Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts for my old labby.....

Beau has been with me for the last 8 years.  I adopted him from a local shelter.  It was hard to tell his age as his teeth were in bad shape from rock chewing.  Best guess, he was 5ish.  So, my old boy is now 13ish...  It is getting close to that time where we will have to make a decision for my old boy.  We had all hoped he would make it to Christmas this year, as it is his favorite holiday!!  He did, and had a great one!
Tonight, Beau was different.  Not as chatty, a little more limpy, and for the first time ever, I saw sadness in his eyes.  I do not claim to know a lot about anything, but I do know dogs.....  My big love came over to me while we were all playing "Don't Spill the Beans", breathed a heavy sigh and laid down in my lap.  I stroked his head and hugged him.  He groaned and sighed.  He looked up at me with his sad eyes, and my eyes welled with tears...  It was as if to say "Mom, Christmas was wonderful, but it is time".
I held him and cried.  My daughter cried.  My husband cried.  The other three dogs came an laid with us (there is never that much calm in my house!).  The discussion with my 5 year old hit a new level tonight. Beau is her favorite and she is heartbroken.
So, please send some good thoughts to my good, old labby.  We will be seeing if there are any other options at this point, but he will not suffer.  He has been an amazing old friend.  Loving, kind and funny.  Taking care of his needs is the very least I can do for everything that old boy has done for me.....
Beau putting up with the new bulldog puppy, 4 years ago!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sorry, Mom

When Bruno was younger, he went EVERYWHERE with me.  I was on the local fire department, and he even went on calls with me!  On one call, Bruno waited in my truck for me to return.  When I got back to the station Bruno was so excited to see me!!  I walked over to the truck to bring him inside and he was bounding everywhere.  I heard the distinct "Click" of the door locking!!!!  When parking at the firehouse, we left our keys in the car in case our vehicles needed to be moved.....
There stood Bruno, locked in the truck, baying at the top of his lungs!!  We tried everything to get the truck unlocked, with no luck.  I had to call my Dad to go get my keys and come to the firehouse.  Bruno jumped and howled for about half an hour until we broke him free!  He jumped out and wiggled his way to the firehouse, happy to greet everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

As I sit, getting ready to go to sleep on this wonderful Christmas Eve; I am surrounded...  Surround by love.  Surrounded by 1 old, minature beagle, with whom I have now spent 12 Christmas Eves with.  He has been there when many have not.  He has given me the true meaning of Christmas - unconditional love.

I am surrounded by a very large mastiff, who is snoring and exhausted from stealing a very large piece of beef tonight.  She ran outside with it and gulped it down.  She came back inside, sheepishly wagging her tail, as if to say "sorry, but thanks, it was good!"

I am surrounded by a very old black lab, who has given me nothing but joy and love since I adopted him 8 years ago.  A loyal, loving boy, who laid on the floor with my daughter tonight, both excited for Christmas.

I am surrounded by a farting bulldog...  Perhaps not such a lovely Christmas thought, but he is a lovely dog.  He was the hit of our Christmas party last night and really made people smile.

So here I am, in the midst of dogs, thinking about the true meaning of the season.  I all I ever need to do is look to these four heros and I have found the spirit and love of the holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good (and less stinky) night!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unconditional Love

So, this post is not about my current dogs, but ones I grew up with.  Valentine (a golden), Tank (a golden) and Crash (a lab mix).  This time of year reminds me of my Mom, who passed away 14 years ago.  She loved the holidays!  LOVED Christmas.  SO I always think her of her a little it more than usual this time of year.
My Mom and I always had a "date" for Wednesday nights to watch "Beverly Hills, 90210".  I worked for a treatment center and usually called Mom during lunch.  One particular Wednesday, the boys were acting up and I could not get away.  So, I waited until I got home to talk to her.  When I got home, it was eerily quiet.  Usually, I would be greeted by barks and tail wags.  I pulled in and heard nothing...
I went into the house, still quiet.  I heard the TV downstairs on "snow" with that loud humming sound.  I called to my Mom and got no response.  I looked downstairs, and my Mom had died.  Laying in the room we called "the pit".....  She had a heart attack.  As sad and painful as it all was, she was surrounded...  All three dogs were with her.  Laying by her side.  One had a toy, the other had a ball, the third just laid with her.  I remember the faces that I saw when they looked up at me; so sad, so peaceful....  I can't prove it, but I am certain they were with her all afternoon.  Once they knew it was ok to leave her side, they began comforting me and continued to do so for many years.
Dogs are wonderful.  Dogs are amazing.  Dogs are unconditional love defined.......  May your dogs give you peace, joy and love on your worst days.... and your best days!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There is something about Lou...

I was reading a magazine about bulldogs today...   I began to think about Louie and what a wonderful companion he has become.  I will give it to you straight - Louie is disgusting.  He burps.  He farts.  He is constantly dirty.  He drools more water on the floor than he gets in the house.  But, Louie is the kindest, sweetest, most loving dog I have ever met.
Louie loves his people.  Actually, he loves all people, unless they are infringing on his house or HIS people!  I have recently changed jobs (to a dream job), which has allowed me more time with my family and my dogs.  I am now able to take my daughter to school every morning.  Louie has decided that this is his job too!  It started about a week ago as a power struggle between the two of us.  We were running late for school.  I opened the gate to go to the garage and Louie bolted past me and ran downstairs.
"No, Lou.  Come Lou.  Please come Lou, I don't have time for this."  He looked at me and sat!
"Louie, get your butt up here NOW!!"  Nope.  He wanted us to take him...  Well, after several minutes, I won.  Lou stayed home.  The next day, we were even later for school!  I opened the gate, Lou bolted.  This time he went all the way downstairs.  I followed, cursing...  When I came around the corner, there was Louie, shaking, wiggling and smiling!  He was sooooooo excited and wanted to go.  Lou won this one.
Since that day Louie has accompanied us to school in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoons for pick up.  It makes him so happy.  It makes my daughter and I giggle, and start our morning off in a great mood!  Yesterday, Louie got to come into the classroom with us!  I have never seen a dog so excited!  I really thought he was going to come out of his skin!!  The kids loved Louie.  Louie loved the kids!  Louie is now the talk of kindergarten!
The morale of the story - Louie may be gross, he may be stinky.....  but he makes anyone he meets smile.  He makes me happy.  He continues to teach me the true definition of unconditional love!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The second incident at the vet.....

Bruno had been staying at the vet for a few weeks.  He was still barely eating and drinking little water.  The weekend was coming.  No one staffed the vet's office on Sundays, so we were prepared to bring Bruno home on Saturday and take care of him.  I was going to have to give him shots, IV fluids and medications.  I was prepared, and thought being home might be good for him.
I was told on Saturday that "she" did not want Bruno to be released and "she" wanted him to stay at the office over the weekend.  Again, I had to advocate for my little man.  I was pissed that "she" wanted to keep him in the office, on Sunday, when NO ONE would be there.  If something went wrong, they would not find Bruno until Monday morning, when it could be too late.  If he came home, we would be with him and ready to do something if needed.
Bruno came home.  He was so sick.  He was so exhausted.  But he was happy to be home!  I took vital signs every hour.  I gave him fluids through a needle 4 times a day.  I gave him shots every few hours....  He did well on Saturday.  On Sunday, he took a downhill turn.  He began to vomit.  We decided he need to go to the doggie emergency room.  When we got there, I explained everything to the vet.  The vet gave Bruno a heavy duty medication that the owner of my regular clinic refused to buy or give.  It turned out to be a miracle drug!  Bruno began to feel better!!  He started to eat and drink small amounts on his own.
I called Dr. Lynne on the way home and she was as excited as I was!!  She called the emergency vet the next day and order some of the miracle drug for Bruno.  He was showing signs of hope!!  We continued to go back to the clinic, EVERYDAY for a couple of months.  He was getting ultra sounds weekly to look at the pus pockets (the ultra sound doc did not make us pay for many of them, as we were already racking up a huge medical bill).  I was still giving him shots and heavy duty anitbiotics and taking his vital signs frequently.
Then it happened....  About 6 months after that awful night that Bruno was taken into surgery, we had another ultra sound.  Dr. Lynne, Dr. Dawn, the ultra sound doc, the front office and of course Bruno, my daughter and I were nervous!!  We went into the ultra sound room and flipped the little guy on his side.  She began to check the area where the largest and most stubborn pus pocket had formed.  The room was so quiet...  But wait, she couldn't find it!!!  IT WAS GONE!!!!!!  Bruno was completely healed!!!!  I couldn't believe it!  The vets couldn't believe it, the office couldn't believe it.  HE WAS HEALED!!!  We all had tears in our eyes!  Bruno was a fighter and he had won this battle!
Almost three years later, I sit here typing, with my 12 year old buddy, Bruno, laying next to me.  What a blessing!  He was like a new dog when he finally felt better.  No more blockage, no more pancreatitis, no more infections!  For the first time since my husband and I had been together, he saw Bruno play!!  That blocked intestine had been causing Bruno a great deal of problems for many years.  We just didn't know how bad until he was all better!
There are so many people to thank for helping Bruno get through this....  Dr. Lynne, you are amazing!  I am so glad we met that night, so is Bruno!!!  Dr. Dawn, you, too are amazing!  You have been such a wonderful vet for so many years, and you finally got that nose lick you always wanted!!!!!  The office staff, the techs, the ultra sound doc, my family and the community for all being there - to listen, to let me cry, to hug me!  You guys are ALL AMAZING!!!  Each and everyone of you have been a blessing to us, and we have our Bruno Bear to prove it!!  THANK YOU!!!