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.

Memories

Last night was six weeks since Ducky joined her sisters and brothers at the Rainbow Bridge; so as I do almost every day, I went looking through all my photos of the last couple of years. I found this one for today’s Wordless Wednesday blog hop post….

I love you, Baby Girl, now and forever.

And this one where she was wearing her happy face….

Hi Mama! I love you too!

I will forever miss my baby girl, my soulmate. About the only thought that makes me feel better at times is knowing that she is whole and healthy again; and playing with Callie, Shadow, Radar, and Bogie while they all wait for me to join them. Truth be told, Radar is probably waiting for hubby. But that’s ok…they had an instant soul connection, like Ducky and me.

Happy Wordless/Wordy Wednesday everyone. Give all your fur-kids some lovies for me. 💗

Thankful Thursday

This past Tuesday night was three weeks since Ducky left us to be reunited with Callie, Shadow, Radar, and Bogie. I’ve been struggling in my attempts to adjust to life without her.

Let’s play Mama!

I’m still struggling. Ducky was the one who always helped hubby and me deal with whatever life threw at us during the nine plus years she was with us.

I’m thankful that God allowed us to be her Daddy and Mama all this time. And thankful that He didn’t let her suffer too much that night he gave her the angel wings she so richly deserved. She was an angel with paws, my special angel, and it hurts to not be able to love on her.

I’m thankful for all the lessons Ducky taught me. And, believe me, she taught me more than I ever taught her. I’m thankful for all the wonderful moments we shared. I’m thankful for all the moments that were hard on us but which helped cement the bond between us. I’m thankful for her unconditional love that allowed her to forgive me for all those times when I was much less than the ideal mama she deserved.

This is the perfect chew toy for me, Mama!

Again, 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 three of my fellow bloggers – you know who you are.

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 Ducky would be coming home to be with us forever.

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

My Heart Dog Awaits Me in Heaven

Oh, Ducky, Daddy and I miss you so much baby girl. You were and always will be Daddy’s little princess. You were my constant companion, my little protector, my helper. You were and always will be my soulmate and my heart dog.

You left us so suddenly eleven nights ago that I didn’t have a chance to tell you, again, how very much I love you and to kiss your sweet face. I didn’t have a chance to get a last kiss from you, or to give you a belly, chest, and ear rub. Or just to see you smile at me.

Play With Me!

One day soon I will write another blog post about you. Right now though I can’t. Losing you and Bogie so close together is just too unbearably hard to process. I’m struggling with not having you here physically to love on and play with and talk to all the time.

Happy 10th Birthday Ducky! 🎂🎉❤️🐾

Oh my sweet baby girl, where have the years gone?! It seems like only yesterday when I first met you at the shelter!

Baby Ducky

And a couple of months later, you came home with me for good and changed all our lives forever.

You loved Callie and Shadow, and wanted to play constantly. You pestered the bejeepers out of them both; and were constantly getting into tussles with Shadow over one toy or another. Callie did her best to teach you good doggie manners, but for a while we wondered if you were paying attention.

My sweet girls

On Shadow’s birthday a month later, we started taking you to doggie daycare (thank you, Sabine, for the recommendation). Shadow said it was the best birthday present we could have given her. 😁 Callie was grateful for the break, too.

When Callie left us three years later, you were as heartbroken as Daddy, Shadow and I were but you got us through it. Especially Shadow. You became her friend and constant companion. You still tussled with her over toys at times; but you showed us that you had been paying attention to Callie all those times. You stayed by Shadow’s side when she was so sick at the end. You “protected” her in the yard, and gave her kisses on the head at times.

I love you, Shadow

After Shadow reunited with Callie, you helped Daddy and I heal. You needed a playmate, though, so we fostered Radar with all intention of adopting him. You two hit it off right from the start. Not just sister and brother, but best and most special friends.

Best Friends

When Radar left us to join Callie and Shadow, we were all devastated. You looked for your buddy constantly, and the sadness in your eyes when you couldn’t find him tore my heart apart. Yet, as you had when your sisters went ahead, you pulled Daddy and me through it.

When we brought Bogie home last year, you weren’t sure what to make of him. We had promised you another brother to play with, but I’m not sure you were quite ready for an 8-week-old puppy. You soon found out what “karma” is, even though you don’t understand me when I tell you.

That’s MY toy, Bogie.

You’ve come full circle, little girl. You started out your life with us as the little sister who was a constant pest. And, until a few weeks ago, you were the older sister who tolerated a much younger sibling’s constant pestering.

Once again you’re an only dog, trying to help Daddy and Mama to heal from yet another devastating loss. And missing your favorite pest. It has taken you all this time to realize Bogie’s not coming home in his earthly form. You still look for him at times. Or maybe you sense his spirit is here with us, wanting to play with and love on us and to be loved on.

We love you Ducky. We love you to the moon and back. We love you more than any words could ever express. You’re our sweet baby girl, our princess, our earth angel with paws instead of wings. You’re our precious, loving, sweet senior puppy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE GIRL!!!!

Happy First Heavenly Birthday Sweet Bogie

You were taken from us way too soon, sweet boy! Daddy, Ducky, Uncle Doug, and I miss you terribly. Daddy, Uncle Doug, and I still have tearful moments. And Ducky still looks for you multiple times a day. Sometimes, I’m sure, she senses your presence.

Last week I wrote a list of some of the things I miss about you. I thought it would help my shattered heart. So, here goes…..

Things I Miss About Bogie

His goofy smile…

His sweet, loving nature.

His innate ability to sense when his Daddy needed him.

His affectionate nature. He was all about giving “kisses” and climbing into my lap – in the chair – or laying next to me on the couch with his head in my lap.

His pestering Ducky all the time.

His stealing Ducky’s Kong Bounzer out in the yard.

His stealing paper towels and tissues off the tables in the living room whenever he had the chance.

His love of life.

Zoomies!

His love for us and Ducky.

His physical presence.

His wanting to be with us all. the. time.

Everything.

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.

So Much Going On

I can’t believe it’s been more than three months since my last post. Still, considering all that’s been going on, I’m surprised it’s only three months.

Where to start? Well, August was fairly normal – crazy busy trying to keep Bogie from being too much of a pest to Ducky. Bogie is an absolute love bug…sweet, loving, gentle…but still very much a puppy. And his youthful exuberance makes Ducky nervous at times. Frequently, to be totally honest.

Unfair Advantage

Then came September. Things were changing rapidly at our long-time vet’s office. Staff members that I had worked with while doing my vet assistant course externship had started leaving over the course of 2018, 2019 and 2020, but by the beginning of September only two remained. I knew from one of the last to leave that things had turned toxic. It was breaking my heart as well as my friends’ hearts.

Ducky had her annual wellness visit on September 23rd, and I could feel the tension just walking in the door. While the techs ran the various tests in the treatment area, hubby and I spoke with Dr. Simpson about Ducky’s hip dysplasia, discomfort, and frequent avoidance of Bogie. Dr. Simpson and I shared an unstated understanding of the sadness we felt over the changes. I told him I would stand by him, and I sealed it with a hug. And then the tech brought Ducky back into the exam room. A week later Dr. Simpson was gone as well. 😥 But we remain in touch. We’re like family to each other. He’s been Ducky’s primary vet for most of the last five years. And he’d been Bogie’s vet, too, since we first brought him home.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy managing hubby’s dementia issues, Ducky’s and Bogie’s relationship, Ducky’s hip issues, and Bogie’s “growing pains”. At times I’ve felt like running away from home, but the adult in me kept me from it.

Meanwhile, Dr. Simpson has been working on a project that he asked my help with, and I’m delighted to be a part of it. I feel so strongly about it that I offered to publish a blog post and ask for feedback from you, my pet blogging buddies.

After suffering the heartbreak of losing his beloved chocolate Lab, Nestle (Ness), he started thinking/wondering why he was expending so much energy on mediocre pet owners. He wants to help pet parents who love and treat their pets like beloved family members. And help protect them from the bad, sometimes dangerous misinformation they might find on “Dr. Google”.

The project involves building a community of likeminded pet parents; and eventually building a by-referral-only clinic to serve them and their beloved pets. One where he and the pet parents would work together to help the pets lead their best possible lives. One where mutual respect and trust is what drives the partnership between vet and pet parent.

For my part in this project, I agreed to reach out to my fellow bloggers for help. So, I have two questions for you:

1) As true pet parents, what is your biggest fear?

2) What makes you turn to Dr. Google for answers to your pets’ health issues? What are you searching for?

We all know there is a lot of misleading, sometimes dangerous information out there in cyberspace. Dr. Simpson would like to make a difference in pets’ lives by helping their humans find real, safe information when they need it.

I realize the holidays are right around the corner and that you’re probably already busy with preparations. So, if you could take take a few minutes to answer those questions for me I would greatly appreciate it. So would Dr. Simpson.

Finally, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, so to all who celebrate it, I hope you have a safe, wonderful holiday!

Just Ducky

Since Bogie joined our little family, Ducky’s hardly had any posts of her own. So, here goes.

Just watching the world go by.
Hi Mom!
Worn out after a wrestling match with baby brother.
My turn in Mom’s chair!

This little girl has been, still is, and will always be my rock, my earth angel, my canine soulmate, and my sweet baby girl. She helps me with Bogie, tells me when “Dex” is lurking in the shadows somewhere, and knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

I love you to the end of the universe and back, sweet girl. And I always will. ❤️❤️