Garden Surprises

We are in Lockdown from Coronavirus. This means staying at home. As a gardener my concern was “Where will I buy my summer bedding?” Normally a trip to local supermarkets and other stores where an abundance of the many varieties of bedding plants tempted by reasonable prices. This year I would not have colour in my garden. Having to make do with the Perennials. Yet I was in for a surprise. Nature provides us with many things to delight.

As is usual for me I re-arrange the garden pots. The 5 fruit trees re-arranged on the Patio. 4 of them have come out in a profusion of blossom. Also, when sitting outside, I noticed Bees visiting and pollinating. There are also a few Hover flies around. A couple of days ago Brown, yellow and white (1 of each) flew about the garden.

My first surprise was to see the Lilac Tree ( still small in a pot) produce several buds. I had brought this from my old place about 4 years ago. This is the first year to flower.

Most of the pots have been weeded and the compost in them sifted and put back in. But again another surprise. I had 3 pots of Lilies and as I could see no signs of growth in 3 of them decided to clear the pots completely. Removing the Moss, to my great excitement, new shoots were growing.

I have lots of Forget-me-knots scattered around the garden. Last Autumn I  purchased Violas. They were labelled “Winter Violas” I thought they would only last through Winter but they are now coming out. The Hosta are peeping through I have some Sweet William which is the first time I’ve grown these

I have constant trouble with cats using the garden as a thoroughfare. But I am glad to say Suzie has the,m under control. Even so I have had to move my Rhubarb. In its new home its doing well.

Thinking ahead, I wanted to grow R. Beans, Peas, Tomatoes. I felt sad that I would not be able to get to a shop to buy the seeds. But life can treat us well. For 5 weeks I’d obeyed the rule to stay in, only taking Suzie for her walk. Anyway, enough was enough, so I visited Lidl and to my delight bought my seeds as  well as Gladioli. Over the weekend I planted the seeds in individual small pots – now another problem – I had run out of labels! Again I decided to venture out to town and when calling in The Pound Shop, had the labels. My motto in life is NEVER BE BEATEN LOOK FOR A WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

As I am not able to get compost I’m finding all the ‘odd’ dirt as in pots and sifting and taking out the weeds. Its surprising how much I gathered up.

I have prepared where I will put the R. Beans and the sticks are in. Time now to relax and enjoy what my garden has to offer.

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Suzie Dog Blog–Introduction


Hello, This is me – my new name is SUZIE 

I do not remember much about my early life. Only that I lived in a shed.They were bad times & I was not looked after. When I came to THE DOGS TRUST BRIDGEND a new, better life came to me. So the past is now hidden at the back of my mind and I don’t wish to remember.

The dogs trust carers named me Suzie and gave my birthday as 28 September 2013. 28 September 2019 was the date I arrived at the kennels. I am a Terrier Cross.

I was in a bad way when being admitted, also very frightened as to what was happening. I had only known a shed,dogs around,and humans who I later learnt, spoke in angry tones.

My fur was matted, I was covered in fleas, needing treatment they commenced to give me a groom, vaccinations against kennel cough/worms/fleas. I heard the word ‘operation speyed’ but had no clue what this was. A few days later I developed a cough.

Quote from my records 7/10/2019 Has started coughing + in vet suit, very difficult to examine as a very worried. Bright in self and eating. Carers to try and desense to vet suit.’

This was my new home and I had a place of my own with a bed, blanket, water bowl, ( I did not have to drink water from puddles) fed regularly ( not having scraps thrown at me and other dogs snatching my food) as well as things scattered around the kennel which were called ‘toys’. This was my space where I felt safe.I had to get used to a collar and lead and harness but that was ok. walks were daily and along the fields and hedgerows had some fantastic smells. My lead allowed me to run. I had so much energy to burn off. I had training classes too, every time I did something good or obeyed their commands I had treats. Everyone spoke kindly with only a harsh word if you didn’t quite get it right but hasten to add this was followed by the kind gentle voice because you had done what they asked.

By the 23/ October I still had my cough but in appreciation to those who were caring for me I was able to wag my tail to tell them I was getting better. At the beginning of January I had the ‘Operation’. and now ready for re-homing.

Talking to the other dogs I was told we don’t live here all the time. I felt sad as they were all so kind. Dogs were looked after until they were better and our photos were posted on the internet. From 12.00 midway – 4pm. people would visit to look at us in our kennel. We were out for adoption. When someone took a liking to us our carer came and put us on the lead and we went out  to greet and meet. With this in mind I soon found myself being adopted and went to live with a new family. It was not for very long and I was back at the kennels. They were not for me. I waited and enjoyed my time whilst waiting for some one else to come along. My new ‘MUM’ has written a few words. I will allow her to share my blog too – her writing not in italic. I like the ‘italic. I like to blog. ‘Till next time ‘woof,woof’

It was in January I began looking for another dog. I found Suzie looking at me from her photo. “Oh she’s the one for me” When I arrived at the centre she had already been ‘reserved’ Throughout the week until Thursday I looked. At 11.00 am s the ’reserved’ had been removed from the photo. I was able to go to the centre and the process of adopting Suzie began

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Part 5 Finding Love – Coming Home

Suzie sat on my lap and our driver took us us home. She sat looking out of the window, very alert and making no sound. Benji, my last dog, would sit beside me on the car seat and whinge all the time. Hence until  I had to give the car up, we did not go far in the car. This was a treat.

Holding her lead in one hand and the bag with all her food and paper work, I unlocked the door. Thanking the neighbour for taking me I closed the door and welcomed Suzie, took off her lead, and said “ Suzie you can now explore your new home.”

A very excited dog explored the house for the next hour and a half. She ran upstairs, went in the bedrooms. downstairs, front room, backroom (lots of toys), kitchen and then the garden.She would check that I was still there.

Whilst all this was going on I made a coffee, sat on the settee and watched. The next few weeks,  especially the first week, I would be carefully observing her, seeing what her habits were.

Throughout the day she would jump on my lap, let me stroke her, licked my hand. Played with her toys, enjoying the ones that squeaked. I sat on the floor and Suzie found a ball. She threw it to me then I to her. This gave me much happiness as this play continued for a long time.

Now began the SETTLING IN. At teatime she ate very little, (to be expected) For the next few days I put on her lead to go put to have a pee. We had a few accidents indoors (to be expected), it was like potty training a child and just as they were trained so was Suzie.


SUZIE 1st EVENING (24 January 2020)

She slept that evening until it was time for bed. I tried her downstairs but it did not work. She wanted comfort and security. It took her a while to settle as she tired different areas, She did not choose the dog bed and even now she does not use the beds as she prefers laps, floors or chairs. Her final place was on my bed, at the end and where she has been ever since. It took me a while to get used to this as I am not used to having anyone in bed with me. Bedtime is a delight as we cuddle up to each other before finally settling, morning again a lovely cuddle.

But now I believe Suzie would like to write to you all. My next blog Suzie will tell you about herself and what happens in her new FOREVER HOME

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My Knitted Doggy Blanket

Recently I saw a pattern to knit squares, join up and hey presto a doggy blanket. This is not for Suzie as she has lots and not particular about blankets. Not like Benji who loved them especially his large blanket which would cover him completely, keeping him warm and safe.

The blanket will be donated to a dogs home. My knitting and crochet will now be kept until the Coronavirus epidemic is over and life is back to some sort of normality.

To make the blanket I used double knitting wool, size 4 mm needles and the odd balls were from my left over stash. I knitted 10 stocking stitch plain squares 23 sts  37 rows. The “Paws” pattern 5 squares of small medium and large.

Square doggy blanket           Knitted doggy blanket

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Part 4 Adoption

ADOPTION DAY . I had to be up early as I was being picked up at 8.15 am to be at the centre by 9.00 am

The Dogs Trust follow a very sensible routine. 9.00 – 11.00 am Adoption process and classes for dog training; 11.00 –12.00 mid-day Their lunch break; 12.00 – 4.00 am the public visit to view and those interested in adopting to speak with the staff and arrangements made.

Anxiously I waited on the door step. At 8.25 I phoned ‘A’ NO ANSWER. Next I phoned the centre to explain and told to phone back a bit later.

Still no sign of my lift and I spoke with my neighbour next door who kindly said he would take me over. It was now 9.00 am contacted the centre again and informed it was still ok to get there. In all my excitement I did not notice the time. Arriving at reception I was given a lot of papers to read and sign. Suzie’s medical history;how to help her settle in her new home; how to train with muzzle; rules regarding the adoption. Next, with others, we went up stairs where we had a talk on settling our dogs and should we need any advice or problems the phone number to ring at any time. Also some one would phone in 2 weeks, then in another week to see how our dogs had settled in. Now it was time to go and meet and collect our dogs. We had also been given a bag with dog food and more info to read at our leisure.

meeting Suzie she gave me a big smile. I gave her some treats and made a fuss of her. In the car she sat on my lap as we headed for her FOREVER HOME.

In my next blog Suzie and I will be telling you about how Suzie found her new home.

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Part 3 Finding New Love – Adopting

imageAt reception I informed the girl I had phoned earlier about Suzie.

“Ok. have you registered with us “

“No “

“While you do that I will send down to the Carer to have Suzie brought out to meet you”

The forms were filled in and I went down to the kennels where Suzie was waiting to meet me. We walked down to one of the fields and on the way she told me about Suzie. I talked to  gave Suzie treats. Suzie was not very good with other dogs so another dog was brought down to show me her re-action. She was fine went up and sniffed at her.Defiance. Usually a lot of barking and pulling to get near the dog. Back up at reception I said YES I would like to adopt and said we got on well. Arrangements were made to visit the following Monday. Tuesday the lady would come out to inspect the house and garden. Friday I would be able to take her “HOME”

The 2nd visit I was allowed to walk her on my own. We walked in another very muddy field. This time I had my wellies on. She pulled on the lead – I could work on that. After half an hour of getting to know each other we went back to where ‘A’ was sitting on the bench. I sat down, Suzie jumped up in between us. She snuggled into me, licked my hand and she allowed me to stroke her back and under her chin. The carer had said she did not like being touched or made a fuss of! Suzie returned to her kennel. She was in their ‘lounge’ which had settees  and toys in.


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Part 2 Finding New Love: Adopting

Part 2

It was Friday. On the Dogs’ Trust Bridgend site all the dogs for adoption were listed. Some had RESERVED which meant that prospective new owners had shown an interest in adopting.

This was the dog photo that caught my eye. Was this love at first sight? There was no “reserve” at this point.



Suzie 6 yrs old Terrier Cross

I had no car and so had to find someone who could take me over. My friends’ daughter ‘A’ very kindly said she would take me over. As you know when you rely on someone else you go by when they are available. We arranged for Sunday at 1.30 pm.

Sunday came, excitedly I waited, becoming anxious when ‘A’ did not come on time. We arrived at the centre. On enquiring about Suzie the receptionist informed us that she had just that minute been reserved. We were both sad to learn this but we went down to the kennels to see if there were any more dogs suitable. When coming to Suzie’s’ kennel she was lying on her bed. All around the room were lots of toys and her water bowl. I spoke to her gently saying how she had been reserved by some one else but wished her happiness in her new home. There were no other dogs suitable. Back at reception I enquired whether my name and phone number could be taken and just in case she did become available they could contact me. It was not their policy to do this but I should keep looking on the site.

I came away with a heavy heart. Over the next few days, morning, night I checked the site, said good morning and good night to Suzie, and that I loved her.

Thursday I went to have coffee with my dog sitter. I showed her the picture and we both commiserated. How nice it would have been, she looks a lovely dog. The time was 10.30 am. Once back home I made a coffee. turned the laptop on and found the site to look again at the dog I’d fallen in love with but was not to be. It was 11.30 am. Hang on, I had to look twice!!!! The “reserve” was not there. My heart beat fast: find the phone; dial Dogs Trust. In a calm voice I asked about Suzie. Those magic words – Suzie is available for adoption. I informed the lady I would be over straight away.

As luck would have it ‘A’ was free. In a garbled voice I told her about Suzie. On the way over I managed to calm down. It was really happening. Soon I would have a little dog to love and her to love me.

Part 3 to follow

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Goodbye Benji / Finding New Love


 In 2019 at the end of November Benji, my adopted/rescue dog who had been with me for ,went over the RAINBOW Bridge. Benji was 15 years 6 months.20190531_110326 - Copy

The bereavement time after loosing your pet is difficult. Emotions, memories and missing the little fella at the many times over through the day and night.  But Benji’s story is only a small part of my life and will be written at a later date.

At the beginning of 2020 with depression getting lower and lower I felt the need to to improve and my solution was another dog as a companion.

So many places can be found when searching for  a pet. the first thing to decide was the sort of dog required. With this information I was ready to look.

1. it needed to be smaller than Benji

2. Female

3. not a puppy or an older dog.

Places to begin my search ; My local vet, a girl in my local chemist. my family and friends. On the internet local dog homes. I even phoned THE CINNAMEN TRUST but to date they have not got back to me. I was even looking at BATTERSEA dogs home in London!!


Eventually there came up on THE DOGS’ TRUST the picture. (it was not this photo but just showed her face.) I could feel her looking lovingly up at me and I had fallen in love with her.

Her name was SUZIE (same name as my daughter) Female, and 6years old. This photo taken when she first came into her forever home.

Read about the ADOPTION in part 2

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I’m Back Again More Exciting News

After a very bumpy ride over the past few years at last I am settling down. I have a new laptop – light and am learning to navigate as it has Windows 10. Used to Windows 7.

After the loss of Benji Birthday & Christmas activities took over. My son celebrated his 50th birthday. A nice family get together, followed by my daughter coming down to celebrate my birthday. We went to see an Abba tribute show at our local venue here in Neath. Christmas day very quiet – no dog – and my special friend in hospital. She went in on the Friday before Christmas and came out a couple of weeks ago. Most days I went to visit her.

In January I felt my great loss and sadness of losing Benji subsiding. I began my search for another dog. 3 weeks ago “Suzie” came to live with me. How I’d missed the company of a dog!! I will be writing about her and showing you photos in another blog.

Suzie is 6 years old, a Terrier Cross, full of energy, knows a lot of the commands, loves cuddles. I (or should I say SHE) found me and was at THE DOGS TRUST BRIDGEND.

Well folks time to close Thanks for reading – Mary

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Belated Xmas Wishes

First may I apologize for not posting earlier. I wish all my readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas & New Year.

The past year has been a very unusual year. Beginning with hospital visits, ending with bereavement.

I had an operation on my left hand for Carpunal tunnel syndrome. That was in June. A day case, and 6 weeks later my hand was back to normal. During the healing process I was doing my daily living using 1 hand. Difficulty in dressing, going to the toilet, doing my knitting & crochet. Even the first 2 weeks holding Benji’s lead, but somehow I got by.

For a number of years I suffered a prolapse womb which also caused bowel problems & passing urine frequently at night. After a long ( as is usual here in Wales ) and was having many urine infections, one after the other, it was my turn for surgery in the last week in October. The operation successful and the bowel and bladder problems resolved. I was now getting back to my old self. To spend lots more time with Benji.

Alas this was not be. For a while Benji was getting slower in his walking. Then, a week before he left to go over the 🌈 bridge, his back legs were bothering him. I visited the vets for Metecalm as I could see he was in pain. The next day, in the evening he began to loose blood from his mouth. The following morning I phoned the P.D.S.A clinic & my friend took my up in her car. We discussed the situation and decided to see how he went over the weekend. Benji was no better on the Monday, clinic again, deciding for the operation to investigate. 6 December. 2 weeks time. That Thursday 28 November Benji collapsed in the garden. Phoning the clinic again told to bring him in A.S.P

I sensed it was his time. As he lay on the table I stroked him, gave him my love. Then left. The vet would put a drip up, give an aneasthetic to investigate, yet I knew I woud not see him again.

No sooner had I got in the phone rang, I gave them permission to help Benji on his way.

Benji had a tumour in his mouth, hence his continuous bleeding for the last 7 days of his life.

Benji is now home with me in his scatter tube. He now sits beside Spotty, upstairs,looking out over the garden & hills. I miss home so much, the house so quiet!

That’s all for now folks. I hope that 2020 will be better than 2019.


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