To start with, I’m thankful that Heavenly Birthdays Week is over. And that Ducky’s first year in Heaven is complete as of last night. It was a rough nine days, but I got through it intact.
Those are the flowers I had put in the sanctuary of our church on Sunday morning in honor of my three newest guardian angels on their birthdays.
I’m thankful, too, for my earth angels, Zen and Zoey. Thankful that they love me unconditionally, and that they love each other too.
I’m thankful for all my friends in the pet blogosphere who have “been there” for me over the years and with whom I’ve shared the joys and sorrows of pet parenthood. ❤️❤️
And I’m thankful for my genetic family, my church family, my Golden (Retriever) family, my family of friends and neighbors, the roof over my and my pups’ heads, food on my table and in my pups’ bowls, and so much more that I can’t enumerate.
My three most recently departed loves have heavenly birthdays coming up this month. I will miss them all until the day we are reunited. And I’m sure many more memories will leak from my eyes between now and then; but this is a celebratory post, not a sad one.
In birthdate order, Bogie will be 2 years old on February 6th; Sam will be 73 on February 9th; and Ducky will be 11 years old on February 13th.
This boy’s time on earth was cut short through a tragic accident that took him from us. 💔 BUT during his time on earth, he filled our lives with so much joy, love, and laughter that we felt his loss perhaps more acutely than we might have otherwise. This boy was truly an angel on earth disguised as a dog. 💙 He knew instinctively, even at such a young age, exactly when his (human) daddy needed him; and went to him without hesitation to give love and be loved upon. And in the mornings, while Ducky slept in my chair, Bogie snuggled with me on the couch. Most of the rest of his day was spent playing with the older sister he adored and who adored him in return.
This photo was taken last year, at our favorite restaurant, Schwaben House, where we had his birthday lunch. It was a happy day for us both, as his dementia demons were leaving him alone. It is my favorite of more then-recent photos of the man I’d married 28 years earlier. He was more himself that day than he had been in many previous days. ❤️ More himself than he would ever be again after that day. I will always gratefully remember the way he was that day.
Ducky came into my life while I was taking a course to become a dog obedience training instructor. I was in the externship stage; and I was volunteering at the animal shelter, with the mission of helping the dogs become more adoptable. Ducky was the second of my charges. (The first, a pittie mix named Honey, was adopted a few days earlier.) Sweet Ducky stole my heart the instant I first saw her in her puppy-room kennel. And the rest of her story is now history. She wrapped my heart around her little paw and decided that – one way or the other – I was going to be her new mama. A few months later, she got her wish. We spent the next nine plus years working and playing together to ease her reactivity. And her older sisters taught her how to be a family dog instead of a kennel-bound shelter dog. Our bond grew into a soul connection that has transcended time and space. ❤️❤️
So, on this Thankful Thursday, I wish my three loves a happy birth month. I am so thankful you were each a big part of my life. I miss your physical presence; but I know you are with me always.
After all the tears, stress, and losses last year, I needed puppies in my life again, so I’m thankful for these two sweethearts. They keep me company while I’m home, and wait eagerly for me to come back when I have to leave.
Zen is – and always will be – my sunshine boy. He was the bright spot in my life, my sunshine, beforehe was even born last year. He knows when I need a hug, or just to have him at my feet. He’s not the snuggler that Bogie was; but, like Ducky, he will snuggle with me in his own way and time. And those unexpected snuggles are even sweeter and more precious as a result.
And Zoey is my precious little girl, the starlight in my heart. She’s been growing a little at a time – which is better for her as well as for me – so I can still pick her up when I want to. And, like her older brother, angel Bogie, she loves to snuggle with me. She is truly a cuddle buddy. And Zen gets a little jealous at times.
I’m thankful, too, that these two love each other and have bonded so well with each other. They act like big brother and little sister most times, squabbling over a toy or rough-housing. But they also snuggle with each other. They remind me of Ducky and Radar, and Ducky and Bogie. Siblings and best friends at the same time.
These two hooligans are my angels with paws. They are, at times, more devil than angel; but what puppy isn’t?! Ducky and Bogie knew exactly what I needed and that these two would fill that need.
As usual, I can’t add the Thankful Thursday blog hop link…something about it not being supported?? So I’ll just go add my link on our host’s blog. It won’t even let me do that today. 😤
On this second Thankful Thursday of 2023 – and truthfully, every day – I am thankful for my “Z Kids”, Zen and Zoey. They make missing their angel brothers and sisters much less painful for me.
Sometimes they exasperate me to the end of my patience rope so that I have to tie a new knot and hang on. Yet they seem to know somehow that I’m still grieving (the losses I suffered in 2022) and forgive my outbursts. Especially when I instantly melt into tears of apology.
Most times they make me laugh with their puppy antics or crazy sleeping positions.
Good Riddance 2022! Welcome 2023! And thank you Ducky and Bogie for picking the two perfect puppies for your grieving mama. They make me laugh and smile when I need it most. And they give me kisses when my tears flow.
Normally I would add the paragraph and links here to join the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop; but my phone’s WordPress app has been a pain in the arse these last few months when I try to do so. So I’ll just say go to our host’s blog at http://BriansHomeBlog.com and link your own post from there.
Where to start? I have so very much to be thankful for every day! I don’t always write in my gratitude journal – actually it’s been over a week since my last entry – but I’m certain God knows what is in my heart.
So, I’ll start with thanking God for all my blessings. That’s a good start. I’ll be honest – I don’t always understand why God answers my prayers the way He does, but I’ve learned to trust those answers.
The next “thing” I’m thankful for isn’t a thing but a person. And that person is our friend, Chuck. Bogie’s and Zen’s “Grandpa Chuck”. One of the nicest persons you could ever hope to meet. Once again he came to our rescue when hubby and I needed help with Zen. And while he had the little guy, he and our doggy family taught Zen some doggy manners and how to “chill out”. Now that Zen is home, he is doing so much better than last time. For the sake of our privacy, I won’t delve into details.
I’m always thankful for the support of my brother. He is always “there” for me, one way for another, and has been since the day I was born. And I’m thankful for family – those already in Heaven and those still here, including all the dogs who were part of our family – from our childhood as well as since we started our own families.
Of course I’m thankful for my hubby. I love him with my whole heart and unconditionally. He’s been my best friend and constant companion, not to mention “Daddy” to all the dogs who have owned me since I moved out of my childhood home.
I’m always thankful, too, for all our wonderful friends – both “real life” and online! Some of my favorite people are those whom I’ve only met through our wonderful pet blogging community. You mean a great deal to me.
And last but not least, I am thankful for all of my “fur babies” of the past. They all taught me so much, each in her or his own way, and with so much unconditional love woven into each lesson. And, of course, I am thankful for sweet Zen. He is such a good pup – from wonderful, sweet parents – and he is trying to teach me patience. Patience is a virtue I struggle with a good deal. “All good things come to those who wait”; but sometimes that wait is excruciatingly long. Zen is doing his best.
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. 🐊 🦈
“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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.