Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Trip to Memory Lane

A trip planned in March has had me out of town since Thursday.
It has come at a good time. This much needed break to clear my head and recharge is a dog-less trip down memory lane.
Yesterday morning I stood in front of my high school and was taken back nearly 40 years to an age of innocence and a world so much different than the one I know today. Around me old and new friends from that time.  It's easy to see that we are a pretty diverse crowd. Life has taken us in so many directions.
~Fort Knox High School~
But at the time we attended Fort Knox High School, (in Kentucky) we all had one thing in common, our Dad's were in the Army.
I suppose at times like this it is only natural to rummage around in ancient memory and recall events and classmates and the journey to adulthood that is high school and is so full of first-time experiences.
~The United States Bullion Depository, or the Gold Vault, what Fort Knox is famous for~
To say our class has experienced change is understated. We did not imagine a world where we would carry a phone in our pockets, and connect on something called "social media."

For a lot of us, we've not been back to Fort Knox for many years.  I was lucky in that a friend of mine who used to live down the street from me still lives in the area and works on post.  She gave me a great tour of Fort Knox and was able to show and tell me all about what has changed, and what hasn't.
~Our house hasn't changed at all, at least not on the outside~
And talk about change, this weekend I've seen lots of gray hair and waistlines that have expanded. Of course my classmates looked at me and saw the same thing. But despite those outer changes I also saw football players, cheerleaders, fellow band members, and even "that girl" who bullied a few of us. I wonder if she remembers that?
~The fire-station nearby across the street that we used to go and buy a soda and candy bar for 25 cents!~
I guess it's a reminder that maybe we can’t really go home again - There are some that say you shouldn’t live in the past. I suppose that's a good rule to live by for the most part.
~The movie theater near our 'housing area' that I spent lots of Saturday's~ 
But for this weekend, and for this class reunion, that phrase was tossed out the window, as we remembered those good times and shared a weekend with friends and classmates from long ago. I'm especially glad I was able to come and spend time with a friend who I've stayed in contact with for more than 40 years. She is a true connection to my past, and I treasure our friendship.
~This seemed like such a steep hill to ride our bikes down. It doesn't seem that steep any more~

Today I said good-bye to those classmates, and had a really nice visit with family that still lives in the area. On Monday it'll be time to head home and back to my life.  I miss the dogs.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Good-bye to our Beautiful Eva

Eva's angel watch ended Friday afternoon with Holistic Vet, her husband, and me there to send her to the Rainbow Bridge. A sad, heartbreaking good-bye. With edema starting to set in, her body was failing her. Eva's battle with renal failure was over.  Despite having lost that battle, her gentle and peaceful nature and golden-smile remained until the very end.
~One Last Photo~
As I was looking through Eva's pictures this morning, I have to admit, its hard to find one that truly encompasses her. She was truly the quintessential Golden Retriever, just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. Her eyes always sparkled, and she was always happy.  I'd say that if I had to find any fault with Eva, I'd be pretty hard-pressed to find something. But if there is one to mention, it would be that you couldn't teach her anything, and trust me, I tried.
However, thinking about it now, I wonder if it was just because Eva didn't want to learn anything? She was truly all about living and being happy in the moment. It actually made her that much more endearing and that much more treasured and loved.

I know that it goes without saying that Eva will be missed. I've been home most of the day, and it's easy to feel like something or "someone" is missing. When you've had your heart expanded and broken by a dog (or a cat) you know what I'm talking about when I say that. If you haven't, I can tell you this, life with a dog or a cat always ends in tears. My heart is shattered and in pieces from Eva's loss. But despite that, I can say that with all certainty and without a single doubt, that after all we went through with Eva and her illness, if I could spare her from having kidney disease, I would do it all over again.

God-speed to our lovely and beautiful Eva, I cannot wait for the day when I'll get to see you again. I will miss you leaning on me as we drove to your appointments. I will miss you happily running down the hallway in front of me at mealtimes and rushing back into the kitchen after you'd eaten for the leftovers. I will miss your always wanting to eat all the treats I gave out as I was leaving.  I will miss you pawing at me and always wanting to be the one to get all of the attention. I will miss watching you rush out the back door to see what Todd was barking at and being part of the fun. I will miss waking up in the middle of the night, and looking down the hallway towards the living room and seeing you sleeping on your bed. I will miss you Eva. 

And as has become our tradition, I've picked a color for Eva to sum up her life with us and create our own rainbow.  The color for Eva has to be pink. Pink is a delicate color that means sweet, nice, playful, and tenderness. Eva had all those qualities. Pink is also the color associated with girls and Eva was all girl - From her being a "momma dog" in her first life, to her pink collar, and soft pink skin under her beautiful blonde coat. The color pink is also the color of love, and that's truly what Eva was truly all about...Love.
~Eva on the first day we met, November 17, 2016~

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Eva's Angel Watch Begins

It has been a busy week, full of vet appointments for the dogs and the cats too.

Tonight just as it has been the last several days, we are focused solely on our beautiful Eva.  Her appetite is practically non-existent, she's hardly eaten since Saturday, and the last two days, nothing at all. I've tried everything I can think of. Eva has become very quiet, not moving around much, sleeping soundly most of the time. She'll wake and wag her tail when one of the other dogs come near her, or we talk to her or sit with her. Eva is (thankfully) in no pain. Getting her to go outside is meant with protests, but she reluctantly does as we ask of her.

The TV has been off all evening, the lights are low. and it's very quiet and peaceful as Eva sleeps nearby. There is an ache and sadness in my heart and soul.  Eva's journey is coming to an end, as her Angel Watch has begun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Warm and Sunny Tuesday

Thank-you all for the get-well-wishes, they really helped because I'm feeling much, much better!  What has also helped is that I had an unplanned day off work today when the doctor I work for was out of the office. We sat on the front porch for a little while and just soaked up the warmth of the sun. After all the rain we've had the last week, it was so nice to see the sky for a change. 
Eva gets easily chilled these days, and gravitates towards warm places. So, she also enjoyed dozing and warming up on the porch.
After we'd been sitting on the porch for a while, I realized that it was also a good day to give newcomer Alf, a much needed bath. He really needed one to remove the "flea dirt" and just to freshen him up a bit. He didn't mind the bath at all, and afterwards there were lots of tail wags as I dried him off.  I think he feels better.  He looks and smells better, that's for sure!
~Did you just say bath??~
Also just for this week, while his foster home is on vacation, we're keeping a 13-ish year old senior boy named Buster. He's getting along well with our dogs, and we're enjoying the chance to get to know him before he goes back to his foster family on Sunday. 
Buster has quite a story of rescue. He was found alone in a home that had been condemned. His story goes right along with reports on the news about stranded pets being found tied up and/or trapped who were left behind by their owners during Hurricane Florence - And it asks the mind-boggling question, "how could someone just leave a dog like Buster or any dog or cat behind to fend for themselves knowing danger lay ahead for them?"