It’s been a while – The challenges of life; love and loss.

Yes, dear readers it’s been a while since i’ve posted.  The past year has been full of many challenges for the SuziWong family which have kept me away tending to our family.  Life is a challenge for everyone and it’s no different for us.  Some of the challenges have been met head on and others are on-going, but fear not, life while at times difficult, is still filled with joy.  This first post in nearly a year is about one of hardest challenges we’ve faced as a family; there have been a few, but this is one I felt I could share.  About this time 14 years ago, this lovable bundle of yellow fur came to our family.  His breeder named him fatso, which MrSW66 morphed into fat-arse.  Generally, this bundle of joy was called Casper….and yes he was a really was a bundle of joy.

Casper came to us when we lived in Brisbane’s southside in 1997. Miss18 was 4 and Miss 21 was 7.  MrSW66, Miss18 (then Miss4) and I drove a good hour or more to pick him up.  He drove home in a plastic washing basket and luckily didn’t vomit once.  Over the years Casper got bigger and bigger.  But no matter how big he got, he was still a joyful member of our family.

He was still our dear sweet boy…we just couldn’t pick him up anymore.  Then as the years went by it was apparent that he was becoming an older boy.  He had greying around his muzzle and nose.  He was still our beautiful boy, joy a little slower…unless food was involved ha ha.

Then suddenly, in what seemed like one day, he became and old old man.  His once rich yellow coat was fading, he had geriatric fat cysts on his tummy, his eyesight and hearing were deteriorating, he suffered arthritis and bowel incontinence and slept a lot.  He was still our beautiful boy but it was apparent his body was failing him.

Once our dear sweet boy’s back legs failed him and he could no longer get up without help, we knew that we had to make ‘that’ decision. You know the one…the one we all dread, the one that sets a deep sorrow in our hearts…the one that make us yearn for the hands of time to turn back; even just a few years so we don’t have to say goodbye.  Even though you know it’s the right decision your sorrow covers you in a blanket of pain.  On the 23rd of May, 6 days before he turned 14, we said goodbye to our shining star, Casper.

Even now, 6 weeks since we said goodbye, I still think about him daily.  The tears of sorrow are getting less frequent; now I can think about him, talk about him and look through the pictures of him with tears of joy and thankfulness that he enriched our lives for 14 wondrous years.  It’s still hard to go out the back door; i must admit i still avoid going out there because it’s just not right without him to greet me when i open the screen door.  There’s no yellow bandit stealing the chillies off the bushes!

Our family isn’t right without a four legged member; we all feel it keenly.  And given this we decided that we would look for another Labrador boy to come and be a part of our family.  In mid June I began ringing registered Chocolate Labrador breeders around the country; there has been a plethora of litters this winter.  I happen to come across a breeder in Ballarat, Victoria who felt ‘right’.  Her name is Ruth Bone.  Her first litter had already been born in early June and she was expecting a second litter on the 18th of June from her dam Carlotta and sire Remmy.  Just as it is important for families to feel ‘right’ about breeders, it is important for breeders to feel ‘right’ about the families that they place their puppies in.  At 3:45 am on the morning of the 18th of June, we received an email informing us that our chocolate boy had arrived over-night and both mother and her 7 babies were doing well.  Of course I woke the family up with the news! We were over-joyed.  We were hoping that this litter would have a boy for us and lady luck was shining upon us because he was the only boy in the litter.  Ruth sends us regular emails updating us on little Wilbur Atticus’ progress…In reality he’s not so little…he’s the biggest, being the boy. And of course being the biggest of the litter helps little puppies muscle their way through the tangle of little bodies for first dibs of mum’s teats.

We are in love with him already.  He is heart stoppingly gorgeous.  Looking forward to Wilbur’s arrival has helped my sorrow be a little less sharp.  It’s been 14 years since a baby was in our family and the wonder of new life has us preparing for Wilbur’s arrival with an excitement that is unmatched.  Puppy toys, treats, beds, shampoos and conditioners, crates, training philosophy’s, collars and leads  are being carefully researched and sourced as if Wilbur was the only puppy on earth LOL

Even MrSW66 has Wilbur fever; he has a picture of him as his iPad background!  The advent of digital technology will allow us to record Wilbur’s life in pictures and video from even before his birth and I think this pup could end up being the most photographed dog ever hahaha  I am considering giving him his own blog page on the website so he can regale the world with his adventures.

What do you think readers?  Should Wilbur entertain the world with his life’s adventures?  I have read some fabulous blogs written by dogs and one of my favourites is that is written by  Honey, a six year old Great Dane who currently lives in Newcastle.

The circle of life keeps turning but some shining stars leave a trailing blaze behind them.  Casper was one of those shining stars; he enriched our lives with his special uniqueness.  He will be loved forever and never forgotten.

Casper Montgomery Langford

29/5/1997 – 23/5/2011




New layer…


This entry was posted in family.

4 thoughts on “It’s been a while – The challenges of life; love and loss.

  1. Hi Tara,
    such sad sad news that you lost your wonderful black girl. It’s a heartbreaking experience. It’s been almost 3 months for us now and we still miss Casper keenly; i’m not sure I’ll ever stop missing him, he was so so special. It took me 10 weeks to be able to go to our vet surgery to drop off a thank you card and collage photo of Casper’s life. I finally went; and cried from the moment i spoke to the nurse. On other news, Wilbur arrived by plane 5 days ago (12/8). Oh boy, i’d forgotten what it was like having a baby in the house haha He is joyous! He has two buttons; stop and very fast. I’n between sleeping, eating, pooping and playing he’s planning his ‘arrival’ blog post; keep us bookmarked. He starts puppy school in 10 days and i can imagine he’ll lots to say on his blog about that! Please come back and share news of your new black bundle of joy when he/she arrives; I hope he/she helps ease the pain you’re experiencing now. xx

  2. Susie, that’s a wonderful tribute to Casper, what a great dog. I am also lost without my girl, she was a black lab, I lost her on July 5, she was 14 1/2, I lost her to the dreaded cancer. It is incredibly hard everyday without her, I never imagined my life without her. It still feels like I should turn around and her be there…
    How you say it family isn’t right without a four legged family member I totally agree. As much as I think how could I love another, I miss having a waggy tail when I come home, and how I miss the walks oh dear. I am also waiting for a new black bundle of joy.
    All the best with Wilbur, I love the name and he is just beautiful.

  3. Thank you Cynthia,
    Wilbur’s blog will hopefully be up and running in time for his arrival on the 12th of August. We can barely contain our excitement. So keep us bookmarked and get ready for Wilbur’s adventures.

  4. Vale Casper. A wonderful tribute SuzieWong. I say that definitely Wilbur should entertain the world with his adventures. May they be many over many many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *