losing a pet – 12 months on

My darling boy, as the 12 month anniversary of the day you left approached, I am overwhelmed at how quick time has passed as it only feels like yesterday I was cuddling you.

I realized then, that not a day goes by when I don’t think of you. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss you.

You were such a huge presence in my life, you came with me everywhere . You were my constant companion and studio mascot. Your photo is still up on the stage at the studio. Everyone just expects to see you everyday, as they did 12 months ago.

A dog you were, yes, but not just any dog, not just a dog, no dog is just a dog, they are our family. You my little man, you were one of a kind, not just special, an extremely special one.

As the one year mark drew closer, I found myself looking at photos of you more often, playing back videos, I couldn’t, can’t, believe 12 months has gone.

You are in my everyday thoughts, memories and you are still locked inside my heart. I know you’re still with me, around me, I can feel you.

Are you resting peacefully? Or creating havoc? Are you king pin as you we’re here, with me? Please tell me you are with our beautiful Meg.

Are you now walking limp free? Is your pain, discomfort and illness gone? Of course, you are free, you are happy.

Till we meet again my darling boy, I love you every day

Growing up we always had dogs, some we got as pups, some arrived as adults. I don’t recall any point of my childhood, teenage years, actually even into my 30s not having a dog in my life.

However, back then, being young, I didn’t quite understand that we were actually adopting dogs.

As an adult, Ruffy, you were my first conscious decision to rescue a dog. I still fondly remember the day I met you. I walked into the shelter, not for you, but our eyes met, you had chosen me. I nearly left that day without you, thank god, I turned back because you gave me 13 beautiful years of love. You opened my heart to something that sometimes leaves me speechless and sometimes makes me outspoken.

You taught me the gift of second chances and the joy I could bring to another animal, but also the joy you could bring to me, my kids. I try to share this knowledge, share with others, the importance of rescuing and giving an animal a second chance, at a life they deserve.

You don’t choose to be abused, neglected or cast aside and forgotten about. Humans make those choices for you. Yet you still love us even with that. You place your trust in us, every moment through to your last moment.

Do people even realise how much our dogs love us, do they know that it is enough for our dogs, just to be loved by us. You beautiful souls love us whether we are successful or not, you love us whether we have money or not, you love us whether we are pretty or not so pretty, whether we are big or not so big, you love us no matter what, you just love us because we are us!

I wish, oh how I wish, humans knew how to love like this. An animals love has no price, it’s free!

Animals have so much more emotional intelligence than humans, you need to show us, teach us the way to kinder living.

Thank you for that Ruffy.

Have you met my new family! It’s growing, we have three rescue dogs at home, Boston your old mate, oh he missed you terribly when you left. However, introducing excitable sweet wonderful Ella and crazy eccentric Bo. They are adorable and I love them to bits, this being said, always know Ruffy, you are irreplaceable in my heart. Each dog holds a special place in their humans heart. You my little man, have top spot. RIP baby boy ❤️

My soul to keep

At that moment

She stood poised


and jaded

I would look at her

Her weary eyes

I knew her pain

I knew her lies


Her beautiful face

Tells a story of courage

Fighting to survive

You don’t have to carry this weight

On your own

Lean on me

You are not alone


Between the highs and lows

Even in her descent

She believed she could

Like a badge

She wears km her fight

Cancer trying to steal from her

She would not fall

Living was her will,

her privileged right


She was extraordinary

We knew this

But she was more

She was an extraordinary fighter


She made us proud

Because of who she is

Her strength hovers above us

As if a floating cloud

Her heart, her soul does us proud


She is my Aunty



Poised in the present

Between the highs and lows

She believed she could

She learned to be strong

She speaks her story

She wears her eccentricity,

her madness

her individualism

Like a badge

She is truth

She is extraordinary

She will survive everything

Because she is who she is

She is you

Sue Vincent Photo for challenge #writephoto

Photo prompt – main photo

What we were told not to talk about

It is Father’s Day in the Southern Hemisphere, which prompted these words, along with the writing challenges, the integration of both together became the inspiration for this poem




The woman

A daddy has gone

Don’t tell anyone darling

Please, not just yet


A husband has gone

A heart is broken

A man has left


Silent words were spoken


It will be his life’s biggest regret

He left a woman broken

A daughter abandoned

How does a little girl understand

That roughing up of her hair

Was his farewell token


A child

My daddy has gone

Why didn’t he want me

He doesn’t hold my hand

Don’t you love me anymore

A little girl who did not understand


The child marries a man

She found gold

At the end of the rainbow

A man who lovingly does hold

His children’s hands

He is a husband, a father


A vacant relationship

A lost girl grew

How did she define us

A resurrection

They began something new


A meeting of minds

Moments spent together

Lost years

Stolen joys, time unwinds


A poignant moment arose


Not a father and

not a daughter

He offered her the opportunity

To rewrite their story

She became their author


And it was her greatest masterpiece

What we were told not to talk about


How to be a woman

Welcome to the mind

Of a girl interrupted

Realistic, honest, positive

A girl who grew into a woman

Possibly probably fabulously corrupted


Femininity shone from her effervescent presence

Belief in her spirit echoed

Devilry, mischief

Her sweetness evanescence


She knows what she wants

Stands up for what she believes

At the risk of being crucified,

Love can be a risk, it deceives


She will fight for you

If believes in you

She will teach you

It is irrefutable,

she knows

How to be a woman


A woman knows how to

make broken look beautiful

make love look like her own personal sun is shining

She can make happy look delicious

and make blossoms bloom on her silver lining


She is madly in love with love

Her love sets you free

She holds her breath

And makes her wish

You are free to love the real me



Save me

Message in a bottle

Charming, his dark brooding eyes captured her. He was a bad boy, he exuded sex appeal. Her innocence was no match, her lack of experience making her vulnerable, she was caught in a whirlwind of love at first sight, or so she thought, perhaps not, lust yes.

She was captivated. He had her heart, body or both, excited by what this man introduced her to. A young woman’s travelling romance.

A trip together planned, her friends pleading, “are you sure?” What did they see that she didn’t. Oblivious until the eve before their departure, a drunken farewell party was held on her behalf, a close friend, a male, hugged her tight, whispering” I am always here if you need me” she looked into his eyes, they were full of concern. A warning fleeted through her mind for only a split second. Caught up in the excitement of her new journey.

What she didn’t realize was, he had been watching her, all night. He approached, all those feelings of lust, want, desire overwhelming her. “Let’s go outside”. She followed, she’d follow him anywhere.

What happened next, it happened so quick, she hit the ground, hard, she shook her head, unbelieving in what just happened. Did she imagine it? No.

He was on top of her, his face inches away from hers. Spit frothing at the corners of his mouth, splashing her face as he screamed. No other man will ever have you! I love you! No one else will ever love you, not like I do! A sign of what was to come. Surely not?

The party crowd came running, fights ensued, tears, screams. He pleaded apologies to all. “I got scared, I’ve never loved a woman so much. It’s the alcohol, I’ll never drink again.

She believed him.

They began their new life, the adventure of a lifetime.

Two months passed, long days and nights of alcohol fuelled torment and abuse.

Their final destination before arriving to their new life in her home town, an island, secluded, inhabited only by locals only who spoke very little English. She should be safe here. No other people to antagonise him, no men that would innocently, unknowingly glance at her, them, oblivious to what their casual glances inflicted on her.

Arriving, the locals directed them to a small hut, no one around, just coconut trees by the hundreds and the sea. Was she safe?

A little woman, barely 5ft tall, it was hard to tell her age, seventies, maybe eighties, put her arms around her, cuddling, she could feel the genuine warmth and care, it had been so long since she felt that. The old lady whispered in very broken English. Bad man over and over again.

Fear rose in the pit of her tummy.

24 hours later,she never knew where he found the alcohol. Did he bring it? Did it matter.

“Save me” she wrote through her tears.

Then she was running, for her life, where? She had no where to go.

The hairs on the back of her neck told her he was close. Noticing a bottle embedded in the dirt just in front of her, she feigned a stumble towards the vessel, her index finger quickly pushed the note inside the bottle.

She felt him, a hand grabbing the back of her neck. Squeezing, she could smell the alcohol, cigarettes, foul, as he squeezed harder. Feeling his breath on the back of her neck as he said “where do you think you were going? He laughed cruelly, sadistically “you will never be free of me”

At the moment she knew those words were true. She couldn’t breathe, she felt her body deflate as if it resigned itself to what life had in store.

Spitting and coughing, her eyes closed protecting them as her face was planted harshly into the dirt, being grounded into the black gravelly dirt as if a dog who had soiled inside.

Her thoughts raced, she would not do that to an animal. Who does this?

He does. She didn’t fight, she’d learnt that it only made matters worse.

She was flat out belly down, face in the dirt staring at the bottle, the words inside screaming through her mind. Save me!

Again his hands around her throat, save me and then blackness.

These words replayed over and over in her mind for many years.

She had tried to escape many times and each time he found her. Threats to maim her, cut her, scar her, kill her. She knew he would do it. She stopped caring what happened to her, she tried to stand up to him, so he threatened her family. Her family meant everything to her, she could not put them at risk.

She thought about her note again and again, that someone would find it and save her. Who was going to save her?

She woke at 6am, the familiar odor of stale alcohol and cigarettes, he was on her, again. A frequent occurrence. Grabbing her hair, throwing her around like a rag doll. This time though, was different, why?

She was protecting herself, defending herself fighting back. Yes she was fighting, she’d had enough, she defended every punch he threw at her, she was good. He eventually fell asleep. A moment of relief. Think, think!

She stared at him with so much hatred and repulsion.

Who was going to save her? She was!

She sat and planned her final escape and then waited. His alarm went off, he got up for work. He looked at her and as if fate was predicting both of their lives he said “ will you be here when I get home”, she did not respond, she said stared blankly at him, boring deep inside of him, into his dark soul. Her mind screamed NO!

She listened as he started his car, the engine turning over with a rev. Relief, then fear swept over her, the sound of his engine grew faint. She was making the choice to live again. Grabbing a bag and what clothes she could fit, she walked out that door, leaving everything to do with that life behind. She did not look back. Strength gathering with each step, each day, each week.

She had made the best choice of her life to that day! She chose to save herself!

Years later a strong woman, sitting on a beach a long way from the beach that saw her face down in dirt, she noticed a bottle, half buried in sand. Her mind taken back to that night, what if someone else needed saving. She slid towards it, picking it up. There was a note inside, reaching for a nearby stick, she poked inside and retrieved the note. Surely not, her mind nervously raced.

No, it was not her note, though, there was written words. It read “ I hope you were saved” tears brimmed in her eyes. She reached inside her bag for a pen.

What she wrote next “ I was saved. I saved myself! Thank you for caring” she left the bottle in the sand and continued to live her beautiful life.

She did see him one more time, in his lifetime. She was pregnant with her second child and married to the most wonderful man who helped her forget as much as she could. He laughed his vulgar laugh at her, at her husband, “does he give you what I did?” Struggling to comprehend, yes, yes and so much more. He feeds my soul, rather than starving it. He fills my heart, rather than depleting it. He gives me a life worth living.

She eventually, years later, found it in her heart to forgive him, which released an inner pain that she had held for so long.

Two years ago she heard he had passed over and she found herself hoping he had found some sort of inner peace and happiness.

The mirror cracked

She stared into the face

of the stranger



Walking calmly towards life


Hand in hand towards danger ?


Did she race through life

Causing mayhem

Creating strife



encounters shaped her

took her breath away

made her heart beat faster

pangs of loneliness did stir


She knew that face

The face of that girl

Smooth skinned

Untouched by life

She reached to take her hand

They both rescind




She gazed at the now women

Who stood in front of her

Many years have past

Oh how lovely

oh how young they were


She was staring in to the mirror

Self reflection

Casting her invisible pebble

Cracking the glass Into a thousand pieces

Each shard saw past any imperfection


Laying bare the truthfulness

The layers life had given her








Mindful in her realization

She was still truly dazzling


Staying true to her present

Staying loyal to her future

The past were her lessons

Her errors

Her memories


No longer living there

She is present in the zone

Where her heart

& her soul,

She does bare

#writephoto Sue Vincent

Photo by Sue Vincent

Women who run with wolves

She is in all of us


As if against her will

She stood

at the edge of summer

Searching, waiting

A girl approaching adulthood


Stillness as she waited

For the answer

Her blue eyes open

Beautiful, soulful, perplexed

Gliding towards sophisticated


She realised

Eventually awakening


She owns her own light

Racing from the darkness

Riding the storm

Leaving the backlash of adolescence in spite


Of what


Entwined and accepting life’s


She found sunshine

She is stronger because she had to be

Unwinding the yesterdays

To find beauty sublime


Where is she now?


She is fierce, full of fire

Confident in her being

Smarter from life’s mistakes

Knowing sadness has taught her about happiness

Flirting with joy, releasing past heartaches


She shines

like the world is new

Sweetness in her


She is real, she is whole authentic in herself

She is, our inspiration


She remembered who she was

And the game changed


Written as a reminder

she is in everyone one of us


Woman support woman




Women who run with wolves -title