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  • Writer's pictureKim Atherton-Dow

February 2024

Hi everyone,

I am just popping into give a short update on some things here.

Well, 2023 was a challenging as well as rewarding year with emotional highs and lows. One of the lows was thinking we had lost our beautiful blind kitten Baby Belle. She was curled up in bed with us one morning, went down to the kitchen as usual, and when we awoke she had disappeared!

She was missing for many days and on Skye, with its changeable,(sometimes ferocious) weather and it’s large landscape we were also lost as we searched for her day after day. We were blessed with friends who travelled from other parts of the island to help search, and with neighbours who were actively looking wherever they could. But, it was hard not to feel lost ourselves and deeply upset. We couldn’t imagine how she could survive in the fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions. But, wonderfully she was found and we were so deeply grateful to all the community on Skye and she is doing fine! What a testament to community and that certainly shines on the island here.

We lost our beautiful boy Charlie in December, so just before Christmas. He had been quite ill for some time and it was time to let him go. We were grateful that the vet could allow us to say goodbye to him at home and he is buried in his favourite lookout spot in the garden. We miss him so, so much. He was a one-off, amazing rescue dog from Romania and we will never forget him.

I guess I talk about these things a lot because so many people go through all kinds of pet loss each year and it can be hard to show how much it affects us as its often not really recognised as true grief or hurt. But it does really hurt and so if you are going through anything like this believe that your pain is valid. And if I can do anything to help, please contact me. I was lucky; my workplace was wonderful and the people I have met there helped in both instances above with support in so many ways. Jean and I will be eternally grateful.

We do now have a rumbustious new addition to the family. I am afraid that was my fault. I saw his face and hoped that we could help him as he was about to be euthanised a day or so later. He is….we don’t know what breed of dog…but he has the largest paws in the land and is also from a hard background in Romania. His name is Merlin and we are working hard so that he can fit in permanently with our rather Heinz 57 varieties dog and cat household!

I hope that, so far, 2024 has been treating you all well. I do sincerely plan to be keeping on top of this blog a wee bit more diligently this year so hopefully you can follow more of our Skye stories and keep up with events in my interfaith ministry.

Brightest blessings,

Kim x

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