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. πŸ€ͺ

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!

A Break from Baby Jaws

No, I’m NOT sending him away to training boarding school. That’s not even an option in my opinion.

Poor little Zen had an upset tummy yesterday, that – as far as I know – started around 3:30 in the morning. I cleaned up the mess around 4 am when his crying kept his HuDaddy and me awake. Once I had him and the kitchen cleaned up, I gave him a little rug to lay on until we all got up later.

We all went back to sleep until about 11:25. I got dressed and happily noted first that there were no more messes to clean up. Then I brought the little guy outside for his first potty break of the day. His first poop was a bit on the soft side but at least not all liquid. A little later it was, well, let’s say “wet”. So, when hubby and I went to the grocery store, I bought a can of organic pumpkin purΓ©e. And it, along with some ground chicken and white rice, for dinner had him feeling better by bedtime.

This morning he’s feeling more like himself. And he ended up chewing a small corner piece off his Lickimat and swallowing it. Hopefully it’ll come out the other end soon. πŸ™„

Right now he’s napping because I left him in the kitchen to stop him from biting my clothes and me. For so many reasons I wish Ducky were still here physically – mostly because I miss her so much; but also because I need her help with this furry little alligator. The kind of help that only a mature dog can provide.

A Land Shark Has Possessed My Puppy!

HELP! A land shark has possessed the body and soul of my sweet puppy!

This sweet little fella I was so thankful for a week or so ago

has been possessed by demon land sharks! Now he’s attacking not only his toys, furniture, clothes, and shoes, but also me. And I have the scars to prove it! And in some pretty private places that I won’t show/name here,

And that’s just for starters. My arms look like I have chicken pox. Tuesday night when I was texting with Bogie’s trainer, James called him a furry alligator. And that’s about what this little guy has turned into.

The odd thing is, I’m the ONLY human he’s focusing on for his “Baby Jaws” bites. He plays nicely with his daddy, and if he bites him it’s only by accident. And on the way home from the airport on Wednesday night, he very calmly laid on the back seat with his head on his Uncle Doug’s leg.

I love and adore this little guy; but for the sake of my sanity and my skin, he has spent a lot of time in the kitchen these last few days. I hate it, but he is stressing me out. I can’t figure out why he’s deliberately biting at MY clothes and skin, no matter how many times I reinforce him for playing with his toys.

“This too shall pass” they say. But he just started teething a few days ago. He has another few months to go yet.

HELP! Help me change “Baby Jaws”, my “furry alligator”, back into the sweet puppy he was a week ago!

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.

Stay Tuned, Part 2

Introducing Zen-Bogie πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸΎπŸΎπŸ€πŸ€

Hi Mama! I love you!

So by now you have figured out that the “project to enhance our lives” was adding a puppy to the family again.

Our little Zen is not “just any puppy”. He is a very special puppy, for a few reasons:

1. He was chosen for us by Bogie and Ducky.

2. He was born on St. Patrick’s Day, like his dog mama.

3. Zen is Bogie’s baby cousin by birth. Zen’s mama, Sunny, and Bogie’s mama, Bailey, are full sisters.

He is a very sweet little boy, and so far living up to his name. Although quite active and curious, he is a calm little guy. He slept through a couple of his hu-daddy’s dementia-induced tantrums already. And wasn’t at all fazed by one during which he was awake. He just went right on being curious about his environment of the moment. Hopefully he’ll continue to be unfazed.

Since we only brought him home yesterday, we all still have much learning about each other to do yet. I will be posting more about our little leprechaun as the days and weeks go by.

πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸΎπŸΎπŸ€πŸ€

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. πŸ’—

Stay Tuned…..

Hubby and I are working on a special “project” to enhance our lives. Phase One began Wednesday night and was completed early yesterday morning. πŸ’šπŸ€

I will post updates as I can.

Have a great weekend everyone, no matter the weather!!

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.

Happy 10th Birthday Ducky! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰β€οΈπŸΎ

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!!!!