Yesterday we went to a monkey sanctuary, which was just amazing. A small black monkey (I forget his name), blew kisses at me and squeaked when we talked away as he didn't want us to leave. Then we made friends with a Chimp called Ronnie, who used sign language to tell us to take off our hats and glasses, I was gobsmacked, he was such a clever animal. He then used sign language to tell us to take our tops off, which we obviously objected to, as I didn't really fancy getting topless for a chimpanzee... We ended the day by visiting by beautiful Henrhyd Falls, just up the road from Ystradgynlais in South Wales. If you ever come to Wales, a trip here is definitely worth it, as it's just so beautiful and you can even walk behind the waterfall. Picture of it below: 
(my crappy instagram photo doesn't do it justice!)

Heaven, help me...

In loving memory

As some of you may know, I got tattooed recently (seen below). Read on to find out the meaning behind it.
(if you're a dog lover, you may want to get a tissue ready)

(Tattoo by Aimee Cornwell at Swansea Tattoo Company, UK)

Last year I lost my dog Rocky, who to me was like a best friend, was my best friend. I had him at the age of 10 for a birthday present, and I went with my parents to collect him. I remember him being the most hyperactive puppy out of the litter, who kept jumping at me and licking me the most, so naturally I chose him. Last year in May, a few months before I turned 21 he started to become quite sick. My Mum woke me up one morning at 7am and was worried because Rocky was laying in the garden and wouldn't move. I ran outside in my pyjamas and went to his side, and tried to get him to move, and nothing would work. His stomach was incredibly swollen. My mother and I tried and tried to get him to come down to the house, but nothing would work. Dad was away working in North Wales, but we called to let him know and he said he would come straight home as obviously something was wrong. Mum called my brother and he came to the house as soon as possible, and only then did Rocky manage to move. Straight away we noticed he was having trouble walking on his hind legs. He was obviously in pain, but still continued to wag his tail and show affection when he was my brother. We finally managed to get him in the house and lay him down on his bed in the living room. It's all a bit of a blur after this, as the next few days were extremely upsetting and most of that time was spent crying on the floor while holding Rocky. I think the vet came that day to do a quick assessment and soon left, and told us to keep an eye on Rocky through the night, and if he showed no signs of improvement to take him to the vet the next day. As I said, the rest is a bit of a blur. I can't really remember what happened on the Thursday, apart from Dad coming home in tears and telling me that Rocky was bleeding from his spleen. I had to make a decision. he could either be operated on, and risk dying on the operating table, or he could stay with us through the night and be put to sleep the next day. I chose the latter. I couldn't bare the thought of my best friend dying on an operating table. We weren't sure if Rocky would make it through the night or not, as there was a chance he could die in his sleep. That day, we took Rocky up the garden so he could be out in the fresh air. I led on the grass with him and Bailey and took photos. The family had some final photos with him too, as we knew this was his last day with us. We tried to make him as comfortable and as happy as we could. I stroked his paw and kissed his soft ears. That night, he spent laying on his bed in the living room with my parents. I don't really show emotion around my family, so I spent the evening in my room crying, trying to prepare myself for what was to come the next day. My dad slept in the living room by Rocky's side that night. The next day, I woke early. My family were already awake. We each took it in turns to spend time with Rocky alone in the living room. I remember just laying next to him, stroking him and kissing him while tears ran down my face. Shortly after, we took Rocky out into the garden. We led him on his bed with a big blanket, to make him nice and comfortable. The air was warm and there was a soft breeze, any background noise I had earlier heard has just kind of faded into distant echoes. I sat there watching him and stroking him. Then after a while, the vet arrived. My stomach and my heart sank and I broke down. My brother and my mother hugged me, they were both crying, as was my father. The vet explained to my Dad that the injection would stop his heart within 5 seconds and that he would feel no pain. I leant into Rocky, and gave him one last kiss and held his paw. Just before the vet gave him the injection, he licked my Dad before putting his head back down. I held his paw and stroked it while he was given the injection and I watched the life leave his eyes. It was all over so fast but it seemed like an eternity. I just led next to him, holding him and crying for a few minutes, then my parents had to take me away from him. They covered him with his blanket and my brother and father started digging a grave. I went straight to my room and cried myself to sleep. A few hours later, they woke me back up and we buried him. We made sure he was wrapped up nice and warm. I put his lead and his favourite ball in the grave with him, along with a single rose, and said my last goodbye. That was it, he was finally gone...

A few days later, we went shopping to find flowers to place on his grave. Mum chose some nice ones, and I chose a rose bush to go in the centre of his grave. Even into the winter months, the rose was still flowering to our surprise, when it should have been dying. I guess you could say i'm a spiritual person, and to me it felt like it was Rocky's soul and spirit that was keeping it alive, and it was his way of telling me that he was still with me. 

And this is why I decided to get a rose tattooed on my arm, so that it's a constant reminder of my best friend. Some people might find it silly, but I know a lot of animal lovers (especially dog lovers) out there will know where i'm coming from. Animals really are a part of the family, and I know that I'll one day have to say goodbye to Bailey and Cosmo, and they will both have a space on my body for a memorial tattoo, too. I went with a traditional rose, as I find them the most aesthetically pleasing out of rose tattoos, and I love traditional tattoos as it is! But  anyway, I hope that blog post wasn't too sad for people to read haha. And once again, thank you to Aimee Cornwell for giving me such a beautiful piece of artwork on my body!