Hi, my name is Sue. At the beginning of 2016 I became seriously ill and only had a 50% chance of pulling through. I had a very long stay in hospital – 5½ months to be exact. During this time my five horses, four cats and dog Mason were taken into a rehoming centre. Now as you may be able to imagine, this almost destroyed me. These beautiful animals were my life, who gave me peace, love, fun and calmness. My world stopped in January 2016 and I won’t go into detail about my illness, but a year on, the threat of it coming back is a possibility. Whilst in hospital a dog appeared as a PAT dog – how I cried. I cannot put into words how much this meant to me. I told them about my dog, Mason, a big black Staffie. Next, they organised for a Staffie to come and visit me and my heart melted. He reminded me so much of Mason, I wondered if he was happy and whether I would ever be able to have, and care for, another dog – who knows the day may come then my world will change.
When I came out of hospital I was introduced to a lady called Veronica who visits people in my situation with a dog. I said yes straight away and a visit was arranged. To my great surprise Veronica turned up with Kara, the most stunning blue Staffie I had ever seen. Kara came in, and if anyone has owned a Staffie you will know how excited they can be. Kara came in slowly, calm but interested in where she was. I think she sensed how ill I still was. Kara is so gentle in her nature. I asked Veronica if there was anywhere Kara didn’t liked being stroked and if she would mind Kara coming on my sofa. Also if I could give her treats in a Kong ball so she has to look for them. Veronica said it was up to me if this was what I wanted and that Kara would be happy with a cuddle and stroke. I have fallen in love with this amazing dog who sits with me and lets me cuddle and kiss her and rub her tummy. Kara is amazing; she makes me cry with joy at being able to have her in my home. Kara doesn’t realise how special she is and the amazing voluntary work that ‘Our Special Friends’ does for people like me.
I so look forward to Veronica and Kara’s visits. They make me want to get out of bed and stop feeling sorry for myself, because over the year I have lost my animals and fallen into deep depressions. Now I have two fabulous friends; Veronica and I can talk the hind legs of a donkey whilst Kara sits there on my sofa chomping on her Kong and talking in her own ‘doggy language’. I’m stroking and cuddling her all the time and I thank them both with all my heart that you have allowed me to be part of their lives. Without ‘Our Special Friends’ I would have been so lonely. Everyone needs a Veronica and Kara in their lives.
(You may remember in the March Newsletter, Kara telling the story of her visits to Sue.)