The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Sad story, happy ending

Our neighbour’s very old dog died. Well, worse, they had to have her put to sleep in their home. She was very old and developed dementia. Did you know dogs suffer from dementia?


Our neighbour looked gaunt with grief. I was really worried about her. Losing a pet can be traumatic for some people and our neighbour took it very badly. Also, when you actually get the vet to kill a creature you love, it’s even more dreadful.

Our neighbour was used to walking two dogs. Now, daily, she was walking out with only one. So she offered to walk our dog too. Everyday she went out with one creamy white pretty girl dog and one handsome black and tan boy dog. She began to look less devasted with grief as the days progressed.


In another town near here, someone unknown died in their home with their little dog mourning beside them. They remained undiscovered for quite some time. No one knows how long. It must have been a long time because the dog was in a frightful condition when it was finally rescued. It needed urgent loving care.

This little dog has come to live with our neighbour to nurse. They have adopted her.

They have called the little grieving dog ‘Maisie.’

Maisie was just quivering skin and bones when I first saw her. Maisie was a wreck, no question. But Maisie is filling out. Every day she is coming alive and beginning to look like a happy dog. She is an intriguing little thing. I like her. She’s going to be a ‘character’ dog. I suspect she’s got all sorts of genes in her. But she looks like a kind of small Jack Russell with long spindly legs.

Bass is good with all dogs. He just likes dogs. He likes everyone, humans too actually! So now he now goes out daily with two creamy white girl dogs dressed in little red jackets. They make a really good looking dog team for walking with. Now that Maisie has settled in, our neighbour even lets them off their leads in safe places. They all come back when called.

It’s wonderful what love can do.



Since last year, I have gone to pot. I used to make notes, record my weight, blood sugar and what I had eaten. Sometimes, I might jot down an idea for a blog post.

But for some reason, all discipline has evaporated.

I couldn’t be arsed any more. (English term meaning couldn’t be bothered)

Mr Furlong and I are having trouble with our memories. The most common phrases used in our home are “Can’t remember” or “I don’t know”.

Without Mr Furlong, I’d have trouble writing anything at all. For when I can’t remember a word, a name or the spelling, there’s a chance that he can.

One morning recently, he stood in my doorway in his very smart navy blue pyjamas looking very dapper and refreshed from a good nights rest. He made an observation which was very funny.

We fell about laughing.

I said “Oh, that would make a wonderful blog post!”

I should have written it down, but I didn’t.

But now when I ask him what it was he said, he can’t remember.

And neither can I.

Our minds are BLANK.


Different kinds of strokes

Mr Furlong has had a stroke. He is in the stroke unit.

He had a rough time.

But I cannot understand different strokes.

I had a post partum stroke after my last baby. I was only thirty six. I also could not speak, but for different reasons. My stroke was on the right. It paralysed my muscles. There was no pain. Anything to do with muscles was affected.

Mr Furlong could not speak. His stroke is on the left. He spoke gobbledeegook. Aphasia it’s called. I once taught computers to Aphasia stroke students. Both kinds of strokes are frighteningly frustrating. But Aphasia strokes leave one able to nod yes or no. But they produce intense pain. Intense!

Why is that?

I thought the brain felt no pain?

Our children were so speedy getting Mr Furlong to hospital, that he arrived there while the stroke was still in progress. No ambulance could have done better. Mr Furlong was well morphined up on arrival and cannot remember much. Some things are not worth remenbering.

Our neighbours have been fantastic as usual. One tried to take the dog for a walk. But after a short while he refused to go any further and dragged her back home here. The dog spends long meditative moments gazing at Mr Furlongs chair. I wonder what he is thinking?

The good news is that Mr Furlong is speaking. He might come home soon. Tomorrow would be nice.

The dog and I would like that.


Blogging – less is more

I’ve just been reading a site about a blogging routine.

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I’ve done this silly thing TWICE

In my forties, I got my age wrong. I thought I was turning a year older than I was. It was only when I mentioned how old I was to my mother that she pointed out I was year younger. I MADE a year! It seemed like a nice birthday gift. Continue reading