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27 October 2015

Man's Best Friend

I was very close to not writing this blog post. It's one of those things some people just get, and others won't at all. And despite thinking it's too soppy or a little bit lame for Alice's Antics, writing is my outlet, and I think I could type and type and type about this. On Tuesday 20th October, our family made the decision to put down Lenny, our family dog of nearly 15 years.

We first bought Lenny home when I was 5. I can't actually remember a life before having a dog, but I know myself and my younger sister begged and begged for one. Until one day we were taken on a mysterious trip by our parents, to a house around the corner from my Uncles, where a dog had given birth to a litter of puppies. There were so many puppies. And me and my sister chose the one with the curliest coat of all the Labrador cross Irish Water Spaniel's, and he turned out to be Lenny. 

If you're unfortunate enough to have never experienced having a dog, imagine having a toddler. That kind of constant dependency, who loves you unconditionally but doesn't scream (may bark), and is a bit furrier.  Lenny is essentially said toddler of the Dodd family. And although he got older and greyer and a little bit less bouncy, he stayed loyal and dependent and mischievous. Even at 13 he ate my beautiful handmade 18th birthday cake from off of the table- candles included. In fact, he'd eat anything, even lettuce if the guinea-pigs were getting some.

(around his mouth is a halte not a muzzle, these are designed to prevent the dog from pulling 
 I've grown up for the last 15 years with a dog who has character. Who forces you into stroking him and nudges my bedroom door open in the morning if I'm still not up after 10. The only person not to have been pulled over by him at the sight of ducks is my 6'3 dad, and there have been countless times we've taken him to lakes or rivers, and seriously wondered if he'd ever get out of the water after a solid 3 hours of swimming. He hardly ever came back when you wanted him to and never fully grasped the concept of the returning part of fetch, but he was the most loyal companion our family could ever have wished for and growing up with him, I've never had any doubt in my mind how lucky I've been. How lucky we've been as a family.

It's so important to me this post isn't a depressing one. Animals bring so much joy into your life, it's almost impossible for me to think of a world without my dog in it, a house where we are a cat family instead of a dog one (don't get me wrong, we also love our cat..). And despite being absolutely distraught at having to say goodbye to Lenny,  we all knew it was time. I'm a hundred percent sure a lot of humans would prefer to die peacefully at home in their sleep, and knowing Lenny was able to do this surrounded by family eases everything that little bit more.

Having spent the rest of the week at home, I can safely say life isn't going to be the same for a long time. Even going to the beach brings back memories of not being able to get Lenny out of the water as he was half water spaniel- aka half fish. The amount of times he ran over to a group of children for affection, accidentally knocking over beautifully made sand castles, eating families picnics, or worse, peeing all over them.

When you bring home a dog, there's no way to prepare for how attached you'll grow. So many people have dogs, and yet your one is personal to you. They have their own character, their own quirks. It's so hard to put into words what it's like losing a pet to non-animal people so I do apologise if this is you. Despite this happening almost a week ago, none of us have particularly grasped what's happened. We all still go to save scraps of food and look into the living room where his bed would be when we come in. And right now everything hurts a lot, walking through the park, still finding balls around the house.  But there is not a single part of me that regrets any part of Lenny's life or death, and we are so lucky to have had a family dog follow us through everything for the last 15 years.

Lenny, furry canine member of the Dodd family Apr 2001-October 2015

Ciao for Now

Disclosure: Starting from 1st November, I will be posting every single Sunday and Wednesday without fail.

7 October 2015

The Truth About Blogging

I started a blog over two years ago. I'd been reading blogs for two years previous to my first ever post, and as an aspiring journalist at the time, I knew I was probably good enough to write a blog which would be read by people who didn't actually know me. I've kept a daily life diary since the age of 11, so commitment to writing didn't seem too daunting, and so far, I like to think I've done a reasonably good job. I'm not about to win any awards by any means, but I have a little following of fantastic readers (that's you), I still enjoy blogging, and so far the future of Alice's Antics is looking fairly consistent.

But if I'm being completely and utterly honest, I underestimated having and writing a blog. I was a tumblr human being from the ages of 14-17, and I did very well at it. Having a following of tens of thousands, if you know what you're doing, the Tumblr scene was very easy to slip into and have influence over. At the time, I didn't think about the influence I had and being surrounded by other internet humans who all had a large scale following, I never thought twice about it. As your average school girl, it excited me that people across the world knew who I was. I even got recognised a couple of times when out and about. And when I made the executive decision to go from Tumblr 'blogging' (a very blasé phrase used to describe the platform of shoving photos on an aesthetic website) to big girl blogging, I was under the same naïve impression that I would suddenly accumulate a following of thousands in a matter of weeks. The truth is, however, blogging is hard work.

Everyone knows, obviously, it's no walk in the park. Even non-bloggers ask me how I think of content, how I have kept up bloggings. And the truth is, there is a constant pressure of posting. I'm completely and utterly aware it's been over 2 weeks since my last blog post. I'm aware of how that effects my readership and my views, how people lose interest in inconsistent blogs. At the moment I'm going through a management life phase. I'm doing so much, I need to break everything into blocks, and where my blog has previously taken a backseat, I'm going to designate a weekly time to it. 

So hopefully this will be the end of the blogging hiatus' I keep taking. I'm thinking of writing a daily diary throughout November, to get me back into the swing of things. Louise is currently writing one and I feel like it's the perfect way to welcome you all back to Alice's Antics with open arms.

I hope you're all having wonderful weeks! 
Ciao for Now!

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