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?"

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Keeping The Homefront Safe

I've not been feeling well since Friday, and have spent most of the weekend in bed.  

While Carl and my brother were gone, there was no need to worry about me.  Todd was keeping the home front safe...

Against what, is something only he knows - Good boy Todd!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Alf Arrives at Golden Pines

Our weekend begins with a new senior boy, a Goldendoodle, named "Alf."
~Meet  lost-boy, Alf!~
Alf who we are estimating to be around 12 years old, was a stray or a lost boy in Baltimore Maryland. He has had a pretty rough week.  He was unable to really walk when he was at the shelter, was "depressed" and in the records we received, three times euthanizing him was mentioned.

~Shelter photos of Alf~
He has an infected tooth and elbow, and what looks like a wire within a lump on his chest, he had fleas and a matted coat. But after a day or two on medications, he was feeling better and the rescue was asked to take him. 

~Is that a wire??~
When we met on Thursday, Alf was able to walk, he had gotten a (really) bad haircut, the fleas were gone, thankfully, and he was exhausted.  Once at home, we didn't do any one on one intros because he fell fast asleep. Not even waking up for my brother or Carl coming home. 
After his evening meal, he was soon fast asleep again.
~Out cold!~
When he was awake, Alf was tentative in our interactions and his eyes followed and watched everything that I did and they even seemed a bit puzzled. His world had been turned totally upside down so it's understandable. 
~The look from a 'doodle whose life is turned totally upside down~
No longer that "lost boy" three days later, Alf is a totally different dog with confidence. His eyes have softened, he's relaxed, and following me around the house and he's even a bit silly.  He's getting along fine with the other dogs, and just sits nearby and barks and wags his tail when we talk to him. I'd say that unlike Max, his personalty seems more Golden than Poodle.  He also loves exploring the yard and just laying in the grass.
~Alf loves our big yard!~
Alf has a vet appointment on Monday afternoon. But given how he's acting today, maybe those health-issue-hurdles that he has to get over will be easier than we all thought.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Unofficial Finish Line of Summer

Monday. Labor Day weekend and the mark of the end of summer.  Okay, just to be technical, Labor Day is not the official end of summer – that title is reserved for September 21st since the 22nd marks the first official day of fall. But with that being said, many people like me, see it as summer ending. And talk about ending, I'm not just limping across the finish line to the end of summer, I am being dragged across it, waving my white flag of surrender.....I AM DONE with summer. It has been far too busy and a much too hectic summer.

This past Saturday we were invited to a Shabbat lunch with the family that adopted Brandon.  It was such a lovely and enjoyable afternoon, and it was great to see Brandon all settled in.  He is loved, adored and pampered, as I knew he would be. I've made the joke several times that if there were 100 ways to spoil Brandon, Pam will find 110!
~Brandon and his new pack-mate Omelet~
Back at home, the crew is doing pretty well.  Eva spends most of her days sleeping, and I know it is because the kidney disease is progressing. There are times that I see the "old Eva" and I cannot help but smile and be grateful for those moments when her illness is not so much on the surface.
~A good day for Eva last Thursday~
I've also been grateful that Eva's appetite had been stable the last several weeks. But this weekend she missed 3 meals in a row, so I'm back to trying to find something she'll want to eat.  If you have a few to spare, could you send some good vibes for her? 

On the much lighter side, Cissy (below) has been eating her meals with Chipper, our foster boy from Lab Rescue because they both eat slower than the others. But he has seemed so hungry lately and I found out why. I've left he and Cissy alone to eat, and she has been eating his food.  Under that innocent senior face, lies a food stealer. Who knew?  Today she got a bath, and I think I heard a snicker or two from Chipper about that.
We did take some time to sit and relax on the porch today. 
Even Eva (below) joined us.
As Labor Day weekend comes to an end, it's easy to see that the nights are drawing in. It will be dark when our day starts on Tuesday.  I'm not sad that Summer is leaving us. We will still have some nice days in September and October and even into November. But I am glad to put the summer unofficially behind us and I look forward to Autumn, and a new season.