Today was one of those days - I was out the back pottering around (actually checking to see if I have any more tomatoes growing- minor miracle there!) and I saw the ribbon B tied around Holly's plant.
This is a different kind of post - a sad one for me. About Holly. My poor Holly Girl.
This is Holly. She was a beagle puppy that I bought for B for his birthday one year - many moons ago - very early in our life together, I think 2004. We were planning on moving out with a friend from uni, but the move was still a few weeks away when we bought Holly. B's parents were less then thrilled to put it nicely, so we shacked in with my grandparents for a couple of weeks as Holly wasn't welcome anywhere else...
Holly became such an important part of our lives - I know there are some people who don't get it. Why we were so upset when we lost her. Honestly I was probably one of those people until last year. But I guess all I can say is that she was like our baby - She slept on our bed, followed me everywhere around the house, always wanted to be close to B and myself. We took her everywhere with us, and when we lost her we were devastated. Still are actually. I have tears writing this now.
Holly was always a bit mischievous - but not in a totally bad way. Yeah she wrecked a few things, chewed a few pairs of shoes and dug holes. Mostly she just sniffed out any food that was available and demolished it. Once I came home from work and let her inside and she just flopped to the ground, literally not even able to get up she was that FAT. I looked outside and realised that B had accidentally left the entire container of dry food out there that morning..... let's just say that most of it was gone and that Holly looked like a keg on legs.
There are so many things I could write about her, stories that you may or may not find funny/sad/entertaining but mostly tonight I want to let out a bit of the guilt that I feel every time I think of that day in June last year.
I guess to explain what happened I need to fill in the details of the previous few days. Our house has a double garage attached. The garage has a single roller door at the back of the garage that leads to an undercover carport (where B used to store the boat before the robbery). There is a gate at the back of the carport that leads to the grassed area of our yard. When we had Holly we always kept this gate closed. Never ever ever ever would we have the gate, the single garage door, the double garage door open at the same time.
Last year - the week that we lost Holly, there were some fierce storms in our area. The kind that they tell you to secure everything in your yard. Strong storms. So on the Wednesday night B and I were sitting in our lounge room watching some TV and we couldn't hear a thing because of the storm. It was blowing this horrible wind that was causing the gate (which is quite heavy) to bang and shake. The noise was REALLY annoying. I was 5 months pregnant at the time so I stayed inside whilst B went out and opened the gate and secured it to the house to alleviate the noise. No big deal really. We continued with our night and probably my TV addiction :)
I'm not sure if I have mentioned that B is a fisherman. A sponsored angler, so he often fishes competitions which require him to take his boat and be away for the weekend. So on the Thursday evening B opened the single garage roller door at the back so he could access his boat and charge the electric motor etc.ready for a comp that he had coming up the next day.
Friday morning comes around. B and I usually leave around the same time for work - but if we don't whoever leaves first always shuts the garage door (electric button) as they leave. Always. Except on Friday 18th June 2010.
B was in the garage as I piled my stuff in the car - he was doing the same, putting his bag and laptop in his car. Every morning we had the same routine, Holly and also Malibu and Roxy (the kittens) put outside just before we leave. So this day, I open the garage and say goodbye and hop in my car, leaving B standing with his car. I assume (and yes assumption IS the mother of all fuck ups), I assume that he is leaving straight away too. So I drive off but don't press the button to close the garage as I can see him in there. He was in fact going to leave, but had forgotten to brush his teeth - so he ducked back inside for maybe 2 minutes.
So it started out as any other day until about 12:45pm. I get a call on my mobile from the local ranger in my area. She calls and tells me that Holly is out the front of our house. WTF I think? How did she get out? The fences are so high? The ranger tells me that my next door neighbour tried to coax her into his garage but she wouldn't go. She also says that the ranger has tried to catch her but can't. She says that Holly is just hanging around the front of the house and asks i there is someone who could come and get her/let her in to the yard as they cannot find how she has escaped. So I email B. He works 8 minutes away.
I have actually just been emailing him and he has replied - but when I send him subject R U THERE - EMERGENCY. I get no reply. So I call his work and receptionist says she will find him, as I tell her why I need to speak with him. He calls maybe 5 minutes later and I tell him the situation. He says he will leave work and go and let her in. We joke about how clever she is having avoided being caught by the ranger. Saving us $$. So B goes and tells his boss and then leaves work. At this point I am also telling a coworker about what happened and joking about Holly's avoidance of the ranger.
B leaves work - it takes 8 minutes to get home. He is about 3 minutes away when he gets a call from his mum. She says she had been contacted by the Vet - Holly is there. B assumes that they have caught her and taken her there as it is quite close to our house. So he goes there instead of home to get her.
He walks in and the lady comes and does the usual 'How can I help you?' He says that he is here to pick up his dog, Holly, a beagle. She doesn't smile - her face tells it all. He knows.
I call him about 20 minutes later. He answers and I ask 'Did you let her in? Is she okay?' not knowing that he is at the vets. I still think that he has gone home to let her in. 'Not really' he answers. 'What do you mean not really?' he stutters - some silence. 'I don't want to tell you on the phone' 'just tell me B. Is she okay?' 'No babe, she's gone' his voice breaks and I know that he is trying not to cry, not to let me hear the sadness in his voice. The conversation from there I can't recall. I know I made him tell me what had happened, even though he didn't want to. He knew how upset I'd be and he knew that I'd probably react a million times worse being a hormonal pregnant woman!.
I drove home from work and cried the whole way. I mean balled my eyes out - It probably wasn't safe for me to drive I was that much of a mess (Hence B not wanting to tell me over the phone). I got home and literally B and I cried. and cried. We couldn't beleive that it had happened. We still don't know why/how it exactly did.
The vet told B that Holly had been hit by a car. A doctor. He bought her straight to the Vet (it was across the road) but there was nothing they could do. When B got there they took him into see her and she was still warm to touch. It had only just happened. This plagued us. We 'if only' and 'what if' ed a lot in those first few days. What if I'd shut the garage, what if B had shut the gate, what if he'd left work 2 minutes earlier, what if, what if.
Clearly it's a mistake that we can't fix - It is still probably the worst weekend of our lives so far. And yep - if you don't have a pet that you have treated like a member of the family you probably don't understand this post. We had so many plans for the little man and Holly :( It still makes me teary each time I think about it.
So Holly - It's 12 months today since you passed away. We are still sorry....... every single day. We miss you more than you will ever know.