Auntie Yvonne and mums brother, Frances (also known as Frank) stayed with Mum at the hospital and had agreed to take her back to a hospital in Kent to get a second opinion. The doctors managed to keep her stable and her energy levels were slowly coming back up. So after a couple of days she was ready to leave. However, she couldn’t get any answers from the doctors. They couldn’t find where this sudden bleeding stemmed from and I was absolutely furious. ‘There has got to be something!’ I said to one of the doctors angrily. ‘These things don’t just happen for no reason at all. You obviously are missing something!’
Mum came back home. She was a little weak but I was so happy she was resting. Before she went back with Frances and Yvonne, we had to agree that we would have to give up the dog and send him to be re-homed. We got him from a breeder but I wasn’t sure if the lady was still breeding – or even alive.
It was very hard for all of us. We had him in our lives for 7 years and it was going to be so heartbreaking. But I knew it was the right thing to do. After looking for ages online, I eventually found a familiar phone number and email. ‘This might be it!’ I said to Max. ‘Yeah, phone her Kate. She might pick up’, he replied. I called the number and a lady with a gentle voice answered. I explained everything that was going on and asked if she would have him. There was a short pause. And then she said, ‘I’d be delighted. Of course I will have him back! Whenever you’re ready’. She must have remembered his name (I didn’t think she would).
The next day, Uncle Kevin kindly drove us to the house where she bred the dogs. As soon as she opened the door, the dog took a few sniffs and it was like he knew and remembered it was home because he started to suddenly dart inside the house and peed everywhere! ‘Oh my God! I’m so sorry’, Mum gasped with embarrassment. ‘Don’t be silly, it’s fine. They always do this – he remembers’, the lady laughed. We watched him wander about and make himself at home. The lady who went by the name ‘Annie’ made us all a cup of tea and we had a lovely, emotional conversation with her. ‘It was great to have met you Annie. Look after him’, Mum said tearfully. ‘Aaww! don’t you worry, he’ll be absolutely fine’, she replied with a big smile.
We made a quick move to the front door so he wouldn’t catch us leaving otherwise he would start getting anxious and pine for us. I turned around to look at her and I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew something…something we didn’t know yet. She seemed to have a look of deep concern. I tried not to overthink it and let it go over my head. I followed them to the car and we drove home.
Later that evening, Mum said that Frances was coming to pick her up in a few hours. She didn’t want to go but they strongly insisted and wouldn’t take no for an answer. ‘You’re not well, Theresa’. ‘Come with us so we can get to the bottom of this and you must take painkillers!’ I heard Yvonne say quite loudly on Mums’ mobile. ‘I strongly urge you to take paracetamol and then if this pain gets worse, double the dose with Ibuprofen’. Yvonne explained. They talked about even changing her diet to really bland foods for now, so the aggravation to her stomach will be avoided.
After a long stressful conversation talking to Yvonne on the phone, I looked at mum with her head in her hands. ‘I’m going for a cigarette now’, she let out a suppressed sigh. I really hated her smoking – even Max. But I suppose at this time, she really needed it. I watched her go to the balcony and left her be.
About an hour or so later, the bell rang. ‘They’re here!’ I called out. Mum walked to the door and let Frances and Yvonne in. She borrowed my small suitcase and quickly packed some clothes for a few nights. Max and I kissed her goodbye and hugged her so tightly. ‘Don’t start worrying, you two. I’ll be back soon and I’ll let you know what happens’. Max and I both looked at each other with apprehension. We followed them down to the car and watched them slowly drive away. I texted her straight away saying ‘ Love you lots mum, will miss you xxx’.
Max put his arm around me and we headed back up to the flat. It was so quiet without mum and even the dog. ‘This feels weird Max, I hope Mum will be alright..’
‘ I know’, he replied sadly. ‘I’m gonna really miss that dog..feels so horrible’. I went to lie down on the sofa and switched on the TV. I was staring into space – not even looking at the screen. I just couldn’t concentrate. The uncertainty and fear was making me feel very uneasy.
‘I’m hungry Kate, shall we get a pizza? Max asked poking his head over from the balcony. ‘Good idea’, I smiled.