Zen’s Chillin’ with Grandpa

My little boy is spending some time with his grandpa, doggie mama, auntie, and cousins – being taught doggie manners by five adult dogs in the same house. And getting a break from the stress of dealing with his human daddy’s dementia. And giving me a break from his teething. 🐊 🦈

Exploring Grandpa’s Yard
The room where he spent the first 8 weeks of his life.

“Grandpa Chuck” has been enjoying Zen’s time with him, too. I get glowing reports – and photos and/or videos – daily. Zen is being an absolutely perfect house guest. No teething, no biting, and no “accidents” to clean up. He did need a bath though after spending part of last Saturday helping his grandpa wash his truck. 🤪

Meanwhile, I’m here at home, working with hubby’s dementia doctor, trying to help him deal with the challenges of the dementia. I’m alone physically but I do have emotional support in the form of family and friends. And I can call our medical professionals any time I have questions.

I miss my canine emotional support team (Ducky and Bogie) and my “little ray of sunshine” (Zen) but I’m managing. At least I don’t have to worry about any of them getting hurt or feeling neglected.

My K9 Emotional Support Team
My “Little Ray of Sunshine”

So, on this Friday after Thankful Thursday, I’m thankful for caring, supportive medical professionals, family members, and friends (both online and IRL). More thankful than any words can convey.

Have a great weekend everyone! If it’s hot where you live – like it is here – stay cool and hydrated! If it’s cold, then keep warm (and hydrated). Love you all! Thanks for being our friends!

Thankful for Zen

Happy Puppy

Bogie and Ducky knew exactly what we both needed in a puppy. Their little brother is sweet, adorable, and precious. He is active and curious, and all. over. the. place! He keeps us – mostly me – busy.

He’s not much of a snuggler yet, but that’s okay. He prefers the coolness of the kitchen floor to the warmth of the living room carpet, and apparently my lap as well. But he did oblige me with a short snuggle session on Monday afternoon.

My Baby Snugglebuddy

This little boy has been living up to his name. He runs around like a little Tasmanian devil, but he’s still calm. He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, and he expands my heart with his puppy kisses.

Drawn to the Shelter

Since Ducky joined her sisters and brothers at the Rainbow Bridge, I have said I wouldn’t be getting another shelter dog anytime in the near future. Mainly because it wouldn’t be fair to that dog to have to deal with hubby’s dementia episodes on top of the challenges of just settling into a new life. That has not changed. I’m not sure I’ll ever be emotionally ready to adopt another shelter animal. So, you might be asking yourself, what is she leading up to?

Well, for most of the last two weeks, I was feeling drawn to the shelter in search of a dog that looked like Ducky. I resisted every urge to drive over there in fear I would find one and want to bring her home against my own better judgment. I could not understand why I was feeling so drawn to the shelter when I knew it wasn’t time yet.

Well, on Sunday afternoon I went on the shelter’s website – again drawn to finding a Ducky lookalike. And, I actually found one….

I won’t share her photograph here because I don’t own the rights to it (the shelter does). And it wouldn’t be right. I won’t divulge the name the shelter gave her, either, even though it’s cute. Let’s just call her “Sissy”, as in Ducky’s little sister.

She is approximately 2-1/2 years old. She could not look any more like Ducky at the same age if they were identical twins! The ears, and the eyes!! My doG, she is adorable! And she even weighs about the same as Ducky did at that age! I wanted to run over to the shelter and play with her right then and there. Luckily, the shelter is closed to the public on Sundays. 😌 I fell in love with her image. Just as I had fallen in love with Ducky nearly ten years ago.

All Sunday afternoon and evening, and then Monday morning, I kept going back to the picture of little Sissy. And talking to my sweet Ducky. I decided to call the shelter to see if she had been adopted yet. If not, I was going to bring Ducky’s two smaller beds to the shelter and ask that they be given specifically to Sissy.

When I called, I was told by a very nice lady that Sissy had been adopted. A wave of relief flowed over me. But I also felt hugely happy for her. Happy that she had found her forever family very quickly. (Poor Ducky spent most of her first 7 months of life at the shelter before we adopted her.) I hope – and have to trust – that they will love Sissy with their whole hearts and give her all she needs for the rest of her life. After I hung up with the shelter lady, I told hubby “we’re going to take Ducky’s two smaller beds to the shelter and put them in the donations bucket, in honor of Ducky’s life with us.” So, we stopped at the Atlanta Bread shop for a late lunch and then took the beds to the shelter.

Once the beds were in the donations “bucket” and we were back in the car, I felt happy. Happy that Sissy had been adopted; and happy because I knew Ducky was proud of me. I could literally feel her smiling at me with that special smile she always reserved for me. It was a huge healing moment for me.

There will still be tearful times when I need to feel Ducky’s fur on my face or her body leaning into mine; but I know she’s always in my heart. I can look at her sweet face in the countless photos on my phone or in picture frames. And in the photo pendant I wear around my neck every day.

Photo pendant that I bought from an Etsy seller.

Thankful Thursday

Tomorrow will be two weeks since the horrible accident that took Bogie’s earthly life from us. And in so doing left our hearts shattered yet again. But we are thankful to have had this goofy, sweet, loving boy in our lives for the short time he was here.

Hi Mama!!

We’re thankful for a merciful God who didn’t allow our boy to suffer the pain of insurmountable internal injuries.

We’re thankful for all the love, kind words, and emotional support we have received from family and friends, both offline and online, many of whom we have never met face-to-face. And I’m thankful for the sweet, thoughtful gifts from two of my fellow bloggers – you know who you are.

We’re thankful for the strangers who DID stop to try to help Bogie and us. Good samaritans with caring souls.

We’re thankful for our wonderful vets and staff at Haywood Road Animal Hospital who so lovingly and compassionately comforted us and handled all the final details of making sure Bogie would be coming home to be with us forever.

We’re thankful for the St. Francis Pet Crematorium staff who made sure Bogie’s earthly form was treated with the dignity and compassion he deserved. And his cremains returned to us with heartfelt expression of sympathy for our loss.

And, of course, we are thankful for Ducky. Our sweet girl. Our angel with paws instead of wings. Our precious furry companion who does her best every day to make us smile and laugh through our tears. Our sugar-snout who misses her favorite pest as much as we do and continues to look for him at times.

Let’s go out!

So Much Going On Update on Thankful Thursday.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you might remember that we had been without a local vet for several weeks. I wrote about it in our last post, here. I’ve allowed the sadness to ebb and flow and moved on.

Before all the sad stuff hit home, I had wanted to have Dr. Simpson set up a stem cell infusion for Ducky (like we had done for Shadow 3-1/2 years ago) to help with the pain from her arthritis/hip dysplasia, but COVID made that impossible. So, I started thinking about other options, particularly veterinary acupuncture.

Dr. Simpson came to the rescue again with the name of a vet nearby who practices TCVM (traditional Chinese veterinary medicine). One of the techs at the animal hospital where he now works had worked with the TCVM vet previously and recommended Dr. Barr highly. So, I made an appointment with her; and Dr. Simpson filled in as our regular vet until I could establish a relationship with a new local vet. I am so glad I did! Dr. Barr is wonderful with Ducky!

After learning that my first choice for a new regular vet would not be willing to work with an “alternative medicine” vet, I had to find someone who would work with her. I knew from Dr. Simpson of an excellent vet not too far from home so I called them with my fingers crossed.

I lucked out! Not only are they willing to do so, but one of the vets there – now our new vet – is friends with Dr. Barr since having worked with her elsewhere a few years ago. Dr. Moskowitz is wonderful, too! And two of the techs there used to work with Dr. Simpson at our former vet hospital so they both knew Ducky (and one even knew Bogie).

So, we now have two wonderful local veterinarians as well as our beloved friend, Dr. Simpson….

So, on Thankful Thursday we have a great deal to be thankful for. We have two new vets who are working together and with us to help Ducky feel better and keep Bogie healthy as well.

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for today, and every day. I’m just going to list a few….

I’m thankful for supportive family and friends.

I’m thankful for our very supportive primary care doctor. She is wonderful beyond measure, and we both love her.

I’m thankful for both of our two vets, and their caring staff, at Sunrise Animal Hospital just a little over a mile from the house. The vets both know and love Ducky, and are getting to know and love little Bogie.

With respect to the vets, I’m thankful for our excellent rapport. They both know that I have complete faith and trust in them to do and suggest what’s right for all my pups – past, present and future – and that if something they suggest doesn’t work, I won’t blame them – especially if I don’t follow their instructions to the letter.

I’m thankful that while hubby’s dementia has changed, at least he is still fully aware of himself, his surroundings, and his family. He knows something isn’t quite right with him, and it frustrates him; but he trusts me to do what’s best for him, to love him unconditionally, and to help him in any way I can.

And I’m thankful that Ducky is becoming more accepting of her baby brother. When she’s hurting from the effects of the hip dysplasia and arthritis, she gets snarky with him like she used to with Shadow, especially inside where she doesn’t have much room to get away from him

Precious Moment Captured

So, with all that said, we are joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop hosted by the humans and kitties of Brian’s Home.

I’m having trouble adding the blog hop links, so for now I’ll just publish and link my own post. To all of you who are frustrated with the WordPress block editor vs. classic editor, I feel your pain at the moment!!

Happy 8th Birthday Ducky!!!

Today is my baby girl’s birthday. My earth angel. My rock.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! Daddy and I – and your guardian angel sisters and brother – love you completely and unconditionally.

We’ll have to delay your birthday walk at the park until tomorrow. But you don’t care which day we go as long as we do go.

We’re joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop because Ducky is at the top of our “grateful for” list.

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He Changed Everything

“Every now and then a dog will come into your life and change everything.”

Radar was that dog for us.

Now before you say something like “what about Kissy, Callie, Shadow, and Ducky?” let me tell you that we still love each of our furry angels and our little earth angel and always will. Each of them holds her own special place in our hearts. Each was and is a source of joy and unconditional love, and always will be. They all came into our lives as puppies and we watched them grow into wonderful adult dogs.

Radar came to us as an already full grown adult dog so we didn’t get to enjoy his puppyhood. But when we first met him, it felt as though he had known us all his life. He was doing the Snoopy happy dance from the moment he saw hubby get out of the car. He gave me his paw and let Ducky “check him out.”I knew from the very first moment that Radar was meant to be with us for the rest of his life.

Radar’s previous life will never be known to any of us. He was found wandering the neighborhood of a friend of his first foster mom. It’s anyone’s guess how long the poor boy had been on his own. YET, he was happy, joyful, gentle, sweet, and full of love for every one who took him in, cared for him, and showed him any amount of kindness. No amount of shyness to this boy’s demeanor. He was an equal opportunity lover of humans and other dogs.

So what did he change?

Well, for one thing, he was the first male dog I’ve ever had. I grew up with female poodles; my own first dog (Kissy) was female; and all three dogs hubby and I have had before Radar (Callie, Shadow, and Ducky) were/are females.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against male dogs. My brother’s dog, Boozy, is a male and our granddog, Max, is a male. I love them both. I just stuck with what I knew from my life so far. Females. When we took Radar in as our foster-to-adopt, I had no idea how Ducky would act with him once he came to live with us. But Radar needed us, and we all needed him.

There was something special about our boy. Whatever his previous life was like, it didn’t rob him of his joy of life, his love of humans and other dogs, or his innate sweetness. He was pure joy. Even his heartworm disease couldn’t completely take that from him. He tried his best to wag his tail when he saw us in the ER clinic exam room that awful, heart-shattering day.

And me rescue an adult Golden Retriever instead of getting a puppy? A few years ago I’d have said “no way!” Radar – along with my lack of enthusiasm for house training another dog – changed that too. I wanted another Golden but I wanted one closer to Ducky’s age. Radar was such a special boy that I can’t see myself getting another dog who doesn’t need a second chance at life. While at this point in our life we can’t emotionally deal with taking in another unhealthy dog, we do want another Golden who can keep up with Ducky and become her best friend, companion, and loving sibling.

And ten months ago – when Shadow first reunited with Callie – I didn’t think I could even foster another Golden before a year had passed. I was even hesitant to put in our adoption application at first. But when we met Radar, I knew he was meant to be with us for the rest of his life. During those two months plus that he was with us, he helped me heal from the loss of Shadow, Callie, and Kissy. Oh, I still miss them – and always will – but the pain isn’t as sharp.

And he did something else to my heart. He opened it to letting him join Callie and Shadow when his time came so that we could give another Golden Boy a second chance at a happy life. My heart still hurts from the pain of losing Radar so suddenly. But I know when the time is right he and his sisters will send us another Golden Boy to whom we will open our hearts and home. Another Golden Boy who needs us as much as we need him.

We’re joining Brian’s Home Blog for the Thankful Thursday blog hop.

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A Thankful Heart

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

There are so many things I’m thankful for that I couldn’t list them all, but here are some….

1. Family near and far.

2. Friends near and far, online and off.

3. The opportunity to foster-to-adopt this wonderful Golden boy we’ve named Radar.

4. Our health, a roof over our heads and food on our table, and a good life with hubby.

5. So much more!

We’re joining Brian’s Home Blog for the Thankful Thursday blog hop.

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I Almost Gave In

As hubby and a few of my local friends are aware, I’ve spent the last week or two considering adding a new Golden Retriever puppy to our little family.

I checked local GR rescue groups’ websites, tried reaching out to two breeders I knew of on FB Messenger, asked local friends – some of whom work for our vet – if they know of other breeders, etc.

Yesterday, I found the phone number of Callie’s breeder. And I called her. She has a litter, and one puppy left from that litter. A little female. I felt my heart skip a beat. I had had my heart set on a male; but hubby said the gender didn’t matter to him. And he’s the reason I was even considering getting another dog to begin with.

The price Debbie was asking nearly floored me. I mean, I know it’s been 15 years since we brought Callie home; but good grief! Anyway, I was willing to pay it if hubby really wanted another Golden puppy.

Then reality “hit” me square in the face: I’m. just. not. ready. I’m still too emotionally raw after “losing” Shadow four months ago. And I don’t believe Ducky’s quite ready for a younger sibling. And then there’s the long-term commitment: food, vet care, training, enrichment, time, etcetera.

So, I called Debbie back and thanked her for offering to lower her price “just because I know you and know you’re a good pet parent”; but I had to decline. She understands. I knew she would.

Some day, maybe, the time and circumstances will be right. I hope so, at least. I do sooooo want another Golden. I’m thankful that hubby understands that this is not the right time. And I’m thankful to my friends for their support on both sides of the decision.

There’s so much to be thankful for, but friends and family sums it all up pretty well. I love you all! ❤️

I’m joining Brian’s Home Blog in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop! Visit some other blogs to see what they are thankful for.

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