TRIBUTE (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

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There is no easy way to deal with losing a much loved family pet. We can never forget or replace the radiant place that our Staffords hold in our hearts. What we do though is hold on tight to the memories of how they taught us to live, love and laugh. Overall we thank them. We thank them for their ever constant love, loyalty, companionship and soulfulness. In fact we truly consider ourselves the lucky ones.
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DOT - WILLSPRIDE WALSALL WENCH

 
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RIPLEY - CH WILLSPRIDE COCKNEY REBEL

 - Standing in the light till it's over - Out of our minds - Someone had to draw a line - We'll be coming back for you one day -

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BRONTE - PEPSTAFF GIVE IT TO ME

- In my dreams you were perfect - When I woke you were perfect -

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STELLA - CH HAVASTAFF STELLA SEDGELY

 - And our worlds came crashing around - And the Angels fall from the sky -

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BESS - BROOKSHIRE MIDWAY MAIDEN

 - The brightest light always shines for the shortest time -

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Bess continually lived life with monsters not lurking far behind. And we lived life constantly wondering if the next seizure would be today, tonight, next week or even next year.

The nightshift was the worst. Bess’ owner slept with his slippers and dressing gown at the ready at the base of his bed, desperately hoping that he would be awake and in time to comfort his companion when a seizure attacked. I will not mention the psychological effects of missing an attack had on her very dedicated owner.

We celebrated every day that passed without a seizure, rejoiced when a week went by without an attack and were absolutely delighted if an entire month passed without incident. Unfortunately this dormancy wasn’t to last and looking back, the monsters were only playing games.

As the seizure subsided, the monster also faded, but it viciously reminded us that he will return again – unannounced and unwelcome. Unfortunately on each sickening visit it cruelly ravaged our beautiful girl piece by painful piece. Bess was a strong girl, not only in personality but sheer determination. Alas, the strong weaken and the weak succumb.

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Sadly the good months without seizures were declining. They were not only increasing in frequency but also in their severity. We feared that the seizures would give her temporary blindness and disorient her causing her to pace the room and continuously bump into walls and furniture and not know her name. We feared that the recovery to her normal mischievous self would take from several hours to several days. We feared that the next seizure would be the last. We cried. We grieved. We always asked: "Why us?" and we rephrased it to "Why Bess?"

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We researched the disease. We learnt. With learning came understanding and hope. With understanding came the ability to live with and control and the possibility of overcoming fear. We had to deal with our fear, if we didn’t - we couldn’t help. We didn’t let the fear of epilepsy control our lives. We faced the facts - Bess had epilepsy. We faced the fact that there is no cure - yet.

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We don’t fear epilepsy now – education took away that fear. We do however loathe it. We despise that it was slowly wasting a beautiful 3 year old Stafford. Hatred of the disease replaced our fear.

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In addition to this, we always played the "What if" game. What if we go out for dinner and she has a seizure and we are not there to comfort her when she is given back to us by the epilepsy beast? What if emergency help is not available? What if we cannot give Bess the quality of life that we want her to have? What if? What if? What if?

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However, what we were dreading did eventually become reality. The "What ifs" were here. Bess had a cluster of Grand Mals on Saturday. In this type of seizure, the dog loses consciousness, collapses and becomes rigid. Paddling of legs and champing of jaws also occur. The victim may also foam at the mouth or vocalize. These particular seizures can build momentum with each episode which they did with Bess. As she was coming from a seizure another was waiting to cripple her again. And again. And again. And again. As a result of these seizures Bess’ co-ordination was erratic, not fully recognising those that love her and no longer responsive to stimuli. 

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The “What if” game has now finished with the very saddest of endings. Bess lost her battle on in the 25th June 2007.

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Sweet dreams baby doll - no more monsters or scary times for you sweetheart. Run amok at the Bridge like you should and remember Bess, the brightest light always shines for the shortest time. We'll be coming back for you one day.

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Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in - Mark Twain

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