Susie-Belle’s message continues
I know it may seem an odd thing to say, seeing as I’ve written two books about the life we share with our dogs, thus inviting thousands of strangers into our world, but, I’ve been overwhelmed by the many messages I’ve received since Susie-Belle’s death that show how her life has affected people. Within hours on Facebook, a quarter of a million people knew about her death. I had no idea how much she mattered, and to so many.
From across the world, people tell me that not only are they mourning her loss, in much the same depth as we are, but that they wish to do something in her memory that will change the lives of other dogs. This is remarkably special to me. It is the finest tribute to a dog who was once discarded as worthless but who determinedly shed her past to grow into the charismatic ambassador for puppy farm survivors that she remained until her last breath. And I now realise, and can allow myself to accept, that she continues this in death.
When I wrote the first book, I wanted to use Susie-Belle’s journey from trauma to peace to enlighten others as to what goes on in the puppy farming business. I never knew if anyone would be interested, but, the publisher John Blake took a punt, and fortunately, people have wanted to read it and to know a lot more too. Readers have taken the time to tell me how her story has opened their eyes onto a world they may have been aware of, but not fully grasped; how they now tell everyone they can about puppy farming and how to avoid supporting it.
And then there are those who write to tell me that it is Susie-Belle’s story and life that has encouraged them to adopt, in many cases ex-breeding dogs. Her legacy is a rich one, and Michel and I have been deeply moved as we’ve realised the extent of her influence. One we never could have imagined.
Yesterday on our Facebook page I received a message that epitomises the wonderment of Susie-Belle’s life and death. I was both humbled and happy by the news that another dog has been given a home in her memory. A dog who is yet one more victim of puppy farming. A dog who has suffered unbearably, but she will now have a life surrounded by nothing but love, comfort and safety. As all dogs should always be.
Read Mabel’s story and join in celebrating Susie-Belle’s legacy.