Monday 12 August 2013

The long goodbye.

I started this blog with a goal in mind. I was going to show the joys of adopting older dogs. Maybe encourage or convince other people to adopt elderly dogs. I was going to make one post, no matter how small, every day. Then, I figured maybe I'd make a post once a week. This got reduced to the idea that perhaps I'd just post photos once in a while. Life, work, dogs, chickens, kids, hockey, gardens and now pigs kind of got in the way. Blogging is much like exercise - you have to MAKE the time.
But I didn't and now here I am a little over a year later writing this my letter of goodbye to my beautiful girl.

When exactly did you stop meeting me at the gate outside? I can't remember the exact day. One day you were there jumping up and down on your front legs, joyful to see me. The next day you got up from your bed when I came in the door; shoving your head between my knees; looking for an ear rub worthy of a happy moan. Of all 3 dogs, you were the eldest yet the one with the most energy, life and joy. 

Two weeks ago, you had a seizure. It was incredibly terrifying for both of us. Your vision dimmed a little afterwards but otherwise you seemed fine. The vet prescribed a wait and see treatment. For the first few days every time you moved, I went a little crazy. 

But you were otherwise fine. You were happy. You were eating less and sleeping more but you were happy, always making sure you had an eye on me and I had an eye on you, wherever we were.

As I watched you today, I realized you had slowed down even more than usual. You're tired my sweet girl and I can feel you slipping from me. It makes me sad. It makes me teary. I don't want to make you stay longer than you should, but I don't want you to go. I knew when you came to us, you wouldn't be with us for many years. We knew we'd be lucky to get 2 years, possibly 3. Here we are, a year and a bit later and you're leaving us. Our time together has been a gift, despite the fact that it's been so short. 

I'm stealing as much time with you as I can, knowing it's the last little bit of time I have left. I get up from my desk and touch you as often as I can; burying my fingers into that soft, furry loose, coonhound skin around your neck. Sometimes I lie on your bed beside you and inhale the smell that is Nikko. You sniff at me, confused about why I'm lying on the floor with you but not really caring too much because it means ear rubs to your heart's content.

You've decided you're no longer interested in dog food. I've decided you can have as many dried liver treats as you want. Who needs a dog food dinner when you can have whole, raw milk - cream included, mixed with dried liver bits or cooked liver mush? I don't care if you never eat "dog food" again. I'll keep cooking up liver and running it through the food processor into a nice gravy forever if that's what keeps you here.

My girl, how do I explain how much I've grown to love you. How do I explain how you've filled this hole in our lives we didn't even know was there. I hope that we've given you joy in this final time of your life. I hope that all of our adventures through the bush, all of the smells, the deer, rabbits and the swamp you so love to wade through has brought joy to a life that was once so solitary and lonely. 

Your boy will miss you. He'll miss making you moan with his superior ear rubs. He'll miss throwing sticks for you in the swamp. He'll miss sneaking you liver treats when he thought no one was looking.

My girl, I only have one final request for you. Please wait for me. Please don't leave us on your own. You spent so much of your life alone in that garage, let me be there for you when you leave this world. You deserve to go in someone's loving arms. I would be honored to be the one to hold your head, rub your neck and ears, ease your passing any way I can.

Nikko watching me while I make dinner tonight, waiting for anything to drop on the floor

Saturday 28 April 2012

Foto-tastic Friday

Since today has been rather uneventful (seriously, how many rabbits and deer can you see before you just become blasé?) - Mom and I decided Fridays would be dedicated to photographs of - you guessed it - me!

You're welcome :)

Every now and then I have to wait for Mom - she forgets to follow me sometimes.
But my boy had a stick. Sticks rule.
I love the stick my boy made me
TADA! No crazy butt hair!!
Mom calls this my "Puppy look"
Because we can't all be cover models all the time :)

Friday 27 April 2012

Maybe I'm just a sniffer, not a hunter.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any wilder after the monster deer episode yesterday, FBB showed me how to hunt rabbits.
Here's the thing. She gets right in the brambles. I hate that stuff. It's prickly, it's pokey, heck, Mom has to give her eyedrops cause one of the branches poked her eye so badly. She still goes in there.
So the deal is, I sniff it out, she goes in and chases the rabbit out, then we catch it.
Well, she didn't tell me I had to wait for the rabbit to come out. Much like the deer, she also didn't tell me what a rabbit looks like. I've gotta be honest with you. After seeing the deer yesterday, I wasn't too keen on seeing what a rabbit is today.
So I sniffed it out, now she's going in.
I found a trail for her, she went in full bore looking for rabbits. I kind of got bored and went around the corner with Rokko, the husky. Mom shouted - oooh look, a bunny. Well fer goodness sake, how was I supposed to know bunny and rabbit are the same thing? This little furry thing blasted past me and took off up the hill before I could even blink. It was even smaller than the cats! Here's the thing about FBB - the F stands for Fat. I mean, I'm starting to think she's an ok kind of dog and all, but once she goes into the brambles, she has a hard time getting back out again. That furry thing was past me, past Rokko and up, over the hill before she even came out of the bushes.

She didn't sound very happy with either of us when she came running by, trying to catch up with the rabbit. I'm starting to wonder if the whole "I caught a rabbit once and it was thiiiiiiiiiiiiis big" story isn't just that - a story.

I figured she'd  never catch it so I just watched her run up and over the hill. We waited and waited for her to come back and sure enough, she didn't catch it. Apparently I was supposed to stop it when it came out. She should have told me what to look for - her fault, not mine.
She finally came back with her tongue hanging down past her chest, panting her face off and surprise surprise - no bunny.
The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful but Mom patted me when we got back and congratulated me on two straight days of no crazy butt hairs.
I guess I can learn to tolerate this nutty dog - especially if it means every day gets to be like this.

Thursday 26 April 2012

So, OK, maybe I'm a lot lab

Mom was shaking her head at me today and saying she thinks there's a lot more lab in me than coonhound.
I'm not sure why she said it. I was in the compost pile snacking down on some incredibly yummy stuff. Then we went to the garden and the black dirt smelled soooo good I had to eat some of that too. Mom said it was 5 year old manure and I was crazy to eat it - either that or a lab. I'm thinking lab must be a good thing. She also said I must be part lab cause I like Kitty Krunchies - I don`t recall SAYING I like Kitty Krunchies.
Kitty Krunchies? Who, me? Why do you ask?
She's one to call ME crazy. Her kid is the one who tried to go to school this morning with his shorts on inside out. I never try to wear my fur inside out. How could he not see the pockets on the outside of the legs?
So, holy cow - I HAVE to tell you about our walk yesterday. We left later in the morning because it was pouring rain out early in the morning and the other two dogs, especially the husky, will melt if they get wet apparently. Anyway, there we are, walking around and FBB gets a whiff of something and she takes off like a shot.
And, there she goes.
Mom and I kept walking down around the corner and up over the big rock and that's when I saw them. I swear, they were monsters. There were 3 of them - they were even bigger than Dad - just standing there staring at us. Woah. I had to back up and get behind Mom, you know, to watch her back, cause someone's gotta watch her back for her. Then they just suddenly turned away and started flying. I swear to you - they were really flying. All 4 of their legs barely ever touched the ground.
That's about when FBB came crashing by shouting "Dude - THOSE are deer!!"
At which point she "chased" them. I say "chased" cause by the time she went by I couldn't even see them, much less hear them anymore.
I think I might have a bit of a new found respect for the FBB. I mean seriously, those things were more than twice her size and they can fly. I didn't see their teeth but I'm betting a dentist would be afraid of them. She says I don't need to be afraid of them, that they always just run away. I thought she was kind of stupid before, now I'm sure of it.
She didn't want to leave in case they came back.
So for the rest of the walk I figured since she's way fatter than I am, if the deer came back, they'd want to snack on her first, so it would be a good idea to hang close to her.
Don't judge me. Look, she's got waaaay more tasty fat on her than I do.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!

So, Mom says I have to get my butt in gear and post some stuff cause someone wants to read my blog!
Mom's been a bit off lately cause of that guy she calls Dentist. One day she came home and half of her face was huge. I think if I ever saw this Dentist guy I might have to have a few words with him.
So, to catch you up.
I'm almost out of that face thing. Thank goodness! I was so good on the weekend we went 2 days without needing it at all. Then Clio (AKA Fat Brown Bitch) thought she could come to Mom for scritches when I was standing right there. I am SO not down with that.
Mom says I'm lucky FBB is patient and listens to her. I say FBB better step off.
So, today when my butt hair went crazy again when I saw FBB, Dad made me wear the stupid thing. I don't know why I have to be nice to her.
This is one of Mom's humans. Maybe I can talk him into taking it off for me. Sometimes I put my head between his knees and whip my head up really fast. Then he jumps and says "Stop sacking me". Not sure what Sacking is but it makes Ronan, the little human laugh when I do it to this one.
We've been doing a lot of exploring in the back. Mom takes us out every morning. She brings this black thing and spends SO much time looking at stuff through it. Sometimes I think she forgets we're there. Mom says we have to walk a lot all together because it makes me too tired to be grouchy and I am more patient with FBB when we're walking. That's SO not it. FBB is too busy with other smells to pay much attention to Mom when we're walking so I don't have to establish who owns whom.

This is Mom's smaller human Ronan. He throws sticks for me. FBB is so stupid she doesn't even realize she's supposed to chase sticks. Ronan likes to throw sticks for me so much that he even cut a special stick just for me. He said it's very green so it will last a long time...

He's pretty good at throwing sticks. I love my stick cause it's all mine and nobody else ever touches it - especially FBB and the cats (don't think just cause I didn't mention them that I'm not still planning their demise, cause I so totally am)

Friday 13 April 2012

I don't think I like the dentist

I almost had the cat yesterday. I was so close! Can you believe that the stupid husky was the one who stopped me? I don't think he can be called a dog anymore. What kind of dog steps between another dog and a hissing cat? Sigh, the madness in this house never ends.
Mom left me yesterday. She's never done that before. She told me she was going to the dentist, patted my head, closed the gate on the stairs and she left. There was no one here but the cats and the other dogs. I was almost upset about it but she didn't look happy about this dentist thing and my bed is so soft, I kind of just fell asleep.
Before I knew it she was back, looking even more unhappy. Since she decided to take us for a walk I figured she must be feeling better.
By the time we got back from the walk I could pretty much tell she was not feeling better - at all. I think she was feeling worse. She didn't even respond when I flipped her hand with my snout.
Finally she rubbed my head, lifted my lip and said that I have to go to the dentist next week.
Well, I don't know what "next week" is and I don't know what "dentist" is, but I don't think I want to go.
I think my teeth look just fine, don't you?

But She's MINE now.

So, we're out walking in the front this morning. I'm happy and I'm showing Mom how happy I am, jumping up and down, racing back and forth, bumping her hand with my head.
Then along comes that fat, dumb, b*tch who lives here thinking SHE can get some of MY Mom's attention.
Well. That's not cool and it's not going to be happening if I can help it.
I growled and lunged. Wow. Stuff got pretty intense for a while there. Mom was yelling, Dad tried to hold my collar but I slipped it off, then the stupid dog tried to back away from me but I wasn't done laying down the law so I went after her some more. I had to show her. This is MY Mom and SHE can't have her. Dad tried to lie down on top of me to make me stop, then he put his whole body between me and the other dog. The male was smart - he just sat and watched.
The female backed away again and I was going to finish her off - I mean really - what is she doing here anyway? This is MY home.
That's when I realized Mom was telling me NO! Pretty loud too. She stepped in front of me and put up her hand and said a very angry NO again. Then she pointed away from her and said GO!
Dad made me go with him to the house. When I looked back, Mom was sitting on the ground and the female was leaning on her shaking. I could hear Mom telling her she was sorry and saying Thank you for being a good dog.
Good DOG? She is NOT a good DOG. She needs to go away.
But then Mom looked at me and she was sad. This pretty much took all of my energy away. Mom was very sad. She was shaking too. I looked over at Dad and he was hosing his leg off because it was scratched up and muddy from trying to get on the ground between us.
For the rest of the day, Mom kept me with her and away from the other dogs. Everywhere she went in the house, she made me go with her. Finally, she left me with Dad and she drove away.
When she came back, she brought her little human and said it was time for a walk - YES!! I LOVE WALKS!!
Then she showed me this cagey thing with treats inside it. I ate out the treats, then she put it on my face. It felt funny. Once it was on my face, she let me be with the other dogs. I wanted to take the thing off but Mom said to keep me safe, I had to wear it.
Keep me safe. pffft. I'm not the one who needs to be kept safe. That other female might be bigger and younger than me, but I can still show her who's the real boss.
She  said I had to learn to trust that no one here will hurt me, not even the other dogs. I need to learn to trust them so I won't try to hurt them.
I don't like the thing. Now I have to wear it in the yard but not so much when we walk. Mom says when we walk, I forget that I don't trust the other dogs because I'm too busy sniffing stuff.
What she doesn't know is that when we walk, we're equal and they don't try stealing my Mom away from me. Maybe she'll learn. But until then, I'm going to have to wear this stupid thing in the yard.