Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

Saying Goodbye and Letting Go

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

I’m not usually a person who shares a lot about some things and typically this would be one of those times. However, for whatever reason, I was driven to share this. So here we go.

~Prize~26 Nov 17

I lost my 4.5-month-old puppy, Prize on Sunday 26 Nov 17. One of my worst days ever. She barely had a chance in life.

We took her in as she wasn’t breathing right and I was concerned she had some blockage in her throat. Immediately, upon our arrival they took her into the back to assess the situation. We waited for over an hour for any news, all the while, my fear grew exponentially. And the doubt of my being a good dog owner followed suit.

We were waiting in the room when the vet walked in and sat on the stool, facing us. She met our gazes and my heart sank, deep in my bones I knew it wasn’t going to be good news.

The first word I remember hearing was “sinister” that truly sank in. I’ve worked in a few vet clinics over my time and I’ve never heard a vet use that word to a patient. Full disclosure, I’ve never worked at an ER vet clinic, perhaps there it is more common. But for me, it was anything but.

She had fluid around her lungs and internal bleeding. No signs of trauma and no toxicity in her blood. Even after running all their tests the vet gave her a less than 10% chance of survival.

So, there, in the ER, I made that most difficult decision. I allowed her to move on from this world of discomfort and pain to one that would be pain free. It’s no less than she deserved. As much as I wanted to be selfish—and Lord help me I wanted to—I refused to make her suffer because of my wants. This was about what would be best for Prize.

My husband was with me, thankfully, even though he’d just gotten off work from his overnight shift.

Because it would cause her cause her small body more stress and discomfort for them to move her to what they called a “comfort room” to say goodbye, we went to her in the oxygen cage she had been put in to ease her breathing. This was in the back where all the techs and vets were working.

I didn’t care.

I would have at in hell to be there for her. In a way I did. My own hell filled with internal thoughts of how I’d failed her as an owner. How I failed the breeder as well as the pups mom, my girl, Lily, who I failed to keep her offspring safe from harm. Logically I know I did right by her but until my heart catches up there’s nothing else I can do aside from relive the memories.

Yet I remained in my own hell. My hell of sitting there on that floor or in the waiting room chair, unable to do anything to save her.

I held her for the last moments and despite her pain and discomfort when she saw me outside the oxygen cage, she leaned toward me and wagged her tail ever so slightly, showing me she was aware. She knew I was there for her, that I hadn’t abandoned her to the strangers who took her from my arms when we first arrived. Those soft dark eyes held me. I didn’t want to move away but hubs wanted to say goodbye as well.

While feeling overly protective—which for me is a lot on a normal day toward my animals—I allowed him to say his farewell.

He loved her as well. She slept in his lap as he caught a few more hours before he went in to work for his overnight shift. She would always run to the bedroom to greet him when his alarm went off, tail wagging. Even had she been sound asleep, the moment that chime went out, she bounded off the bed, or from whatever crate she may have been chewing on a toy in and ran to meet him. She would trail him in the house, her little ears bouncing as she trotted to keep up to him. Prize doted on him.

With reluctance, he backed away. He didn’t leave my side though. I crawled into the oxygen cage, as much as I could, leaving her front leg available for the vet to administer the first of her final three meds.

So hard namely because she was so young. I don’t have the years of memories to fall back on to keep me company and I never will. Only the few we made during her short time here. Honestly those aren’t enough. I didn’t take enough pictures, didn’t hug and cuddle her enough.

It’s not fair. It’s not fucking fair.

On Tues, I called the clinic again to ask if I could have the case file notes emailed or picked up when I got her ashes back. Another call that dissolved me to tears, all over again. the receptionist remembered us when we had come in and offered up her apologies and all I could do was cry harder, despite being at the day job.

I regret not having images of her as she ran across the yard, puppy ears flopping as she tried so hard to keep up with the big dogs, or coming to me for some attention.

I regret not getting pics of her curled up with her head on my leg when she shared the couch with me as I wrote at 0330 before heading off to the day job.

I regret so much even as I know I was blessed beyond words to have her in my life. Prize was something special, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

Even her great aunt Nina played more once she arrived. So thank you for giving her some of your youth and exuberance.

Her puppy curls had just begun to come in when I lost her and I regret I won’t be able to see those as you grow.

My girls are adjusting, the hardest hit by this is Jean. She and Prize spent most of the day together. All really as they could see each other if they were crated while we were out of the house.

Jean’s been a lapdog for about two hours a night which she hadn’t been previously.

The hardest part for me is to come to terms with my failure. This is my pack. I’m the Alpha and therefore responsible for food, order, and safety. I failed to keep one of my pack safe, I failed to keep her safe. Something got to her and took her from us. Again, logically, I know I couldn’t have prevented this but my heart isn’t accepting that in the slightest.

I cry myself to sleep at night and have cried at work. My work has dogs in the workplace, which, I love but has been difficult this week. And those of you who have them and know dogs, they understand when you’re not happy or not feeling well. So their dogs spent a lot of time around me. Again, a double-edged sword.

Also having to pick up her ashes will be another rough day.

I am trying to be positive but again am failing that. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve. We aren’t robots, we aren’t all the same and grief affects us all on different levels, our reactions are as unique as we are.

So there isn’t a wrong way to do this. Allow yourself the time, the tears, and the puffy eyes. I have purchased an item for my vet and her staff because I can’t thank them enough for making her last hours here comfortable.

There is one thing that provides me comfort and that’s the knowledge that she is well protected at the Rainbow Bridge. Valan is there. Glacier and Kayla are there. Opus and Dageus—don’t let them fool you, they really do like dogs; puppies as well. And of course our German Shepherds, Isis and Clarke.

Prize; If for any reason you get scared, Clarke will protect you, you can walk under him and he will keep you safe. He will do what I couldn’t do until the time comes that we are once again united.

I will miss her more than words could ever say.

Again, while I don’t usually talk about this but deal with it on my own, I was also blessed enough to have my family who allowed me to cry on their shoulders as well as two wonderful friends. So to my parents, to Taige and to Nan, thanks to all y’all for listening to me blubber as I try to work through this loss, yet something else I won’t ever be able to say how grateful I am for your selflessness in what you offered me.

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Rainbow-Bridge-Poem

The tears won’t stop

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Amongst all of our plans for moving and getting to the next chapter in our life, we’ve lost one of our family this afternoon.

20140630_161143Dageus has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We’d hoped he would be able to make the trip back to Washington with us but it wasn’t in the stars.

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“From the day we brought you home, with your little tiger stripes, you were determined to be bigger than you were. Clarke and Isis took you in and raised you as a GSD. I remember watching you jump onto them to get them to play, hanging from Clarke’s muzzle as he walked around the house without a care in the world. I watched them correct the bad behavior (clawing on furniture or curtains) and you never had to be corrected again. You were groomed on the table as they were, would sit for nail trimming and never gave me issues when it came time for bathing.

When they got bandanas you had to have one as well, so we gave you one. You were so proud. When Isis had to wear a cone, you would curl up in it so she wasn’t lonely. When we got stationed on the East Coast, you handled the trip like a trooper, not crying on the ride, just being quiet as you lay crated next to the dogs. You settled in here with them.

You offered me comfort as I lost Clarke, clarke2my heart dog, then later when Isis vcm_s_kf_m160_160x120followed him over the Rainbow Bridge, you were there, forgoing your usual avoiding everyone attitude. You’ve since raised 4 borzoi and taught them how to behave around cats and smaller animals. Over these past few weeks, I’ve watched you try to hide the pain you were in, try to continue being the same cat you’ve always been.

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When we got to the vet, you curled up against my heart and purred as you put your head beneath my chin. You purred as my tears fell, as if understanding the pain I felt as well, not concerned with your own. I was the last thing you saw and my voice the last you heard.

Dageus, I will never forget you. I love you and my heart is hurting without you here. But I know you are with Clarke and Isis now, my Three Musketeers are together again, waiting until the day we are reunited. Give them both my love and never forget how much you gave me and our life here. It was so much better having had you in it with us to share.”

Saturday…

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Sigh…

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Exub Photo Stock

I needed a calming image after the start to my day…

So I was out walking the dogs today–it’s not Hades level hot here currently so we took a gentle 5 mile walk. I’m beginning to think the woman who is trying to blame me for being the horrible addition to the plight of all these puppies in the shelters is stalking me. She walks up as we’re on our way back to the house and starts in again about how I’m senselessly breeding, how I should be ashamed as opposed to her because she adopted hers from the shelter. And here we go again:

  1. I’ve never bred a litter in my life. I have all bitches and I race and show them but I’ve not whelped a litter. I have neither the space, time, or enough knowledge to do that (not in my opinion anyway)
  2. Even if I had, breeders, responsible ones, aren’t to blame for all the kennels filled with animals who’ve been abandoned, surrendered, or whatever.
  3. I have nothing against rescue dogs or shelter dogs, nothing at all.
  4. I really don’t like this woman and I’m trying, really hard, to be semi-polite.
  5. She’s berating me because my dogs will be unruly since there are 4. As opposed to her one.
  6. Her one, is yanking at the end of the leash, barking aggressively at my four who are standing around waiting for me to move on. Keep in mind, her dog, looks like what mine chase and would consider a squeak toy, but her “Fee Fee” is the well behaved one.
  7. We then move on to how I’m a bad mom because I won’t let me dogs play with hers. Come on now, I’m not stupid. You have an aggressive dog, smaller yes, but still aggressive. I’m not putting my dogs in a position where they will feel the need to defend themselves.
  8. I try to keep walking but she adjusts and steps back in front of me.
  9. …temper rising
  10. Ask her to move through gritted teeth, dogs are now getting upset that I’m upset.
  11. She decides it is a “wise” move to point her finger at me and shake it like I’m some unruly child and I realize that some days, meditation just isn’t enough.
  12. I open my mouth to say something else, and no, it won’t be a polite statement when a cop rolls up.
  13. I may not always agree with cops but they do risk their lives and in this situation, had my back. I’m appreciative of the officer stepping in and advising the lady to leave me and my dogs alone. after she walked (or stomped, she wasn’t happy), he turns to me and asks about the dogs.
  14. Apparently, a few of the officers he works with have mentioned me and my pups as they’ve seen us walking and have stopped to talk to us. Not sure if it’s a good thing they know me, but hey, guess I’ll have to behave. *grin*

We headed back home after they all got petted and loved on. Filled up their kiddie pool and they’ve been out playing in it since.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

  1. Not everyone who pays for a dog from a breeder is adding to the evils in the world.
  2. As a whole, I’ve found breeders to be loving and caring people, wanting what is best for their breed. Always willing to answer questions and help those they trust their puppies to.
  3. Just because you have an unaltered dog or bitch, doesn’t mean you are breeding just for shits and giggles.

I love dogs, I love more than just my own dogs. I train them (not something I do for others, but I do mine) I want them to behave in public, I want them to be good ambassadors for the breed.

My final takeaway from this, aside from the reason I walk where I do, because I know it’s widely patrolled. If she approaches me again, I’m filing charges of harassment.

Now, I’m going to let some wet dogs in since they are at the sliding glass door, smearing their noses all over my at-one-time clean glass, and get something to eat.

August has begun

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any blogs. I’m sorry about that, been shoved in the deepest part of the writing cave trying to catch up with the stuff I’ve fallen behind on. While I’m not caught up yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Win-win for me.

IMG_3473I’ve been surrounding myself with images of nature and calming scenes. With all the chaos going on right now, I need to be calm and find some centering chi. I’m a mountains girl, not beach. And the image in this picture is exactly where I would love to spend some time.

Anyway, I’m getting ready for an event in Alexandria on 13 Aug 16 with a wonderful bunch of authors. There’s a bit of time left to sign up for a few remaining spots.

Meet Aliyah Burke [674538]Click on the image if you want to go to the event page.

I do hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m trying to get back into blogging much more often.

My heart is sad

Friday, July 15th, 2016

I can’t express enough how sorry I am for the attack that happened in Nice, France.

I’m saddened by the fact people seem so unconcerned for a fellow human’s life. I don’t care what your religion is, you have the right to it. You have the right for your beliefs. A few bad apples don’t make an entire group terrible. Why is there this need to cause so much destruction? Find another way. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

13620032_1183942271698825_1539706503632454097_n#prayfornice #prayfortheworld

Last Day of June

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Happy end of the first half to the year.

Exub Photo Stock

Exub Photo Stock

How has it been treating you thus far? Well I hope. Been a busy 6mo on this end and the second half of the year surely isn’t going to slow down any. More books to write, edit, release, all of which I am so happy about. The other job is also keeping me on my toes so not a lot of down time. But, we don’t race the dogs during the summer so that frees up my weekends.

Planning on taking a few days and jetting off to the mountains with DH and the hubs just so we can get away from it all. Not sure when, we still have to coordinate our schedules but I’m already looking forward to that. A couple conferences and a few other things to keep me occupied.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Heck, even for summer only? Books to be read? What’s on that TBR pile that caught your attention? I’m always looking for more books to add to mine.

Introspection

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Today may be Friday and a lot of y’all are probably getting ready for a holiday weekend. First and foremost, be safe this weekend. Second, please don’t forget what the meaning of the weekend is truly about. Remembering those who lost their lives defending this country.

I’m a private person by nature, just who I am. However, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. That’s pretty much the bottom line. And I’m owning it and refusing to do such any longer.

slide38Our lives are full of ups and downs, it’s just a fact. I wasn’t where I wanted to be and I’ve been allowing that fact to get me down. I shouldn’t complain, I’m right where I am supposed to be right now. I may not be aware of the reason, but He doesn’t always give me the answers merely because I want them. So, while I wait to get to where I am to end up, I’m planning for the future, checking out the business I want and lining things up. I’m healthy, DH is healthy, the animals are fine as well, (even the cat for those of you who think I only care about the dogs) so we’re good.

There are two speeds, the speed we want it to happen and the speed it does happen. I take from this I must have more patience (not something I’ve been good at) and wait. It will happen.

slide21 slide46Life is short.

Love hard.

Love well.

Love true.

Find your happiness and hold onto it.

Mine is near and within touching distance, I just have to wait for the right moment for the connection to be made.

In case you forgot since the start. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day. To those serving (active or family) my many heartfelt thanks for all your sacrifices. To those we’ve lost: You are in my heart and I thank you for what you’ve done. I will never forget.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Giving back

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Most of y’all know that I have three therapy dogs. My eldest Borzoi are all CGC/CGCA titled and are therapy dogs. Typically when I go out, I have cards with the organization and my direct number on them if they wish to give me a call for another visit if I’m not planning on being back there for a while. We have a lot of different places we go (from hospitals to hospices, schools, 4-h events, libraries, and more) and while I try to keep everything even, doesn’t always work that way.

Anyway…

I was at home yesterday, dogs were playing outside (or in using the downstairs as a track) when I got a call from a friend who does a lot of teaching of pet safety classes (we also do those and Canine Ambassador things) and she needed another large dog since her planned one had dropped out last minute. Hadn’t expected to head off to do anything like that for the day before the “other job” especially given the word count needed for the day. But, it’s a good thing for us to get out and do this, so I closed out my writing and got ready for what I knew would be a few hour stint with different groups of kids learning about the proper care and way to approach dogs.

I took my Nina nina1who is the oldest and my most solid, doesn’t care if the visit is 15 minutes or we’re there for 7 hours, she’s fine either way. The others are good but she’s the best. So we were there for a little over three hours. As they were getting pictures taken with the children (I don’t take any) I got a call from a father to another person I’d been to visit a few times. A young girl battling cancer, Tracey.

In a shaky voice he asked me if I could come with Opal (who she loved to see) and do a visit this day. Deep down, I knew it wasn’t going to be good news but I told him I would be there as soon as I picked up Opal. Made the switch and headed to hospital where we needed to be.

Opal is the biggest of my girls around 75-80lbs and the child we were visiting is barely at 35lbs given how the cancer has ravaged her body. I’d not seen Tracey in a while and my heart broke in seconds after walking in the door. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy visit but the chances of me ever seeing her again was maybe 2%.

Dogs know and sense more than most give them credit for. Opal adjusts her energy level to those she’s around and she had never been more gentle than when she lay beside Tracey. I did my best to blend in the background why the small family, with Opal, shared in some of their last moments together. They got some pictures and I hope with all my heart they will help this couple remember their daughter when she’s no longer with us but up with the angels.

Opal dm_267462was not her usual happy self when we left and I knew she felt the sorrow that had overflowed in the room. Even this morning, she’s sad but she ate and played a bit before coming back to lie beside me.

That visit was emotionally draining to me. I cannot image the pain that a parent must experience knowing you will bury your own child.

So, while I may have been exhausted and hadn’t gotten any writing done (to speak of) being able to help ease what tragedy they were living was worth it. I don’t do as much volunteer work as I should, or could, and I was down for the rest of the day as well, but I will never forget the smile on Tracey’s face when she opened her eyes and found Opal walking toward her. For a brief moment in time there, she was a five year old, not a cancer patient.

I know it seems much of the time we don’t have any extra time to help others but if you do then you understand. It touches you to do this. Not saying you need to get a dog and do therapy work but something. Anything. Help lessen the suffering in any way you can. Small gestures go a long way.

Tracey passed away during the night and has gone home to God. She will be missed but He needed her more.

Interesting days

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Exub Photo Stock

Exub Photo Stock

Hopefully today will be a good one. At least the night at work didn’t involve them sending me into a tiny room because of tornado warnings. I’d been pushed into them three times two nights ago, didn’t make for a good night’s rest. Last night I crashed. Felt good.

Today is all about cleaning. I’m tackling the kitchen, so going to crank up the music, and get to it. I have a few cases of canned dog food to put on the shelf as well, so will take those out of the boxes and start getting my house back in order.

What’s everyone reading this weekend? My selection will be posted tomorrow. I’ve been totally enjoying my reading this month, wonderfully talented authors.

Have a wonderful Friday!!

Some days are harder than others

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Today was one of those days.

Exub Photo Stock

Exub Photo Stock

Where you wake up with nightmares, or from them. Either way, it sets the tone for the rest of your day. I don’t have them often but like a lot of people, I do have them. Some bad experiences in the past, no matter how much you move on, no matter how much you grow and change can come back and make you feel terrified.

It took me a while to realize the scream was my own and when I did, I found myself immediately searching for Clarke, my male GSD who had always been my rock. Clarke’s been gone for eight years and I am still looking for the right shepherd to bring into the house next. Needless to say, he wasn’t there.

However, three of my four zoi were there, surrounding me. protecting me. The pup still is crated at night. But Nina, Lily, and Opal were there. One on each side and one in front between me and the door. There are moments in time where you get to see how amazing animals truly are and for me, this was one of them. Those three are all therapy dogs and have this uncanny way of calming people down, others, and I guess I just look at it as, well, it’s what they do. They’re just that way. Good dogs, great dogs who have no problem offering comfort. I usually get the goofy side, the prankster side. The tug of war, let’s do a squeakerectomy and shower the entire floor with the stuffing side. The lets lay in the mud then run through the house side. Chase the cat up and down the stairs, just because it would be fun.

I’m the leader, their alpha, but it’s always nice to remember that they have my back on days when I don’t much feel like the alpha, when my life is reverted back to the panicked scared 13 yo girl. These dogs are family, they make me smile, laugh, and have an entire other outlook on life. I thank the breeders wh0 gave me a chance with their dogs, I thank my friends in the dog world who are always there to answer questions and welcomed me whether it was for racing, showing, or whatever. I thank my dog trainer who never let me give up but reminded me I could do whatever I wanted with a zoi, it may take a bit more work but it could be done.

And last but never least, to all the dogs I have had in the past who taught me how blessed one is to be loved unconditionally no matter what type of day it was. They always have a wag and a cuddle ready.

Now that I have gotten that out, guess I should get some writing done. Have a wonderful day and never let anyone tell you an animal is just a pet. They are so much more than that.