How can they say that? I devote my life and every penny to my animal
This was my New Year break. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Bank Holiday, Nic was off sick. Which meant I not only had my horses, but hers as well. It took four and a half hours to muck out each day. I then poo-picked the fields, filled hay nets, water buckets, made feeds, saw to the farrier, brought in and turned out, changed endless rugs. Not easy in a storm with my Swirly, who does a lot of head waggling and prancing and tries really hard to scrape me off in a bramble.
I didn’t have time to get shopping or make dinner as I was also working as normal on the day job: writing. I would get back to the cottage and feed my happy, exhausted dogs. Teddy the new rescue collie has settled in beautifully, enjoying his organic human food, hours and hours of exercise with the horses, and never being left. I had just sat down, feeling liberated that I had blocked my ex. In the immortal words of Mary J Blige:
‘Broken heart again. Another lesson learned. Better 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. Then, just now, I got a text, forwarded to me by Stef, the woman who organised the rescue of Teddy from Romania. It was from a man. Andrew G Doe. His real name, I wonder? He wrote…
‘Dear Stef. can I ask, when you arranged for Liz Jones, the Mail on Sunday journalist, you were aware of her past history of having such animals. One eviscerated a sheep. Her dogs are so badly house trained, they are barely trained at all. She’s given to leaving them in cars on a hot day…’
He went on. And on. I was so upset that I could lose Teddy. Isn’t it interesting how people twist things? Sam did kill a sheep: the farmer who owned him before chucking him out to starve had kept him on a chain. As he was abandoned, there was no history. Gracie does chew and, yes, she does stress wee. This is the fault of the farmer who abused her mother so badly, no one could get near her. She passed her terror on to her puppies. I have never left my dogs in a hot car. Ever.
I devote my life and every penny I earn to animals. When Lizzie, my rescued racehorse, attacked me, I didn’t retaliate. No. I walked away, and I hired an equine behaviourist, who is still working for me to this day: Nic. I once took in a 40-year-old thoroughbred mare, whose owner had been evicted from her livery yard. I asked only that the owner paid any vet bills, and the cost of her horse being put to sleep at home and cremated when the time came. She agreed.
When the horse started to go down in the field, Nic watched her 24 hours a day. 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’. When the horse had to be put down, the woman refused to pay up, offering only her filthy old rugs, which she said I could sell on Ebay. She posted online that I ‘kill horses’. Nothing was done!
A woman wrote on Mumsnet that she saw me take cocaine at a party. I wanted to take her to court but was advised by my managing editor it would be too expensive. Goodness, if I’d written that lie about a celebrity, I’d have been sued, then sacked. I was taken to the Press Complaints Commission by the Hearing Dogs For Deaf People charity when I wrote my collies hear for me. I won, but the case kept me awake for months. The endless calls, emails, threats.
A fellow newspaper columnist wrote on Twitter that I have sex with my cats. She swiftly deleted the tweet, which made the news pages of the Evening Standard, but luckily I had kept a screen shot. I say luckily: she still has her column, in a family newspaper, to this day.
So now I’m worried I will lose Teddy when he has been so brave and trusting. I have no idea where to turn, because no one ever helps me! No one sticks up for me! No one is on my side!
8 1/2 Stone, Liz Jones’s debut novel, is available as an audiobook on Amazon and Audible. Coming soon to Spotify, Apple Books and all usual outlets
★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. Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and mailplus.co.uk
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