Sunday, December 17, 2017

Life Continues at Golden Pines

It has been just over a week since Georgie left us, and Monday will of course mark a week since we said good-bye to sweet Millie.  While this heartbroken soul is still trying to make sense of it all, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to you all. It has not been easy.  But your kind words have comforted me, and have helped ease the ache of the two losses that came much too soon and much too close together.  But I know that I am better for having had Millie and Georgie in our lives.

But like it or not, and ready or not, life continued on last week.  It was back to work on Tuesday which meant sitting in commuter traffic. 
For Todd, it's back to barking at what's on the other side of the fence.
For Rhett and the others, yesterday it meant hanging out....
with the girl that comes to our house and trims their nails for me. They really love her and especially love the treats she showers on them.

Aside from work, I've got a lot of holiday catching up to do. No cards have been written, not a single package mailed, and I've not even made reservations for dinner for Christmas Eve. However, after a little shopping yesterday, I'm feeling a little Christmas mojo which is just what I need.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Unexpected Good-Bye to Millie

After losing Georgie on Friday, yesterday brought an unexpected loss of Millie.  She began bleeding pretty heavily on Friday night, from one of two internal tumors on her bottom. Even though the bleeding stopped off and on through the weekend, tests yesterday gave us no options. And so after a short 20 days with us, I said good-bye to sweet Millie.

There are no words to articulate how heartbroken I am at this moment. Last night was a sleepless night as I played the conversations, the events and the "I should have done this" over and over in my mind.  However, I know that none would have changed the end result, and what the tests and diagnosis were.

The   Irving Townsend quote once again seems so appropriate.
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."
Even though I am truly broken, last night as I was trying to sleep, and Todd, Charlie, Rhett and Max,Sunny and Ms. Yellow slept with me in the guest room, deep within my soul, I know I can live no other way. I have no regrets. Only humble gratitude in my broken heart to the rescue for their friendship, kindness and compassion and who provided the best care for Millie and gave me the chance to know and love this "lost girl."

God-speed Millie. For a little dog, you have left a big hole in my heart. Your candle along with Georgie's is lit to help you find your way to the Rainbow Bridge. And I look forward to the day when I'll get to see you again.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Sad Good-Bye to Georgie

Hello Blogging Friends!  It has been two weeks since I last posted, and I've missed you all and being able to blog.  But in between sick dogs, work, trips to the vet, work, (did I say that?), the holiday getting into full swing, it has left little time for blogging. 

But today as we are watching our first snow fall...
I am also mourning yesterdays loss of Georgie. Despite knowing in July when Georgie came to us as a "hospice foster" that this day was coming, it didn't make it any easier when it did. 
~First photo from Lab Rescue of a boy they knew as Peanut Butter~
I suppose that I always held onto the hope that the vets were wrong, and we'd be given more time than just 5 short months. The visible signs of the cancer were every where on his body (which is why he wore a shirt) and he had become paper-thin.
~A photo of a first day with Georgie~
George was still involved in the daily comings and goings and followed me every where I went.  He had a voracious appetite, and still loved playing ball.  This all made the decision to let him go, that much more difficult and that much sadder. 
~Georgie in August~
George was truly a dog that was full of heart and courage. But I knew this week when the cancer became visible around his eyes, and he was having trouble seeing, that it was his time. So, yesterday as I held his beautiful face in my hands, I told him all those things that come from the heart at those times, including that sadly, his journey and his battle that was so hard fought, was over. It was time for me to let go. It was time for him to leave us. It was time for him to rest. He quietly left this world for the next. 
~George in October~
God speed to another lost boy who found his way as a stray from a shelter in Charleston West Virginia over 250 miles away to Lab Rescue, and then to us.  I have no regrets other than the feeling of being "cheated" out of never being able to see Georgie as a healthy and vibrant Chocolate Lab - Which is why I look forward to seeing him that way when we meet again one day at the Rainbow Bridge. 
~A last photo of George taken a week ago~

Finally, thank-you all for stopping by and for sharing in the loss of Georgie.  I hope you'll bear with me as I regain my footing from all that has been happening on the home-front and mourn this loss.  I am down, but not out - So, until I regain that momentum, and to end on a positive note, here's a photo of Todd taken after a trip to the groomers on Thursday. What would I do without this character?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Post Thanksgiving

It has been a relaxing and recharging 5+ days off work. Thanksgiving day could not have been any more enjoyable or relaxing - despite being in the kitchen for about half of it. The day ended on a good note with games and a friends invitation to come and enjoy dessert in their home.  My very talented friend is also a baker and made cookies for us to enjoy.
~One of the cookies my friend made~ 
Friday brought more time for me to relax at home as Carl and my brother headed back to work.
Saturday came much too quickly and before the vet appointment for Millie, came a much needed bath for her.  The girls at the shop know me, and since Millie is a TEMPORARY (yeah, temporary) foster dog, they donated her bath-time. She wasn't crazy about the bath, and was happy when it was over.
Millie's vet visit went much as expected, and confirmed the diagnosis of the first vet.  Millie has six mammary tumors. Typically these tumors are cancerous and will metastasize into the chest.  X-rays were taken and thankfully her chest is clear. She also has another tumor on her bottom that is more than likely inoperable. Aspirates were taken and the results will be returned in about a week. At that time, a treatment plan for her will be discussed and decided. 

Until then, Millie is fine "on hold" here at our house.  She has fit in really well, and has quickly become part of the crowd. On Thanksgiving day she was having a great time barking at the deer with Todd and Eva.
~Todd telling off the gangs of rogue deer~
Millie is very gentle sweet and easy going and all the dogs like her.  She leaves the cat alone and has great house manners too.  Which begs that question, "how did she end up as a stray?"  It's anyone's guess. 
~Millie leading the crowd~
Speaking of guessing, can you guess why today Todd was once again wearing the "cone of shame?"  Yes, that annoying ear problem continues to be a bother.  He's still on the oral antibiotic and ear medication in hopes we can knock it out completely. 
He really doesn't like wearing that annoying e-collar (what dog does?) and is constantly trying to get it off.  I don't know why I bother putting it on him.  But he doesn't let it slow him down one bit - He's a Scottie after all! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Old Lady" MILLIE Arrives at Golden Pines

~Cissy, planning an escape?~
A short work week has brought a new arrival at Golden Pines.  On Monday I was contacted by the rescue and asked about helping to spring a senior girl from a shelter in a neighboring county from where I live.  Coincidentally, other "confinement facilities" are right next to the animal shelter.  Appropriate or ironic or both?
But the timing worked perfectly. I had taken yesterday afternoon off work, and even though I had self-made plans, I was happy to have a good reason to change them.
~An "Old Lady" in the shelter~
Picked up as a stray, and named "Old Lady" by the shelter, because, they said, "she's an old lady" is estimated to be about 12 years old (not too old!).  This past Saturday, the shelter took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with cystitis, mammary tumors, and with two large tumors that the vet feels are inoperable, she has been given a "cautious prognosis."  And with the time for her owners to come forward to claim her having passed, it is now time for Old Lady to start a new life.
That new life began with a new name.  So, two old ladies talked about it on the hour drive home.  After trying on several names, we have settled on the name Millie.  It's a name she responds to, and it just seems to fit her. 
~Old Lady's response to the name Millie~
Because Millie is not feeling well, intros to our crew have been very limited.  I'll do longer intros through the day today. The plan for Millie is for her to see the vet for a full check up, which is scheduled for Saturday. Once we have all of those test results, the coordinator for the rescue will look for another foster home for Millie - Because she can't stay here......can she? 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Straight Lines

Below was the scene a couple of days ago in the kitchen. The pups were patiently waiting for what is one of the most important parts of their day....
It's also a perfect example of why I haven't walked a straight line through my house in years.
And I'm okay with that.
~A satisfied Rhett after breakfast~
I hope you have a good weekend!  Free from the dreaded "cone of shame" Todd's is off to a good start!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

An Unhappy Scottie

The first really cold weather of the season has arrived. I am not quite ready for it, but it is November and the cold and the frost had to come sometime.

Todd being true to his Scottish heritage doesn't mind the chillier weather. He is dealing with a sore ear the last couple of days.  He's on medications for it, but is still scratching at it.  I put an e-collar on him (or the "cone of shame!) to keep him from making it even more sore.
So, I doubt that he's noticed the cooler temperatures today because he wants nothing more than to get that annoying e-collar off.
But he's just daring any of the other dogs to make fun of him because he's wearing it!
I wonder if that's what Rhett was doing?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Perfectly Executed?

Okay, it's been much too serious around here lately.  So, here's some random photos from the past week, that aren't the best - But there's a little bit of canine-mischief going on at our house.

Lets start with Jake.  He started out by posing for a few photos. 

Afterwards, I started taking pictures of Georgie. when I turned around, he was up on his feet and headed at a pretty good pace towards the road.  I caught him before he got there.
Not to be outdone, a few minutes later, Rhett (below) AKA, the escape artist, glanced over his shoulder as I was taking his picture, and did the same thing.  Carl was able to catch him.

On the other side of the yard, there's Todd.  He's been out of the news lately but he has been totally consumed the last couple of days by what's around the corner of our barn.  A mouse maybe?
When he's not standing innocently in a corner he's been randomly digging holes. At least we think it's him. He's a terrier, so it has to be him, right?  However that face really does speak innocence, doesn't it?  Is that possible with a Scottie?
Not to be left out, our cat, the lovely Ms. Yellow knocked over a small container of dry food that was on the counter.  I caught her batting it off the counter and onto the waiting dogs below. Maybe she thinks I bought the wrong brand of cat food. Or maybe she was simply feeding the masses.
But at least she didn't knock over this beautiful dessert a friend brought over for us. 
And speaking of eating.  It takes me to Rhett this morning. What have I been saying about his being a mischief maker? Rhett and Cissy are fed in the office. This morning I did as I always do, I set down Cissy's bowl, then Rhett's - Cissy for whatever reason followed me out of the office and somehow the door closed and when I went to open it, I realized it was locked, leaving Rhett alone...With two breakfasts.... By the time I got the door open, both bowls were (of course) empty. I can't say for sure, but I really thought I heard some chuckling coming from Rhett's side of the door.  But Cissy of course got another full breakfast.  In looking at it all, I'm pretty confident these were plots that were perfectly devised, planned and executed! 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Dilemma is Resolved

~An almost picture of a bird setting on the limb~
A couple of weeks ago I'd posted about a dilemma I was having with the rescue and our hospice foster boy, Georgie. I was bothered because only the end of life medical care was going to be provided for him. Without question, I totally supported, understood and respected why it was to be that way. Especially given his grim diagnosis. 

But, I'll spare you the saga of my inner struggle by skipping several chapters and go to nearly the end of this story....
~Photo of Georgie in June~
I thought I'd remembered that I'd seen in a chain of e-mails just after Georgie came to us, that he was being made available to someone else for a "hospice adoption."  This couple decided against it, and nothing more was ever mentioned.  Looking back through my e-mails and to be sure, I decided to ask if I would be able to adopt him.
~Georgie on Saturday~
I made a phone call to my Lab Rescue contact to discuss it with her.  My Lab Rescue Contact has been involved in Georgie's rescue from a shelter in nowhere West Virginia from the very start.   A long time stray with a sun-bleached blonde-coat, Georgie arrived at the shelter very thin and sick. So of course, my Lab Rescue contact feels a very strong responsibility for him, and of course has only his best interest at heart. She could not have been more supportive, agreeable and happy about our wanting to adopt Georgie. Because he's considered "hospice" all of his adoption fees are (of course) waived.

I know that time is not on our side with Georgie.  I know the battle with the mast cell tumors that cover most of his body, is not one that will be won. And of course I also know that I will never get to see him transformed into a totally healthy and vibrant Chocolate Lab.  But none of this matters. Because I also know without a doubt that I begin my day humbled and grateful to officially be a forever home, for this "lost boy" named Georgie.