From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Monday, 31 October 2011

Two Weekends

Despite how it may seem sometimes, Anne and Martine are not joined at the hip!  Take this weekend, for example......

I had a hectic weekend of dressage organisation planned, and it fully lived up to expectations.

South Munster Dressage were bringing in an English judge and trainer, Nikki Herbert, to hold a dressage clinic on Saturday and judge at a show the following day.  The clinic and show were both to be held at Cashelane Stud, which is an amazing facility perched on the edge of the sea in West Cork - about two hours drive from where I live, but worth the trip!  The plan was to travel down to Cashelane on Saturday with Flurry, have a lesson with Nikki and then compete in two classes on Sunday.

The Indoor at Cashelane

Nikki (who is an old friend via Silver Spurs) was due in on Friday around 7pm, but her flight was delayed - she finally got in around midnight after spending a delightful six hours in Birmingham airport!

Worse still, on the drive home from the airport the jeep's brakes failed!  I thought they felt pretty spongey driving over, but on the way home I braked to take a turn while going downhill and nothing happened.... and nothing happened.... and nothing happened... and finally they took hold halfway across the junction!  Fortunately, I wasn't going fast and there was no other traffic, but the bad news was, I wasn't going to able to bring Flurry to Cashelane next day.

I still managed to have a lesson with Nikki at home though, and, despite the rain and wind, it was great.  She has years of experience teaching Pony Club kids, which gives her a great insight into "ordinary" riders so she was really good at explaining stuff and helped me a lot with canter strike off - we managed to do a couple of strike-offs where Flurry stayed round - there is hope for me yet!

George sorted out a rental car first thing in the morning so we would actually be able to travel.  We got to Cashelane shortly after 2pm and Nikki did a couple more lessons there, which all of the riders involved really enjoyed.  

While she was teaching, I was taken to the house where I would be overnighting.  It's one of nine houses on the grounds of Cashelane which are rented out as holiday homes and it's the sort of place where you walk in and go WOW! 
Conservatory Dining room

Living room

The view from the back - the grey line on the horizon is Sheep's Head.
It would be plain to see on a clear day
A bunch of ladies from West Cork riding club were having a club camp and had been there for two nights already.  We had a lovely evening, with dinner cooked by former chef Carla - various curries and THREE desserts(!!) with plenty of wine, followed by lounging around chatting and watching X-factor - a relaxing way to spend the evening before a hectic day.

Sunday was busy - we had seventy tests scheduled in one arena, so the show was running from just before nine to just after five.  

I did a lot of scribing, which I always enjoy,  and some scoring whenever someone else sat in to scribe for a class.

The Judge's Viewpoint

Nikki gives loads of helpful comments which all the riders appreciated although the scribe didn't quite feel the same way about it - my right hand was aching by the end of the day!

This is the show organiser Susi showing how it should be done :

Of course we ended up running late and didn't finish up until nearly six.  Then it was time to say goodbye to Nikki (who was staying with another friend for the night) and return home.

I was disappointed I didn't get to ride Flurry in such a nice place, but there's always next year.


Well this weekend was all about Irish Guide Dogs, who were raffling a Ford Focus Titanium to raise much needed funds, over 80% of the money we need comes from donations.

Anne Roxy and the car

So on Saturday we were on Patrick Street, Roxy all dressed up in her puppy walking jacket, in front of  "the car" selling raffle tickets. It soon became apparent that trying to sell tickets , handle change, and control a young dog, on a very busy , noisy, street was not working too well, so we teamed up with Margaret, who approached people and sold the tickets while Roxy and I just approached people. "Support Irish Guide Dogs" was our chant, and most people couldn't resist!

Well earned rest

After 2 hours of selling Roxy was exhausted but I wanted to see my daughter dancing at Woodford Bourne, so we trundled off down Patrick Street, but Roxy, who is only 9 months old, was showing signs of stress, imagine an overtired 2 year old child, and you'll be close! So, best go home, I thought, heading for Paul Street Shopping Centre and their car park, and there we met the Zombie Parade, upwards of 50 zombies, screaming, roaring and groaning, giving way to the odd "Ah look at the cute dog."  Roxy handled it all very well, got into the car, snored and slept all the way home, and then slept some more.

Well that's the end of our raffle duties I thought, then on Sunday morning I got a call from IGDB, would I be available Sunday evening for the raffle draw at the Metropole.  As Martine says, I would go to the opening of an envelope, so eight o'clock Sunday evening saw us heading into town once more !

The Deputy Lord Mayor was drawing the winning ticket, and afterwards came the photo shoot. Roxy played a blinder and sat up on a table with the Deputy Lord Mayor hanging on tight to her, while I tried to keep her attention vaguely in the direction of the camera. Can't wait to see the pictures, should be in the Independent tomorrow.

The raffle was a huge success, the figures will be published later at and I will add more photos when I get them.

Well we raised over 55,000 euros a big THANKYOU to all who bought tickets.
Here's a picture of Roxy at the draw courtesy of Patrick Hogan/Provision
Roxy with (L-R) Eddie Murphy (MD Ford), Padraig Mallon (CEO Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind), Deputy Lord Mayor Of Cork Kenneth O'Flynn

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Let the preparations continue.....

Weather here is foul today, so a good opportunity to make the Christmas cake and mincemeat. The ingredients are quite cosmopolitan, glacé fruits from Kerry Apt Union and almonds from the market both in Apt near Céreste, quince from Granada in Spain, suet from good Irish beef, oranges from South Africa, apples from the garden, eggs from my own hens, Calvados from Normandy, via Mammouth hypermarché in Manosque, pineau des Charentes, from Janine in Céreste, and the rest of the ingredients from Dunnes Stores!

The Naked Cake

The cake will be liberally doused with more Calvados and Cognac before it makes the journey to France, where it will be iced and decorated.

Mincemeat in the making

The mincemeat will be bottled up and will mature nicely over the next few weeks.
Mixed and ready to go

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday Weather Watch

I know where I'd rather be next week!

I have to admit, though, that this October really hasn't been too bad.  Ok, we had a couple of very wet days, and Dublin had a really awful day on Monday with 7cm (2.75inches) if rain falling in a couple of hours.  But we've also had some really mild weather, and we've even hacked out with no coats on this week - pretty unusual for the end of October.  Flurry's clip has done the trick and he is now coping with work much better, even on the very mild days.  His hair is already growing back - I might even need to clip him again before we leave!

We were greeted with a light frost this morning, which Anne recorded for posterity:
First frost of the season, sign of things to come ?

I'm off to the far reaches of West Cork for the weekend, for a South Munster Dressage training day on Saturday and a day of competition on Sunday.  I'll be bringing the rain gear!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wagons to the Rescue!

At noon today, I was returning from my weekly lesson in Skevanish when I got a call from Dave-the-Vet.  I thought he was calling to remind me that he has Cookie's passport waiting to be picked up, but no, it was something else.

He had been called by the local ISPCA inspector to a derelict farm near Bishopstown, where there was a foal which was giving cause for concern.  The owners had agreed to relinquish it to the ISPCA, but they needed someone to collect it ASAP and take it to the shelter at Mallow, The Victor Dowling Equine Rescue Centre, a forty five minute drive away.  Was I doing anything?

Unfortunately, Dave knows I'm a soft touch.

My one concern was that we have a very unusual French make of horsebox, with a logo on the side giving details of George's photography website and his phone number.  I was afraid the owners of the foal might cause trouble and we would be an easy target to track down.  The ISPCA inspector gave assurances that the owners weren't too concerned and all would be well.

I thought of my plan to hack out Tansy's horse at 2pm and my 4pm appointment to pick out wardrobe doors and handles....  No Dave, I said, I'm not doing anything!

So, having dropped Flurry home, I continued to Bishopstown, expecting to be met with a very thin black and white cob type - I even threw an extra large headcoller into the trailer in case it was needed - those cobby types tend to have very big heads!

This is what met me!

The poor little guy was so thin you could see every vertebra in his back bone.  Dave reckoned he was less than six months old.  Lisa, the ISPCA inspector, had named him Ernie.  She had been keeping an eye on him for a couple of weeks - he had "appeared" in the grounds of the derelict farm about four weeks previously.  There were three other horses there - all cob types, and all in good condition - but Ernie was not able to compete for the feed they were being given, and there was no vegetation left so he was slowly fading away.   Having seen a big deterioration in him since her last visit, Lisa decided it was time to act.  The owners materialised while she was waiting for Dave to turn up, and although they seemed happy to turn him over, experience has taught her that she had to get little Ernie out straight away.  The ISPCA jeep was already being used on another call, so Dave thought of me!

I needn't have worried about Ernie being difficult to load - although he was very subdued, he walked willingly up the ramp into the trailer, and started nibbling on the haylage Flurry had spilled on the floor.  He was so small, his poll didn't even come up as far as the breast bar at its lowest setting!

I drove to Mallow, going nice and easy on turns and stops, but either he was so little I couldn't feel him moving or he stood quietly for the whole trip.  He'd eaten nearly all the haylage, anyway!

It was nice to see him settled into his new home, and good to know he'll be safe and protected for life.

Lisa the ISPCA inspector was an old acquaintance - she was the veterinary nurse in the practise where Scamp was a regular for many years!  She remembered Scamp, and was delighted to hear she had made it to such a great age.  We had a good "catch up" session and I was given a tour of the shelter - they have some really nice horses and ponies there - some of them are on the ISPCA rehoming page

Then I headed back home and made it to the wardrobe shop only an hour late but smelling somewhat horsey!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Crazy Scheme

It all started because I was looking for information on routes we could plan on riding in the Lubéron region. 

France is extremely well served with walking routes, known as Grande Randonnées, or GRs for short. Many, if not all, of these are open to horses as well. I did the obvious thing, and googled “grande randonnée map”

What came up was something like this, although I've left out quite a few GR routes. (I can’t reproduce the one that actually came up because of copyright issues)

I sat and looked at this and went “Ooh look!  You could go from here…. to there… and there…. ohhhhh… I wonder could we ride all the wa…. no, that would be daft….” and carried on searching for routes in the Lubéron.

Over the next few days, though, I kept thinking about the map.  I revisited it several times and plotted possible routes across France.  I trawled through some google searches and came up with loads of long distance riders, many of whom had covered immense distances on horseback.

Even though I knew it was mad, I decided to talk to Anne about it.  The conversation went like this :

Me:            I know this is a really crazy idea, but do you think there’s any way we could ride part of the way back home across France?
Anne:         Martine.  I have dreamed of doing that my entire life.
Me:            Well.  Let’s do it so. 

There followed some discussion revolving around dogs, husband and when exactly we’d do it.  Initially we thought we might do it in 2013, but GiGi’s age is a little against her – she is thirteen now – and Anne’s age is.... no impediment whatsoever, so the long and the short of it is, we’re doing it in Spring next year.

We feel we need a support driver, who will tow the trailer from point to point and be there to rescue us should one of the horses have a problem.  George, the dear Long Suffering Husband, was our Number One choice.  He managed to rearrange a few things in work and freed up the last three weeks of April.  He will spend the days roaming around the French countryside with his camera while Anne, myself, and our trusty horses slog up hill and down dale.

What about the five dogs who are accompanying us to France?  We’ve worked out a plan of course!  Roxy is due to go into training the first week of April – in fact, Anne has promised to have her on the first Brittany Ferries sailing of the season, from Roscoff into Cork.  Anne will also take her own Fionn and my Molly back – she’ll have her hands full on that trip, but at least it’s a relatively short journey, and all three dogs are pretty well behaved.  Fionn and Molly will be cared for by our wonderful daughters at home, and Cookie and Cinnamon will accompany George while he’s following us across France.

Because we are limited to three weeks, our aim is to cover 500km, with a rest day each week.  This gives us a target of nearly 30km (18.5miles) per day, which should be quite doable, so long as we stick to fairly easy ground.   This also makes some allowance for GiGi’s age – she has not had a hard life by any means, but we both feel that the horses’ welfare must take priority throughout the trip, and, at fourteen, she will be just barely on the wrong side of “the Prime of Life.”

We’ve had a look at prospective routes, and our number one choice at the moment is the GR 36, which runs from Caen in Normandy all the way down to the Spanish border near Perpignan.  I've marked the possible beginning and end of our journey.

View GR 36 in a larger map

Here are a couple of more detailed maps from  You can see how much it winds around.
We'd be starting at Cahors and travelling to Périgueux (231 km approx)

GR36 De Périgueux (Dordogne) à Cahors (Lot) at EveryTrail

Then from Périgueux to Niort (approx 300 km)
GR36 De Niort (Deux-Sèvres) à Périgueux (Dordogne) at EveryTrail

and from there to Sarthe, near Le Mans (approx 200 km), via Saumur, with it's tremendous equestrian history
GR36 De Yvré l'Evêque (Sarthe) à Niort (Deux-Sèvres) at EveryTrail

EveryTrail - Find hiking trails in California and beyond

Astute mathematicians will have spotted that this adds up to nearly 700km.  We've noticed this too, and we intend to whittle it down.

By happy coincidence, the GR 36 brings us through some really good wine growing regions and perilously close to Cognac.  I wonder what is the law about drinking and riding in France?

We’re still researching routes and aren’t fully committed to the GR36 yet – we’re also looking at the GR 3, which runs from the Massif Central through Tours all the way to Nantes. It may be tougher than we'd like, though, with its mountainous start.

The final thing we both agreed on is that we want to do this with a purpose.  Regular blog followers will know that Anne has been puppy-walking for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind for nearly four years now. 
Dash is a Guide Dog,
Dash as a wee lad
Abe is a companion dog for an elderly lady
Abe as a young man
and Reece is an Assistance dog for an autistic boy and his family.
The handsome Reece

We have both been particularly touched by the way in which the Assistance Dog program improves the quality of life of not only the child who receives a dog, but also of their entire family.

With this in mind, we plan to use our trek across France to raise money towards the Assistance Dog Program run by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.  We’ll provide a “donate here” button on the blog closer to our departure date, but at the moment, if you want to help this worthy cause, the IGDB donations page is here :

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday Weather Watch

Well it looks like some rain is going to fall in the Luberon next week!  But I suspect more rain will fall in Cork.

It's interesting to see there is a much bigger fluctuation in temperature in Cereste - I expect that'll become more pronounced as Winter proceeds.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

To Rug or not to Rug

Normal Cereste winters are ideal for horses – very cold at night-time (-8 C and colder) and quite warm in the daytime (low teens and higher).  Add very low amounts of precipitation into the equation, and it’s perfect weather for keeping a hairy cob out of doors with no rug.

What horses don’t like is persistently wet, windy weather – the Irish winter climate, in other words.  They have a built-in ability to fluff up their hairs, trapping a layer of air which helps to further insulate them from the cold, but when they are soaking wet they can't do this.
What horses don't like

I've been determined to keep Flurry unrugged this winter in preparation for the trip to France.  This means I absolutely won't clip him, as he'll need all his hair to keep him warm at night when he gets to Cereste.

Anne, on the other hand, had no intention whatsoever of keeping GiGi unrugged.  GiGi grows a very light winter coat and will undoubtedly need a rug to see her through the cold nights in Cereste, and Anne intends to take it off her during the warmer hours of daytime.

So I've been praying for a dry Autumn, and in fairness it hasn't been too bad down here in the South.  However, I'd forgotten just how much horses love to roll!  And Flurry sure does love to roll - he finds the muckiest spot he can find in the field and plasters every inch of himself in a thick coating of mud.  This means that I’m facing a horse shaped creature with armadillo-like armour made of dried mud every morning.  By the time I finish scraping it off to ride him, I’m exhausted, coughing and caked in dust.
Armadillo Horse
 a closer look at the "armour"

Anne, meanwhile, started rugging GiGi ten days ago, and has been laughing at Denis and I as we spend hours scraping muck off our horses every day.

I cracked a couple of days ago and put Flurry's rug on him.  Life is too short to spend half an hour every single day chipping a horse out from the clay cast he's wrapped around himself.

I still have to clean this bit even when he's rugged!

But I was still determined not to clip him.  

Last week, the weather was very mild and he was sweating a lot when I rode him, but the forecast was for temperatures to drop by 8 to 10 degrees (C) this week, so I figured he'd appreciate his extra hair once the cold air hit.  I started feeding him an electrolyte supplement to make up for the salts he's losing in perspiration, but otherwise there wasn't much I could do about it.

The cold weather duly arrived this week - not quite freezing, but it's the first real taste of winter.

Flurry and I have had a busy week so far.  

Working on canter at home
I had a lesson in Skevanish with visiting trainer Andy FitzPatrick on Monday.  We did some trot work, with transitions and leg-yielding, and a fair bit of work in canter.   I'm close to cracking it.  Andy's advice was to keep asking Flurry to push more with his hind legs "Think Medium canter," he kept saying, and both Flurry and I worked really hard for the 45 minute lesson.

We both sweated up a lot after that one.

On Tuesday, Anne, Denis and I took the horses down to Ballinhassig village and back -  a distance of nearly 9 kilometers, with a steep uphill section on the way back.  We did a lot of walking, but trotted up most of the hilly sections.
It was cold and breezy, but I was nice and toasty with my coat on.  Poor Flurry sweated up a lot again - behind his ears, down his neck and chest, under the saddle, on his flanks and between his hind legs.

On Wednesday, we were back in Skevanish for our regular lesson with Frank.  It was another cold day, 8C according to my jeep's thermometer.  Despite the cold, Flurry once again sweated up hugely, and finished the lesson soaked from his ears to his haunches.

Enough is enough.  I had to put his welfare in our current environment ahead of his welfare in a future environment.  The hair had got to go.

I've not only cracked, I've done a complete 180.

He's now modeling a very stylish bib clip and wearing his rug.

We'll cope with the Cereste climate when we get there.  Chances are, Flurry will have grown all his hair back by then anyway.

Nearly there - just the lower half of his head and behind
his ears to do

All done, and enjoying a day off today!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Let the preparations begin

Polly and I are heading to France before George and Martine, in fact we're going for Christmas.

So today I made a start on the food I am bringing. It has been a tradition in our family, since I was a child, to pickle shallots for Christmas, Dad grew the shallots, and Mum made the pickling vinegar and bottled them. So every year I do the same in memory of my Mum, sorry Dad so far my efforts at growing shallots have been a failure.

The crab apple jelly is my own addition to the Christmas tradition. To follow shortly will be the mincemeat and Christmas cake.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Weather Watch

I can't complain about our weather for once, it's been a lovely week in Cork and over most of southern Ireland. Very warm - up to 17C - but a little cloudy. I can live with a little cloud!

I almost cracked and clipped Flurry - just a bib clip because he's soooo hairy and was really struggling in the heat all week. Then I looked at the forecast and decided he'd appreciate all that hair early next week!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

...and the other half goes to Andalucia

One of the things I have learned in life is never to go back somewhere you've had a fantastic time, as it is rarely so good the second time. So I was planning on spending part of this winter in Granada in Andalucia Southern Spain, and not returning to Céreste. But then Martine et al decided to go to Céreste and in fairness, it hardly took any persuading to get me back there after all. Especially with the lure of having a companion to go trekking with on my lovely horse Gigi.

But I couldn't get Granada out of my head, so I decided to take a short holiday there, and who knows, maybe winter 2012 will see me there.

I travelled with my good friend Ann, we've known each other since the late 70s but had never been on holiday with just the two of us. Ann had a lot to forgive, I forgot my driving license and despite numerous calls to the DVLA to get them to send a copy to Avis, something was lost in translation and Avis never received it. So Ann had to do all the driving, while I tried to navigate with a very cranky SATNAV called Karen, with whom I have visited some very interesting but unintended destinations in the past.

We stayed the first night in El Torro del Mar, having been led there by a lovely elderly Spanish couple in their car as Karen could find neither the street nor the hotel, then the next day we moved on to El Morche, to a lovely beach and spectacular sunsets. We liked this place so much we stayed for 2 nights and ate loads of tapas!

Then we moved onto a town called Nerja which we both really liked. In the morning we visited these spectacular caves well worth a visit if you're ever in Andalucia, then chilled out on the beach for the afternoon

Then we started our journey inland to Granada, stopping in this hacienda style restaurant/hotel at Iznajar overnight and visiting the National park. The hotel was on a lake that was part of a hydroelectric scheme, and from the town you could see this bridge that had been submerged by the dam. We explored the fortifications in the town which were Moorish in origin and built right into the rock.

 The next day we took the road for Granada, which had been my original destination, but I was so glad we took a few days to explore the surrounding countryside, as it is so varied and interesting. This pic is of  a traffic jam Andalucian style.

 En route we passed loads of these amazing white villages, some of them perched on top of hills, some nestled into the hillside.

 Finally we reached Granada and the Alhambra. It is best to book in advance  to avoid disappointment on the day. Here is the view from the gardens.

This one of the many spectacular sites inside the Nasrid Palace. The architecture here is totally different to the rest of the Alhambra and Generalife

Then it was time to head for Malaga and our flight home. We passed this very impressive Moorish Castle in Calahorra, but didn't have time to explore, looking at it on the web later, it is definitely a place to visit next time.

Our last Spanish dinner, young goat. Tasted very similar to lamb.

The last leg of the journey back to Malaga passed by Nerja and we found a great supermarket, olive oil, Serrano ham, chorizo, cheese and Cava. Then lazed in the sun and shade of these great umbrellas, ate a lovely lunch , swam a lot then sadly departed

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

For Map Geeks

I love maps.

We have a SatNav and Anne has the famous Karen, but you just can't beat opening up a map, searching for a place, then folding it up and opening it again the right way round... yup, I love maps.

Seriously though, looking at a map gives you an overview of where you are that is sadly lacking from a SatNav.  And while GoogleMaps is brilliant, nobody really wants to incur Data Roaming charges while they're abroad so it's a non-starter really.

So anyway, here's the first of what will probably be several maps.  This is our probable route from Cork, via Rosslare to Cherbourg and on to Cereste via Le Mans and Lyons.
Interestingly, GoogleMaps wanted to send us via Paris and the Peripherique.  Who in their right mind would want to do that!

View The Wagons' Route from Cork to Cereste in a larger map

When we get to Cereste, we'll post maps of any interesting rides we do, or even any interesting vineyard tours we do.

As for the return journey..... that's gonna be a whole different story!  Watch this space!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Weather Watch

You can see those night-time temperatures starting to drop in Cereste.  Meanwhile, look at the roundy yellow thing on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday which is missing from the Cork forecast!

Despite the cloudy/rainy image for Friday in Cork, it's been quite a nice day here.
View from Dee's garden.

Anne and I loaded up the horses and went off for a more adventurous hack in the Boggeragh mountains with Dee and Ed and their horses Captain Jake Morgan and Wilson.

Dee and Captain Jake Morgan
It's brilliant riding country up there - we had to do about a mile on a very quiet road, then we went into a Coillte forestry plantation and did a circular ride on the forest trails.

Flurry whispering sweet nothings to GiGi!
We went through a lovely stream :

There's a video of this which I'll add later when Dee sends it to me.

It's great to know that we can load up GiGi and Flurry and that they'll travel well together, and then come out of the box calm and happy to work when we get to our destination.

Thank you GiGi & Flurry!  And Dee and Ed for inviting us - we'll be back for that picnic ride in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Time to go

Bonnie struggled on valiantly after the op to remove four rotten teeth, and there were days when I convinced myself that she was getting better, but she was very up and down, and the ups were never as high as the downs were low. We increased the steroid dosage, mixed her food with boiled chicken and gravy, and kept the other dogs away from her so she could rest, but the night I had to carry her out to the back garden for her nightly toilet trip, I knew I was kidding myself. Here's a picture of Roxy with Bonnie, the fact that she allowed Rox to lie down with her was an indication.

Always a hard decision, to pick the moment before they are in pain, but not to send them on their way before they are ready to go. Here she is not long after the op begging for toast at breakfast.

Polly and I discussed it, then took her to the vet and discussed it some more. The decision was made, and when her leg was shaved for the injection, her skin was yellow, we had made the right decision, her liver was not functioning properly any more. So she passed peacefully in my arms with Polly stroking her, our friend and  companion for 16 years was gone.

The way we will always remember her.