Monday, September 30, 2013


Now the trail still leads into unknown places.  I have never had a dog in my life this long.  Karen and I have only had to make a decision to let Poni go.  That lesson was amazing in its beauty and rightness, and searingly painful in its loss and heart break.
     I think it is the ultimate end to any guardianship, to help in the passing on to the next stage, to make that as caring, pain-less and honorable as you can create.
     She is my partner, and I already mourn her.  Each day is beautiful and new and brings tears and memories I want to imprint in my brain like nothing else I have ever experienced.  Tonight I rubbed her soft fur near her ears and felt the two shaved bald patches on her side where the ultrasound imaging was performed.  I realized she has a very protective layer of fur.  It has always been there, but it keeps me from touching her skin.  Her soft white skin with the dark spots is baby smooth and so foreign to me.  As foreign as the path we tread.  There is no leash, there is no leader... we walk side by side into the next clearing, past the tall trees and onto the next rise to take in what ever is next.  We face forward, looking back, me more than she, and take strength from each other.  I think she feels better but tired, and that is all.  Nothing has changed for her, really.  But for me, my world has screamed to a slow pace filled with a desperation to capture it all and let nothing escape.
When I arrived at work yesterday, I noticed the leaves in one of the parking lots had changed mostly to gold.  The quality of light was actually different because of the leaves. 
When did this happen?
I need to stay aware of real time while I just want to focus on how many rubs and pats I can give Puppette.
October?  It is tomorrow and I do not know how it got here. 
 Did I blink again?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hello, Beautiful

     So how did all of this start?
     In 2000, I wanted a mouse.  Yes, a mouse.
     Karen, the most intelligent and perceptive partner that she is, pointed out that it is difficult to cuddle a mouse.
     An amazing PT named Margaret told me that the woman that ran her day care had a litter of Golden Retriever puppies.  I had met a golden/irish setter cross as a teen, remembered it fondly, and thought "hmmm, let's go look."
     We met Misty, the momma, and her 10 surviving puppies.  One had died from an impacted umbilicus, or some such nastiness.
     I went about this process in a very determined manner.  I temperament and intelligence tested each puppy.  I had made it through about 7 of them when the breeder, Seegar I think her name was, thrust one little pup into my hands.  I do believe she was getting tired of me handling each puppy and taking way too much time.
     I had been saying, for some time, that I would know the dog for me when it grabbed me by the nose and did not let go.
     When the breeder placed the golden fluff ball into my hands, I let it lean onto my chest and I felt a warm sensation push through the center of my chest (fourth chakra).  The little girl then leaned her head back and grabbed my goatee in her tiny perfect teeth and did not let go.  I looked up at Karen and knew this was the one.  A picture exists of a minute after this joining up of us two, I will post it when I find it.
     That was about thirteen years ago.  A little perfect golden puff ball and I started down a trail into things I had never imagined could be.  Obedience, therapy Pet Partners, dog trainer, dachshunds and so many more adventures.
     That is how this all started.  A boy and his amazing dog.   
     She is tired today, but I can tell she feels better.  I was greeted by her age diminished "WOOOO WOOOO" when I came home, and she licked my face and arms.  She does not do that too often any more.  Maybe she knows more that I give her credit for, but then, I believe that has always been the case.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Puppette, the most wonderful dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, had a very bad day yesterday.  She vomited and then did not want to eat her breakfast.  This is so unusual for her, I took her to the vet.  The initial work up and x-rays indicated she might have pleural effusion and kidney involvement.  These two things in combination are very bad.  after a rush trip to another vet clinic, and several hours of tests, it was determined it was not so bad, or was it?

Puppette has left lobe consolidated pneumonia, pancreatitis, and a growth in her bladder.  Well shit!
Today, my long conversation with Dr Perente clarified the situation.  Puppette has a transitional cell carcinoma in her bladder.  If treated aggressively, we could have many more months together.  If treated conservatively, she has a few months left.
I now have to define my relationship with my best girl in months.
This is a place I have dreaded and looked at side ways for thirteen years.  But now that it has shown up at my door, I really want to kick it in the nuts!
I have to decide so many things, now.  I am Puppette's guardian.  I have to make decisions she can't make.  I have to pay attention to her and read her more closely than ever before to make sure I do not miss some little sign or signal that the time is here.
Months.  Collections of 28, 29, 30 or 31 days.  I have had years.  But am I so greedy to want more?
I will write my thoughts here, for a time.  Maybe I will write this up until and just past saying good bye.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Over one year. 
It has been over one whole year in my life that I did not post one thing.
Did I get selfish and close a voyeur window into my life?
Did I get too busy?
Did Life happen in large and disrupting ways?
Did I make too many excuses to sit down and write?
As my dear friend would say, "Yeah, pretty much."
We lost our dear little bird at the tender age of 13, he died two days before Thanksgiving.
Puppette turned 12 and is deaf to the low register but can still hear the high, like the crinkling of a bag being opened.
Bugsy went blind from a rare disorder called SARDS or sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome.  He manages quite well, but bumps into things from time to time causing bumps in our hearts.
Pixie is off her year long trial of anti-anxiety medication.  She still hides in her part of the closet and will not come out into the house when we are here.  We set up the web cam twice and know that she comes out to play during the day when we are not home.  We even have footage of her chasing her own tail!
We are still here.
K and I both changed our eating habits and started working out and have lost weight and gotten a little healthier.
So bring on 2013.
I am still here, are you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Almost one year

September 19th last year, we brought home an over weight, very drugged little piebald dachshund and gave her a home.
It is almost one year later.
She remains so damaged from her previous life that our touch usually makes her recoil or tremble. If we try to pick her up, to take her to a vet appointment or to hold her to check her for ticks or just make sure she is healthy, she runs. When we catch her she pees or evacuated her little bowels in abject fear.
Her life is seen from behind a curtain in the bedroom closet were she hides if we are in the house.
But we know she has some joys.
We set up a video camera and recorded what happens when we have left the house. Within a few minutes, she leaves her closet and explores the house. She pesters the Puppette dog, lying down with her. This kinda annoys the retriever, but it is good. By 25 minutes past, she has jumped up on the bed and settles in to sleep. But she does not fully relax. She looks around every few minutes, might lower her head, but looks around again and again. Finally settling at 42 minutes but her breathing never becomes slow and even, like a sleep, but remains rapid, staccato at her ribs as she scents the air and expects threat where none lurk.
But then she is outside with Puppette. Her tail rides much higher now, not like a happy care free wiener, but a less nervous one. Never more than a few adorable trotting steps from Puppette. Hanging so close to the blonde back end that she gets peed on and pooped on from time to time and we can't get close enough to Pixie to clean her up.
She bowled into Bugsy one day when he tried to squeeze her out as they headed out the back door to the yard. a solid little chested bull knocked Bug aside with no malice, but decisively.
At her one year vet check, we will be exploring an anti-anxiety med for her. She exists but we wont more for her. Her existence is infinitely better than the hell she came from, but we wont her to be as happy as Puppette and The Bug.
Time passes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

6 days

In six days Pixie has gained some ground.
This very morning, I was standing in the doorway to the mud room. The little one walked passed me, behind my legs. She did not scurry, she did not drop her tail.
Tonight, she was glimpsed dragging her belly across the laundry room floor. She was pulling herself along the floor with her front legs, her little tail wiggling nicely.
She has become more bold in her explorations of the house. Tonight, she made it into the living room and was standing in front of Poppy's cage stand.
There is still so much ground to cover.
She will sniff my fingers, but will not let me pet her. I limit my rubs and scratches to her ears and the nose area between the eyes.
We leave the back door open a touch and she walks in and out on her own for over two hours. When she finally comes into the house, we sneak by her and close the door.
She has taken to sleeping in Bugsy's old bed at night, abandoning her nest area in the bed room.
At one point, she was lying in Bugsy's bed and Bug came over and laid down in the bed with her. She did not give ground by stepping out of the bed.
We are so happy with each small step, each gain. And we pay so much attention to avoid any set backs what so ever.

I'll keep ya all posted.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


As if the poor dear did not have enough challenges in her life, we got a thunder storm last night.
Fortunately, the storm passed near but did not roll over us. But there was a wonderful light and sound show going on in the heavens.
K got Pixie and sat on her love seat holding the little one while we watched TV. This way Pixie would not be alone through the storm. It really could have gone either way; she would be fine or she would be afraid. She started to tremble a bit and K said her breathing increased quite a bit.
After the storm passed and it got calm again, we prepared for bed. Pixie was allowed free roam of the house. She likes to wander in and out the back door when it is left open. But I was talking to my sister when K motioned for me to follow her. I waved her off because my sister had a REALLY bad day. I missed Pixie nosing her way under Puppette's lounging pillow and rolling on the blanket there. So she is under the pillow, on top of a blanket rolling around. She did this three times.
Every day I get home from work, I carry her out into the yard where Puppette and Bugsy are relieving themselves and sniffing the evening news. Puppette says hello to me with a WOOO WOOOOOOOO and then runs a few feet off and flops onto her back, paws up in the air and rolls contentedly with little grunts of pleasure. Did she see her do this and is now emulating? Did she do this in her cage/crate back in the hell she came from.
So many questions, but now, so many smiles.

Another day.