Yesterday (28th April) was my beautiful girl Ciara's 13th birthday. As you know, my gorgeous girl is one half of my designer namesake - Staffy Scraps.
I adopted Ciara (then named Clare) 10 years ago from an animal shelter after she was abandoned by both her owner and to whom her owner had passed her on to. Neither wanted her so she was left to roam the streets finally finding herself in the shelter. After our previous girl had passed away just a week before, my husband and I found the house far too quiet so he rang this shelter looking for a female staffy to adopt. And then there was "Clare".
Ciara a few months after adopting her, 3 years old
We went out to meet her and she was gorgeous! So the decision was made on the spot to adopt her and we paid the fee and I filled out the paperwork. It would be a few days before we could pick her up as she still had to be desexed, but just two days later I received the call asking if I would like to pick her up early as they needed the space. YES! YES! and YES! They informed me that she had an appointment at the local vet to be desexed the following Wednesday and all I had to do was take her in. So I picked her up and she came home to us an made herself at home right away by sprawling on the couch underneath the air conditioner...lol
Then, two days after bringing her home, I noticed some spotting. The little miss had gone into heat! Never having had an undesexed dog before this was new to me so I would put my previous dog's diaper/nappy on her to limit the spotting over the floor and couch. My previous girl had been very incontinent so I'd had one made for her, and luckily Ciara was of similar size. She didn't much like the diaper but she was very cute it in...lol Of course the desexing had to be put off for another 5 to 6 weeks, afterwhich I would let her sleep with me so I could keep an eye on her. She has hardly left the bed since...lol
Ciara with her diaper on whilst on heat after bringing her home
Over the past 10 years, Ciara has given me so much love. She has been a very special girl, as she was my therapy when still grieving for my previous dog Sheba. She was there when I was sick, when I was depressed. She welcomed a blue cattledog into her home that I rescued from the streets 2 years later, adored him, played with him and loved him. She grieved for him when he too went to Rainbow Bridge 12 months later. She never left my side as I was laid up in bed for almost a week with grief. She wasn't too sure of the bouncy 7 month old puppy (Dexter, the other half of my designer namesake) I got for her a week later, as I knew she would be missing Jasper, my cattledog. But he grew on her and after he went in to be desexed she fretted for him being left at the vets and was so happy to see him when we picked him up. They have been inseparable ever since. Six and a half years later, he is still just as bouncy and just as energetic - he is just a little older than she was when I brought him home but he thinks he is still a puppy.
Ciara samples her very special birthday cake made of chicken mince
and goodies, topped with blueberries for the number 13
Now she is 13 and he will be 7 in 3 weeks time. This birthday is extra special because as some of you may know, Ciara had a cancer scare at the beginning of the year when an ulcerated lump on her tail was removed and pathology came back informing us that it was a grade 3 mass cell tumour. Two days later she had her tail amputated, and it was a long two weeks awaiting the pathology results on that. But when they came back 12 days later, the margins were clean and there was no sign of the tumour being anywhere but where it had been on her tail. So this birthday is extra special because of that horrible scary time. I know I won't have her forever, and every day with her is now a treasured gift, but for now I am grateful that I do still have her. She is a very special girl I love to the moon and back.
Happy 13th birthday to my very special and beautiful girl, Ciara.