the Moon who lives alone
She’s loved by many more than just me
So from a pup to fully-grown
Lonely is never something she will be
And although my gift is far from home
She’s closer than the Moon is to me
In Greece or Paris, Milan or Rome
They are still the same stars we both see
A boundless ball, a beacon of light
Limitless love which does not stray
Fate carved a space on our path so we might
Walk with Luna the rest of the way.
Below is a link to a video of me telling the story of Luna and reading the poem at the event itself. It brought a few tears – from the audience and from me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mLpGNw9pjk
Also, now that I have YouTube up and running, I have uploaded a video of Luna at which Alice kindly sent. The quality is not great but you can see how happy she is, heading straight for the water as usual, and bonus – she has learnt her own name! (I’m not crying, you are) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCdIUZZY_eM ((For some reason this video will not post directly into the blog – listen with sound!)).
For the meantime, we will keep you updated on the situation with Luna and we gratefully appreciate all the messages of support we have already received.