Is that possible? Every penny of my existence goes to support my dog.
This was my New Year break. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Bank Holiday, Nic was off sick. This meant that I had not only my horses but also hers. Every day it took 4 1/2 hours to clean out the horses. Then I poo-picked, filled water buckets and hay nets, fed the animals, saw the farrier, took in the horses, turned them out, and changed every rugs. My Swirly was a bit of a mess, as he does much head-waggling and prancing. He tries to get me out in the brambles.
I didn’t have time to get shopping or make dinner as I was also working as normal on the day job: writing. The cottage was my retreat and I’d return to feed the happy dogs. Teddy, the rescue collie, has settled well and enjoys his homemade human food and endless exercise with horses. He is never left alone. It was just as if I’d been free from my ex. Mary J. Blige immortalized it perfectly:
‘Broken heart again. Another lesson. It’s better to know your friends. Or else you will get burned… No more pain (no more pain) No drama (no more drama in my life)’
I do wonder why Mary isn’t far richer than Adele and Ed Sheeran combined. I was just about to receive a text message from Stef who had coordinated Teddy’s rescue from Romania. It came from a man. Andrew G Doe. His real name, I wonder? He wrote…
‘Dear Stef. Can I just ask you, Liz Jones was aware that Liz Jones had had such an animal in the past when you made arrangements for her. One killed a sheep. They aren’t house trained and have poor habits. She’s given to leaving them in cars on a hot day…’
And so he went on. On and on. So upset was I that Teddy had to go. Isn’t it interesting how people twist things? Sam killed a sheep. The farmer that owned the sheep before abandoning him to starvation had put him on a chain. There was no past as he had been abandoned. Gracie chews and does indeed stress wee. This was the result of her abuser mother, who made sure that nobody could touch her. This terror she passed to her children. Never have I left my dog in a hot vehicle. Ever.
Every penny that I make, as well as my entire life, I give to animals. When Lizzie, my rescued racehorse, attacked me, I didn’t retaliate. No. I left and hired Nic, an equine behaviorist. After her owner was evicted, I took in a forty-year-old thoroughbred mare. Only that her owner pay any vet bills. I also asked for the costs of the horse’s cremation. I was able to agree with her.
Nic watched the horse 24 hours per day when she started to fall in the field. She’d creep round the field after her, using the light from her phone. The woman refused to visit, saying she had ‘to do the school run’. The woman offered her old, filthy rugs and refused to make payment when the horse was put down. She posted online that I ‘kill horses’. There was nothing done.
Mumsnet was contacted by a woman who claimed she witnessed me taking cocaine at a party. Although I was keen to go to her in court, my managing editor told me it would prove too costly. Goodness, if I’d written that lie about a celebrity, I’d have been sued, then sacked. Hearing Dogs For Deaf People took me to the Press Complaints Commission when I had written my collies hear. The case was a nightmare that kept me up for many months. I did win, however. The constant calls, emails and threats.
On Twitter, a fellow columnist from the newspaper wrote that she had sex with her cats. The tweet was quickly deleted by her, although it made the Evening Standard’s news pages. Fortunately, I kept a screenshot of the screen. I have to be thankful that she retains her column from the family newspaper.
So now I’m worried I will lose Teddy when he has been so brave and trusting. Because no one has ever helped me, I don’t know where else to go. Nobody stands up for me. There is no one who will stand by me!
8 1/2 Stone, Liz Jones’s debut novel, is available as an audiobook on Amazon and Audible. Spotify, Apple Books and other usual outlets will soon have it.
★Everyone’s talking about Liz Jones’s Diary: The Podcast! ★
Join Liz and her trusty (long-suffering) assistant Nicola as they dissect her weekly YOU magazine diary and delve into the archives to relive the bust-ups, betrayals, bullets… and much more in this brilliant podcast. They’re outspoken, outrageous and utterly hilarious. You can listen now to Apple Podcasts on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Mailplus.co.uk