Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Job of Angels?

It has just been a couple of days and this heartbroken soul is very grateful to you all for your sharing Bo's loss with me, and leaving your words that have not only comforted me, but have again reminded me of the kindness and compassion of the blogging community. Many of us will own multiple pets in our lifetimes, and so we will have these sad losses along the way. But it is still worth every moment of joy we are given in return.  Someone on facebook said to me that "we live to love again."   Very true words,  I think.

We said good-bye to Bo here at home.  After the vet left, there was a very touching response from Rhett. While we waited for the service who is returning his remains to us, Rhett stayed with Bo the entire time afterwards and wouldn't leave him. He even tried to follow the men from the service out the door. Was Rhett doing the job of angels or keeping them company?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Good-Bye to Our Boy Bo

A sad day for us as we said good-bye to our Black Lab, Bo. A diagnosis in July of last year of hemangiosarcoma left us with few options. The vet recommended letting him go that day, but I felt strongly that it wasn't his time. I was right. The last 8 months held almost all good days for him and I had my doubts that Bo had been given the correct diagnosis. But I continued on with the herbs to help control any internal bleeding, just in case.  However, in the last week or so, I began to notice changes in Bo, and I knew we were now fighting a battle that could not be won.
Bo came to us in October of 2016 from what was described to me as a "hell hole" in Ohio. He wouldn't interact with us very much, but that all changed when this past spring I was inspired by another blogger, KB at Romping and Rolling in the Rockies who does nose-work with her girl, Shyla.  I found a beginner nose-class and enrolled Bo.
It was a good experience for both of us, and while Bo may not have been the fastest, maybe in part due to his blindness, it connected him to us in a very unique way and changed him in ways I can't describe.
With his sense of smell fully engaged, Bo became a frequent face around the dinner table, and was always underfoot in the kitchen. Of course we never minded and we always tossed a piece of whatever we were eating for him to find. It was easy to see that he enjoyed the search, because we'd see that quiet wag of his tail at those moments as he soaked up the praise we gave him for finding his treat.
I have to admit, when I first met Bo, I saw him as a "blind dog."  But I forgot that when I realized that he truly saw and trusted with his heart. Bo will always have a place all his own in what's left of mine.

Godspeed Handsome Bo. I never heard you bark in this life, but I hope as you arrive all brand-new at the Rainbow Bridge that you have found your voice as you see and are welcomed by those who have gone before you.  We will hope to see you and the others there one day. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Spring Snow Day!

The second day of spring brought a winter storm to our area of Virginia that ended up giving most people like me a day off.
~No commute for me!~
We got more than 6 inches of heavy-wet-snow before it stopped falling late in the afternoon.

Of course I took a lot of pictures. But I'll share just a few snowy scenes from our house on the second day of a new season Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
~Jameson & Max~
~Max & Rhett~

For me, it was the perfect snow day! 
I think Snowman Todd agrees with me!

If you found yourself in the middle of "Winter Storm Toby" I hope you had a good day too!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

It Was Max's Decision

I am playing the role of single-dog-parent while Carl is out of town for work.
~Todd, playing role of Single-Scottie-Watchdog~
In the quiet moments, I have managed to get a few of the "to-do's" off my list. One of two things at the top of that list had to do with Max. I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago about taking Max to meet someone who was interested in adopting him.
~Max and Rhett~
I'll start by saying that we weren't exactly hitting it off, but she looked good on paper. She is a single lady, about my age also with a Goldendoodle named Dex who is about the same age as Max.  I felt that we should at least meet and see where it went.  Did I mention that she and I weren't exactly clicking?  

But this was about Max.  All went well initially.  Usually Max growls when meeting new dogs, but this time he didn't.  Was it a sign?  I let them all take a walk, but Max kept pulling on the lead to get back to me, and he pulled so hard he began coughing. I tried to get out of sight, but Max wasn't being fooled. They returned from a very brief walk with Dex's Mom telling me that Max needed a lot of work on the leash and she continued on and on about how he could use a gentle leader, how she loved a gentle leader, what a difference the gentle leader makes, and how she's always used a gentle leader, and Max should have one, at the very least a harness and a lot of training.  This went on and on and on (!!!). And, while I didn't agree with her about Max, I stood there quietly and listened.  I'll add here that Max walks nicely on a leash.

I listened to Dex's Mom for as long as I could, trying to change the subject. But she didn't let up, and when she said that "she knew to me that Max was just a foster dog" for whatever reason, I couldn't take the criticism of Max any longer, and said to her exactly what I was thinking. And I have never done that to a hopeful adopter before. But I did this time. I put Max back into my van, shut the door, and told her among other things that I thought she was wrong about Max and how I felt about him. It left her a little speechless. I did feel (kind of) guilty because even now looking back at it, I guess she was just trying to be helpful. We stood there making polite small talk as I opened the door to my van hoping to change the direction of how the visit was going. But then someone came over to see the dogs, and she walked over to show Dex off.

I looked at Max relaxing on the seat, and I guess it may sound silly, but I said to him that I didn't like Dex and His Mom but if he did, that was okay. However he needed to give me a sign if he didn't want to live with them, because I needed a good reason to tell her no, and I didn't have one.
When Dex and His Mom came back, Max got out of my van, and Dex got too close, and Max snapped at him, not once, but twice. Dex was a little afraid of Max after that -- There was no recovering from that.  I guess Max was telling ME what HE thought. 
~Our opinion of meeting Dex and his Mom~
We ended our meeting rather quickly.  And, the next day, Dex's Mom sent me the e-mail telling me she didn't think Max was a fit for she and Dex. A conclusion I'd already come to. Which takes me to where we are now with Max.

I really thought that he would find another forever home. I really thought someone would come, and they would be wonderful and they'd make that connection with Max and see what a funny silly character he is. But my thoughts about that happening began to change with that disastrous meeting. I thought a lot about everything during our power outage a couple of weekends ago when I allowed Max on the bed to keep me warm during the night.
~Max during the power outage~
It all came down to that sometimes I really think that you get to pick a dog, other times, I think you are chosen.  I've decided that Max picked us.  So, I've told the rescue, sent in his adoption contract and fee, which makes it official.  Max FINALLY has a forever home. It has been quite a journey this past 19 months to get to this point. But I think it's how it should be.  But I think YOU already knew that! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cissy's Inner Time Clock

Compared to last weekend, this past one felt like a vacation. The weather could not have been better and the dogs could not be in better spirits.

The newest arrival to our household, Misty, has really settled in nicely. What a nice dog she is! Aside from some of Max's (usual) grouchiness, which she shys away from, she continues to get along with all the dogs. And when one of us arrives home, Misty is right with the crowd happily greeting us. As I said before and will keep saying, she's a true gem!

The weekend did rob us of one hour of sleep with the change to daylight saving time. The only one in our household that won't have to do any adjusting to the new time is Cissy.  She has an inner clock that cannot be changed. The last time change 6 months ago meant that Cissy started barking at 4 AM.  Sometimes she wants to go outside, sometimes it's to let us know the water bowls are empty and she wants a drink.  Other times it seems that it's just to let us know it's time to get up. But then there are the times I can't help but wonder if it's her way of simply telling me that there's a rumbling in her stomach and she wants to be fed. Whatever it is, we've not been able to change her inner clock. So at least until the next time change when Cissy starts barking, it's at the time we usually get our day started.
This is good news, because I think we're going to need all the help we can get in the morning until our inner clocks get used to daylight savings time.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Power Restored as Misty Arrives

High winds, rain, sleet, and a little snow hammered our corner of Virginia last Friday. And, just as I was getting ready for work, our lights went out here at home. I managed to get ready, and once at the office, our power went out there as well, so it became a short day which I was grateful for.
~The wind blowing in Charlie's face~ 
I'd prepared for a possible power outage, and we were fine for the most part.  I'm very grateful that on Saturday, friends who were out of town gave us the use of their home to warm up, recharge our cell phones, my laptop and refill our water supply. Other friends had us over for a dinner which along with their company recharged our inner batteries.
~Rhett our first night without power~
Even though I learned that you cannot underestimate the value of a warm dog when you're cold, I'll admit that by Sunday morning I was getting irritable. I was really dreading the thought of another day and night of being without power, and being cold. However, utility trucks were spotted throughout our area, so I just hoped we'd be one of the lucky ones that would get our power restored. Thankfully we were, and by late Sunday afternoon as our house was warming up, I was on a little road-trip.

Misty arrived at Golden Pines. Misty is 12-years old, and was given up by her family who were moving overseas and could not (would not??) take her with them.  She is a lovely dog with great manners, an easy going personality and has the approval of everyone at our house. We were told Misty didn't like small dogs, but we've been pleasantly surprised to find that she doesn't mind Todd at all and vice versa.
Lab Rescue already has Misty listed for adoption, and I've a feeling that she probably won't be with us for very long.  But however long she is with us, we're enjoying getting to know this sweet little gem that needs no polish.