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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Buffy is at the Rainbow Bridge - Thurs 10th May

Buffy and Martha, Summer 2010
Our two original ladies, Buffy and Willow January 2009
Hello Friends,

Please forgive me fellow crafters: for this one day, my blog post  is dedicated not to craft but to our sweet pet hen, Buffy, who passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning....and to all the pets we love and miss when they are gone. 

Buffy and Willow (above) were our original gals; sadly we lost Willow three years ago, when she was just two and since then, Buffy lost another companion Martha, both of them dear little brown hens...but Buffy stayed with us for five years and through that time was a real character, right to the end.

Tom and I it's fair to say are real softies when it comes to animals first pet was (of course) Goldie the goldfish I won at a fair, when I could barely walk...he(or she) was followed by Mum and Dad taking care of my Grandma's Springer Spaniel,Tangles, after my Gran passed away, but alas he was already promised to someone else, so his stay with us was short and sweet. My Gran also had a Macaw, which sat in the corner of her living room on a perch (I have no idea who took him on). I was three when my Gran died but I can still picture that oh so colourful bird and maybe it's the reason birds have always fascinated me....I had a pretty little pale blue budgie I named Pip, who if I remember correctly was named after someone from Crackerjack and lived with us for many years.During that time I also had a black and white Dutch rabbit, called Venus (yes after the Fireball XL5 character..can you see a theme forming here?).

Mum and dad loved animals, I was always taught to look after my pets and I did and so when I was 10 and pleaded for a dog, they figured I was ready. Along came Lassie, a male (!) shetland cross with several other breeds. A small dog with a strong will. Lassie was 12 when Tom and I married and his dog, a beautiful Irish Setter called Lupo was the same age, so they stayed with our parents until they both died within a year of each other, Lassie at 14 and Lupo, 15. Since we were married,we had our rabbits Flopsy and Gizmo and then a while with lots of travelling and no pets at all..but I always felt a void without them.

Buffy, last Summer

This much wasn't about Buffy, but I wanted to say that we never forget our pets, who bring us so much pleasure, sometimes through all too short a life. Every one of them brings tears when they pass and although I knew from the moment Buffy got sick with sour crop for the third time since Christmas, that this was probably the beginning of the end and her passing in her sleep, after we brought her into the house and laid her in a cozy basket for the last few nights was the sweetest way to go - and I knew before I opened the door this morning that our little cuddle the evening before would be our last - it was still so very sad for both of us.

Our local vet, Mark and the staff at his surgery have been amazing, he tried every way he could to get her through this - when I was a kid I wanted to be a vet or a journalist/writer. Well I sort of achieved the latter by having some articles published in a national film magazine but as I was hopeless at maths and the sciences the former was way out of my sights..lets face it I was always destined for something more 'arty'. When I see our vet and the surgery nurses at work, I really wonder what I missed.

If you have never kept hens as pets, you won't know what characters they are, how much fun they can be, each one very individual. Buffy was also known as Princess because she could be quite 'haughty' and was always making herself look beautiful and a beauty she don't do her justice: she was a large hen, but it was all feathering, so many shades of grey and mauve. When she was having problems with egg laying just after passing from POL to hen, I did some investigation and it seems she probably had a form of endometriosis. The poor thing had the nickname of 'Too Posh to Push' at one stage. She probably laid about good 50 eggs in total, plus some 'softies', but ironically that problem could have helped with her longevity, as hens that are prolific layers like Willow and Martha were, can wear themselves out. Buffy was brave, she would stand up for herself and her companions, no cats strayed into our garden after Buffy's arrival, but she loved a cuddle and was a dear, sweet soul.Whenever I am feeling low, being in the garden with our girls is a real mood lifter. I'm under no illusions that they run after you when you appear in the garden, you are their food source, but when I was cuddling Buffy over the last few weeks, she would look up at me and I swear that in her own little way she was saying 'thanks, I like this'. I know, I'm daft.

Buffy and Martha, December 2010
And so now Buffy is at the Rainbow Bridge, meeting I hope, her former hen friends Willow and Martha. I confess I didn't know about the Bridge, until a few years ago. One of my Twitterarty friends, Michele Bimpson was a crafter and an animal lover, living on a farm, she had her own hens. It was Michele who introduced me to this poem and website for pet owners. Sadly Michele herself was very ill and passed away almost a year ago. I still miss our little twitter chats about hens, dogs, crafts and musical theatre.

Here is the poem:

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth
It is called Rainbow Bridge because of its many colours

Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows,
hills, valleys and lush green grass

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this special place
There is always food and water and warm spring weather

The old and frail are young again
Those who are maimed are made whole again

They play all day with each other
There is only one thing missing

They are not with the special person who loved them on Earth
so each day they run and play until the day comes 
when one suddenly one stops playing and looks up!

The nose twitches!
The ears are up!
The eyes are staring!
And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet,
you take him or her into your arms and embrace
your face is kissed again and again,
and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the rainbow bridge together, never again to be separated
Author Unknown

So RIP Buffy and one day I'll cuddle you again X

Once again, to my blog followers, forgive me for this one day - I made this post for myself and any of you who have pets and know what I mean -  and I hope you don't mind.

Carole X

Buffy with Cara, our one year old, just a few weeks ago


  1. Carole I was so sorry to read about Buffy , how sad, its heart renching to lose a pet, I know I have lost five precious angels in the last 8 years all whom lived to a grand old age. Fabulous story about your pets , and your poem is beautiful . How sad also for Cara to lose a friend .
    Take care honey I am thinking of you
    Hugs Elaine

  2. I know I'm rather late with this post and so not sure if you will even see it.I have just joined your blog and was scrolling through. We don't have pets but always had when we were grrowing up and my parents always had pets. I remember on gorgeous lab called Honey who died on Christmas Day some years ago. She actually belonged to my brother but, as with you and your husband, she stayed with my parents when Morgan got married We grow so attached to our pets and they become family members whether it be hens, dogs, rabbits or whatever. I loved your poem and will keep it in mind for when the occasion arises.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Thank you for your lovely comments and for following my blog. Yes we do get attached to our pets, no matter what they are and I am so pleased Michele shared the poem with me last year. X