This is not the blog I was hoping to write ….

Parker, my French Bulldog managed to get out of our front gates Thursday before last.

I blame myself of course, but it was an accident.

I replay that if I had not chosen to wash them, and blow dry them, and then put them on the drive way to have a wee and a what ever else, so that they would stay clean and I could bring them back in to the house to sleep, then this would never have happened.

I kick myself I did not just take them to the groomers.

The gate had been acting a bit “broken” and had been repaired.  But repair guy needed to come back and to the final “gate is not broken.”  He didn’t.

My friend had offered to fix the gate – and I had said “no” because I did not want to be the person who is always having favours done for.  I knew “gate guy” had to just pop along and sort it out.  Would take him 15 minutes maximum,.

We were using a short chain to secure the gate, and you needed to hook the lock on the closest link of the chain to keep the gate firmly closed.

Any way due to a series of happenings, the gate was left wide enough for Parker to get through.

Dexter – my Boston Terrier – is such a skinny arse he can fit through all the security gates.  After dog washing I took a quick shower and I was trying to put warm things on to go and let them in.  I noticed Dexter hanging outside my sliding door gate, and he just had this “funny” look about him.

I was no worried, I just thought he was acting “odd” because he had just had a bath and been subjected to a hair dryer.  And now was being made to stand outside.  I could see the contempt written all over his face.

But there was something else.  Something about his look that made me wonder if Timmy might be down the well.

At that moment, I just got a funny vibe – how many times must Timmy fall down the fucking well?  I shot out the room and called for Parker.  He did not come when I called and I realised the front gate was ajar.

My friend Judith dropped everything and took off at a speed down the road calling for him.  Running in her jammies.  And screaming.

I went to check kids were being watched, got in my car and off I went to search for him.  Our suburb is not very big – we drove around.  The thing that stood out for me was that the neighbourhood dogs were not barking.

It was silence.

If I walk my dogs, each home’s dogs run out to swear and basically make obscene gestures to my dogs.  This is normal.

If my dog was walking around the ‘hood, the dogs would be barking.  They weren’t.

I consoled myself that he had probably walked into someone’s home, parked his bum securely on their couch and was getting the spot behind his right ear tickled in just the way he liked it, and he was snorting in appreciation.

I was concerned.  I was not beside myself with worry.

I firmly believed he was warm and comfortable and that the person who had him would take him to Panorama Veterinary Clinic in the morning, to be scanned.

I reasoned that they did not realise that the Vet was open 24/7 and would do it in the morning.

I managed to cancel my meetings and my interviews for the next day – there was only one I could not cancel.

I was sitting in the meeting and I saw the phone ring and it was Alana (Aidan and Alana had the sire and the dam of Parker’s) – there was a very fuddled few minutes of conversation where I believed that Parker was injured and he was at a vet.  And as I ran with this premise I realised the tone of Alana’s voice did not match the “happiness” of your dog being slight injured and just at the vet.

In my madness I could not hear what she was trying to tell me.  I kept thinking I needed to just pop along to Tygerberg Animal Hospital and fetch him – he was injured.  Not ideal.  But not that bad.  Right?

I just could not hear what she was trying to tell me.

Then the penny dropped.

It was a slow penny, but the drop was earth shattering for me.

I could not continue talking to her.

I had a candidate infront of me, that I needed to finish an interview for.  I tried my best to appear professional, and get it done, say thank you, and then burst into tears as I sat with my head on the table.  I might not be permitted to McDonalds again.

Lori,the breeder called, and I sobbed.  I felt like my little heart had been ripped out of my chest via my cornea.  Lori – remained sane – she said she would meet me at the vet.

I wanted to see Parker one last time.  I wanted to push my face against his fur and breath him in.  For the last time.

I wanted to call him my chunky little monkey and tell him how much I loved him.

I couldn’t.  He was in too bad a condition for me to see him.  Lori suggested I remember him for the way he was and not go through the trauma of seeing him now.

I understand he is “just” a dog.  I get it.  I get that he is not one of my children.  I understand all of that.  But for me he was one of my children.  In his snorty, affectionate manner and his big brown eyes that seemed to just understand me.

Parker was there when Kennith told me we were getting a divorce.  Parker was there when Kennith told me he was moving out.  Parker was there when I realised that Kennith had moved on and was dating.  Like not casual dating but boyfriend and girlfriend dating.

Parker was there to cuddle against me, listen to me sob and rest his big head against my chest.  He didn’t ask me to explain, he was happy to lie against me and when I looked like I was sobbing a bit harder, then he just moved in closer – usually until he was lying on my head or my chest.

In his eyes he knew my pain, and he knew that all I needed was a cuddle, a love and a little bit of snot from his big nose to drip on my hand.  He just knew.

I am bereft and I am still inconsolable.  I try to talk about Parker and then I burst into tears.

I know he is a dog, but he is not “just” a dog – he was Parker, my guy, my chubby chubbs, my guy.


{I do want to say thank you to all the people who shared the post about Parker being missing.  People I did not know or have never met made the effort to send me information about where to search and what to look for.

People I have never met phoned vets on my behalf, reposted my “lost dog” onto various pages on Facebook.  I received so many emails of support and encouragement from people, again, who I did not know.  People who understood and understand what it feels like to lose a dog.

I can’t thank everyone —- but if you are reading this, and you are one of those people who just see the distress in others and get involved to try to help, thank you.  No, not just thank you.  But thank YOU!}


Parker is gone.  He will not be coming home again.


Dexter stealing my heart on day 1



Parker and his dad Yoda — Parker has his tongue sticking out.  Yoda is wondering who needs to pay to get out of this situation.



Parker licking Isabelle to death ….. such a dangerous dog




Parker doing what he does best ….. sleeping and snoring …..




Dexter and Parker … who said that French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could not live together ?  Them’s wrong.




Leave a comment


  1. Judy Schimper

     /  August 19, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss. My cat Bodhi is currently at the vet hospital for a liver malfunction that may or may not be cancer (waiting for tests) and I had a complete melt down over this in the office yesterday. He is the closest thing I have to a child of my own and I will be gutted and inconsolable if he doesn’t pull through. I hope you can find some small measure of solace in the arms of the people who love you at this time.

  2. Heather

     /  July 7, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. I’m so so so sorry Celeste. They are never “just a dog” they are always our everything.
    Sending love. So much love xxx

  4. As I read this, snotty tears pouring down my cheeks, my heart breaks for you… Fur-kids are never “Just dogs” So very sorry for your loss….

  5. I am so so sorry. I can imagine your pain, I lost my cat three months ago in a pretty similar way (that was my first animal loss ever) and I could not believe it hurt so much.

  6. I’m so so sorry! (Hug) 😦

  7. I am so very sorry.

  8. Ingrid

     /  July 1, 2015

    So sorry for your loss! Was searching on FB to find out if you have found your fur child…could not stop thinking about it and was hoping for the best. Really soooo sad for your loss. Wishing you lots of strength. I xxxxxx

  9. I am sorry for your loss. Your statement “JUST” a dog is so wrong.

    From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”

    They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

    If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

    For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog”brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

    I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just the dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man” or “Just a woman.”

    So the next time you hear the phrase “Just a dog,” smile, because they “just don’t understand.”

    -Author Unknown

  10. charliesbird

     /  July 1, 2015

    So sorry, sending a virtual hug!

  11. Joyce

     /  July 1, 2015

    oh my friend…. I really do feel for you. It is so so very sad… he saw you through the most difficult times. xxx

  12. I’m so very sorry love.

  13. bethjane

     /  July 1, 2015

    So very sorry for your devastating loss. My doggies are my children too.

  14. I’m so sorry Celeste. For those of us who truly love our pets, we *know* he was NOT just a dog, he was so much more than that, so much a part of your family & with any loss to a family, it’s always devastatingly painful!
    Much love!

  15. Sending you so much love. Loosing a pet is so difficult. So sorry for your loss xx

  16. Am so very sorry for your loss – sitting blubbing real tears in an open plan office for a puppy (I call all dogs puppies) I don’t even know but I know the devastation of having your heart ripped out by the loss of a precious pet. He may have crossed the rainbow bridge but he will always be in your heart.

  17. Karen

     /  July 1, 2015

    So sorry. I also lost a furbaby about a year ago. It sucks big time.

  18. Thea

     /  July 1, 2015

    I’m so sorry. I love my two frenchies ( also Lori/Mark/Petrick frenchies) like children. I cannot imagine my life without them. I am sending you love and positive energy. Thea xx

  19. I’m so sorry to hear this – I’ve been hoping the whole time that he would be found. Allow yourself time to be sad….

  20. Supermama

     /  July 1, 2015

    Really just so sorry that your doggie is gone. Heartsore for you.

  21. Alexandra

     /  July 1, 2015

    So sorry. Hugs.

  22. My deepest condolences on the loss of your boy. I am so very sorry.

  23. LH

     /  July 1, 2015

    So sorry. How heartbreaking for you and your children.

  24. acidicice

     /  July 1, 2015

    Sorry for your loss, C xx

  25. Ricky

     /  July 1, 2015

    Sjoe that was a bit long…

    • Apologise, I will do my utmost to keep them a bit shorter in future.
      Actually no I won’t ….. really? That is your comment on a blog post of this sort.

      Good luck and good bye.

    • Wow. That is the meanest comment I’ve ever read. 😦

    • Judy Schimper

       /  August 19, 2015

      Ricky, people like you should only be allowed to exist in an alternate universe along with the other emotionally retarded human beings (like Hank) who could never feel love, compassion or empathy for another living creature. Actually, a place like that exists – it’s called Hell. Please go there.

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