Archive | December, 2012

Django – In loving memory

30 Dec

In November 2012 I lost my beloved pet Django. I have so many wonderful memories of such a loyal companion I thought I would put them in to words in order that I never forget… Django I hope you are having fun in doggy heaven, you will always be missed.

Django was a cross Jack Russell / Yorkshire Terrier but you could not really see the Jack Russell in him as much. Django came to live with the Dunn household at five or six years old after his previous owners could no longer have him. I remember the first day going to collect him with Dad, hearing him bark behind the door, the foghorn bark he had. We brought him home, and remember everyone playing with him. It did not take long for him to settle in. We had a Norfolk Terrier called Sally at this point, who although they never fought, I am not sure she was so keen with the new arrival, I am not sure what Django thought either. Sally was a very greedy doggy and Django would have to gobble down his dinner as quick as possible in order that he got to eat, because as soon as Sally finished hers she was after his. She did like to tease him, she was never a playful dog but would sometimes steal his toys which he loved and wind him up. Sadly we lost Sally on 16 September 2007. What was strange after that was although Django did pine for a bit suddenly he ate his dinner very slowly as if he did not have to worry any more. I do think Django enjoyed being an only dog, he loved the attention and affection.

When Django first came to us he was quite a nervous dog, was quite wary of people and did not like things coming through the post, he would also flinch if you walked past him with a paper. Another odd thing was around 8pm every night he would head upstairs to his basket and no matter how much encouragement to gave him to let him know it was okay to be downstairs he would never come. It made me wonder a lot what his past has been like. However after being with us a while he soon came out of these habits, he learnt to trust us.

Django was a very loved and affectionate dog, he loved his playtimes and cuddles. You rarely saw him without a toy in his mouth, when you arrived home, he would always grab a toy and then want to be fussed, not letting go of his toy for ages. He had his routine as well, after dinner he would always put biscuits in his mouth and then put his squeaky turkey in, he would wander round the whole house crying not knowing where to bury his biscuits, he would go upstairs/downstairs for ages until finally he would bury them in his basket on the landing where he always did eventually anyway, he just had to complete his routine. He was a very lucky dog who had a whole box of toys to choose from but he always knew what he wanted. Sometimes he would cry and let out a yelp needing assistance, I would have to get out every toy until the one he wanted was found, he always knew which one he wanted.

 I loved the mornings where he would run downstairs and grab a toy, wanting his teddy thrown or his ball down the stairs, no wonder I was late for work with his big brown eyes staring at me as if to say please play with me.

Django very much became my companion, sleeping with me on my bed, always by my side when at home. I loved having him curled up next to me and wanting to be fussed in the mornings. I loved coming home from work to a wagging tail. I always felt no matter how much affection I gave him, he gave double back. I enjoyed walks around the field with him trotting beside me.

Sadly in 2011 Django’s legs started to fail, he had always been a healthy dog with hardly any health issues but in the end it was his legs to let him down. They went down hill very quickly in the end, it is strange when I think back of the bright eyed spark and bouncy character he was to now struggling to do the things he wanted. No longer being able to take him for walks or the freedom of him running up and downstairs and eventually the freedom to even get out of his dog flap but he still seemed happy and although less mobile he still wanted to play and eat. Even though there was talk about Django’s future it seemed cruel at that point to let him go.

He went on quite happily for a while until suddenly he became very ill, and was very sick. This went on a couple of days until he suddenly became very weak. I had really struggled with thinking of letting him go but knew in the end, he trusted me to do what was right, he couldn’t tell me but I had to rely on me to not let him suffer. It is so easy to become selfish in order to keep something you love so much with you. Strangely enough on the Monday morning, when his eyes looked at mine, that look was there to, it is time to let me go. It was one of the hardest heartbreaking decisions. I never thought I could be there when he went but managed to go with Dad and I think I have felt so much peace in that decision that I was there with him, that he did not slip away looking at a stranger but in front of me, someone he knew loved him so much.

 

The pain of losing Django has not been easy, coming down and no food bowls there, letting go of routine of not putting him in the garden or taking him up to bed with me. He brought so much character to the house. Seeing his toy box just sitting there is hard. It was first Christmas without him and not buying him a toy or saving him some Christmas dinner was very odd but I know now he is at peace and I have no regrets or doubts that he knew how much we all loved him.

I have so many wonderful pictures of him and Sally, neither of them can ever be forgotten. Some people think they are only dogs, but they really do become a part of the family and if you can’t accept them as part of the family or give them the love and affection that they offer you then there is no point having a pet.

 ImageOne day I will look forward to being reunited with him again and Sally too. Thank you Django for being so loyal, loving an affectionate. I will never forget you, there will always be Django shaped hole in my heart, but it will not be filled with sadness but with the happy and joyful times to gave me and the family. RIP now boy…

 

Below is a poem that found the day I lost Django and every word is true xxxx

You no longer greet me, as I walk through the door. You’re not there to make me smile, to make me laugh anymore. Life seems quiet without you, you were far more than a pet. You were a family member, a friend, a loving soul I’ll never forget.It will take time to heal for the silence to go away. I still listen for you and miss you every day. You were such a great companion, constant, loyal and true. My heart will always wear, the pawprints left by you. 

Holocaust Memorial Day 2012, ‘Speak up, Speak Out’

30 Dec

 

I actually wrote this January 2012 and forgot to post and just found it on my laptop, so here goes…Holocaust Memorial Day 2012

It is now over 60 years since the horror of the holocaust where millions of jews, gypsies, gays, disabled, anyone and everyone who was not a nazi were murdered. Many people in this day in age will not think of this day, for it would not be in their life time, but there are many who will never forget the horror of the holocaust, the survivors. 11 million people were killed in the nazi death camps during the holocaust, roughly 6 million of these are Jews. The nazis killed approximately two thirds of all Jews living in Europe. An estimated 1.1 million children were murdered. The nazis establish 39 different concentration camps in total with six extermination centres in Poland, 1.5 million Jews died at Auswitz.

On January 27 2012 it will be Holocaust Memorial Day. It is an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present to create a safer, better future. It is using the past to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.

The Holocaust has always been an interest of mine, my mum’s side of the family is Jewish, my Grandad was Polish. He lost members of his family in the Holocaust but thankfully managed to escape. No matter I how much learn the harder I find to take in the enormity of what happened. I struggle to comprehend how human beings could be so evil to another fellow human being. How people could wipe out so many lives on an unimaginable scale simply because of who they were. Did they ever feel any conscience in what they were doing? whilst people were starving to death, dying of diseases in the thousands, children being murdered did they ever think of those people as individuals.

In May 2010 I went on a trip to Poland where I managed to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is hard to explain my feelings of this trip, I guess one word would be surreal. I felt very emotional and knowing how much suffering went on in a place where I was standing.

The reason I decided to write a bit about this subject is through educating myself the past week. Having heard Holocaust Memorial Day was coming I decided to read up on the website. I noticed the words ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’. It made me realise that it is not just rememebering what happened during that dark time but it is up to me and anyone else as an individual to challenge ourselves now.

Descrimination still goes on this day. People are murdered because of the colour of their skin. It was 1996 that Stephen Lawrence at the age of 18 was brutally murdered just simply because he was black. Gregory H Stanton writes, calling someone a name, or referring to a group of people with a derogatory term allows a period of classification and dehumanisation to take place. During the Holocaust, Jews were referred to as ‘vermin’; in doing so the Nazis made it easy for those who stood by to not think of Jewish people as people or individuals with feelings, beliefs and dignity. This is not a one off; name-calling took place in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, with Tutsis being called ‘cockroaches’ again taking away their humanity and reducing men, women and children to vermin that can be easily destroyed. It is this that we must keep in mind when we choose to use language that may divide and exclude and instead replace the words we use with those of respect and dignity.

I can’t change society but I know I can challenge myself in the language I use and the words I say. It can be difficult to speak up but as I focus on Holocaust Memorial Day I hope it will not solely be just one day but that it will be in my mind everyday.

“Words are powerful. With them we can heal or harm. Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 asks you to Speak Up, Speak Out and to carefully consider the way you use language in person, on line or when speaking about other people.”