Awww Mondays….

What could be cuter than a mother-and-son photo?!

Proud Mama and our boy, Zen

Zen’s “Grandpa Chuck” sent me this photo earlier this morning. It’s so cute I couldn’t help but share it for the “Aw Monday” blog hop.

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.


In the Process of Healing

I’ve been thinking about the healing process I’ve been going through. Over the last week I have found quotes that really make me feel better…

As Long As I Live

So true. Each dog that I have had in my life – Kissy, Callie, Shadow, Ducky, Radar, and Bogie – will always live in my heart, will always be loved, and will always be remembered.

And then there’s this one from the Lessons Learned in Life Facebook page….

The Price of Love is Grief

And finally there’s this one that I found on a friend’s Facebook page and shared to my pet loss support group‘s private Facebook page because it’s so true….

β€œGrief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”
Credit to Jamie Anderson of the Ravenous Butterflies Facebook page

Yes, I still have times when I break down into a puddle of tears over my recent traumatic, double-whammy loss. Especially over my sweet Ducky. Losing Bogie was hard enough; but with Ducky’s help, I had been able to start healing. When she left so suddenly, I was completely lost and inconsolable. The love and support from family and friends – many of whom I’ve never met in person – has slowly brought me back from a dark place into “the light at the end of the tunnel”. And “grateful” does not even begin to describe how I feel for that love and support.

Many times in the past I have considered giving up on the blog for various reasons…lack of time, lack of inspiration, whatever…I’m glad now that I didn’t give up. I find putting my thoughts and feelings “out there” to be cathartic. While I don’t write every day, when I do write I start to feel better. I’ll miss all my furry angels until the day we are reunited; but I have them in my heart. Their sweet spirits are always with me. β€οΈπŸ˜‡

Sunday Blessings

Just sitting here in the back yard with Bogie, Ducky, and Hubby, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of a perfect Mother’s Day. πŸŒΌπŸŒ·πŸ’

Bogie is feeling more secure about his status in our lives, so he’s settling down faster in his crate at bedtime and when we have to leave the house without him.

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Ducky is getting used to Bogie’s puppy energy. He wants to play almost constantly. It’s good for her…she’s starting to lose some of the weight she gained since the pandemic-induced lockdowns last year. And her waistline is becoming visible again.

Hi Mom!

And, while it’s a tough journey some days, hubby is dealing with the ups and downs of his dementia. And I do my best to take every day one moment at a time. Sometimes I’m successful at it, sometimes not so much. But having Ducky and Bogie around makes us both smile and laugh when we need it the most.

Playtime at the zoo.

All in all, life is good. Being grateful for what we have instead of resentful over what we don’t have helps keep the blues away. And having a community of faith like we have at St. Andrews Presbyterian a few miles from home helps us both keep things in perspective.

Bogie’s First Week Plus With Us

This little guy is a dream puppy!

Remembering Callie’s, Shadow’s, and Ducky’s puppy days, I was expecting to be getting up three or four times a night in the beginning…..

From the first night, though, he’s been sleeping at least six and usually closer to seven hours! He usually falls asleep around 8:30 or 9 pm, so we wake him around 11:30 or midnight to let him have some water and take him out to potty before we go to bed. The next thing we know, it’s close to or after 7 am! And NO mess in the crate!

I remember having read great reviews of the Snuggle Pet Puppy toy. I was skeptical, but figured it was worth a try so I bought one last year (when we first found our breeder).

Our son and his family got their Lab puppy about a week before Bogie was born and were gifted a similar toy for her. They swear by it for Abbey. And I swear by the one we have for Bogie. I brought it with us when we picked him up from the breeder and rubbed it all over Mama Bailey to get her scent on it. He had it in his crate with him while we drove home. Although he cried a little bit at the beginning of the trip, he settled down fairly quickly.

Meanwhile, Ducky is still jealous, but she’s been pretty good with Bogie regardless. I think her hip dysplasia/arthritis is flaring up on her, which could be why she tries to avoid him inside the house. I’ve started her pain management protocol again, so we’ll see if it helps. Not to mention an extra calming chew on her worse days. Poor girl.

Callie and Shadow are probably laughing up in Heaven, using the canine equivalent of “turnabout fairplay” for all the puppy pestering Ducky gave them when she joined the family. 🀣🀣 I remind her of it from time to time. Only Ducky knows if she understands what I’m saying.

Cautiously optimistic here, but this morning Ducky actually invited Bogie to play. inside. the. house! They had a really good time for those three minutes, too.

Some playtime between my two hooligans

So, we’ll just keep supervising and hoping Ducky is “coming around” to accepting the little rascal.

Due to an urgent issue with hubby’s dementia situation, little Bogie spent this weekend and will spend this coming week with his (breeder) Grandpa Chuck, Mama Bailey, Aunt Sunny, and sister, brother, and younger cousin. We plan on going back to pick him up very soon. Many thanks and much love go out to “Grandpa Chuck” and all those who kept us in their prayers. We’re past the immediate urgency, and are okay. Taking the rest one day at a time.

We’re Homebound (Mostly) But Not Quarantined

First of all, let me assure you that we are all well and as safe as anyone can be during this pandemic.

A lot and almost nothing has been going on around here since our last post. Ducky’s been going back to daycare a couple or three times a month since the middle of May, depending on her mobility issues. And we’ve pretty much become homebodies to a greater extent than we ever were in the past.

Hubby’s dementia-induced alternate persona – who I named Poindexter – has been here off and on since the pandemic caused a short-lived shutdown here in South Carolina, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky. As if that weren’t enough……

At the end of May / beginning of June Ducky had an allergic reaction to something which caused a secondary skin infection. Poor girl. To top it off, the vet felt she might have some arthritis starting up in her left hind leg. We had put her on Carprofen for a couple of weeks, which helped a bit; but once we took her off of it (because of the antibiotic she was on for the skin infection), the slight, intermittent limp started again. So back on the Carprofen for another week, along with her then-current joint supplement.

In July we had to have a new commode and sink installed in our only bathroom, causing a great deal of anxiety for poor Ducky on a day when she couldn’t be at daycare because of her mobility issues.

It was also in July, while I was doing ACE Free Work with Ducky – a topic worthy of its own future post – that I noticed she was leaning forward and favoring her hind left leg quite a bit while eating her breakfast every morning. When it only seemed to get worse as the week wore on, I sent the vet a video. I was afraid she may have some cruciate disease, in addition to the presumed arthritis. He was concerned enough after watching the video to suggest taking some X-rays.

Thankfully, the “rads” showed no sign of cruciate disease in either hind leg. They did, however, show that the left side of her pelvis had not completely formed as she was growing from puppyhood to adulthood. As a result, her left hip has some dysplasia. Thankfully, there is very little arthritis in the joint at this point. With a new course of Carprofen, some Gabapentin, and continued use of joint support supplements she started doing better. I had to change supplements, though, because I noticed – once she finished the Carprofen and Gabapentin – that the ones I’d been giving her weren’t working as well any more. So, back on the Gabapentin until she moves from the initial dosage to the maintenance dosage of the new supplement. I *think* that it’s starting to work already; but I won’t know for sure until we stop the Gabapentin.

So there you have it – our last 4 or 5 months in a few paragraphs. I’m working on the free work post, but I need some input from friends (in the UK) who know more about it than I do. Trust me, though, it’s a great way to have fun with your dog and learn more about her/him in the process!

We Are Still Here

It has been quite a while since I wrote a post because, truthfully, there wasn’t much to say. And then last week an event occurred that required my almost constant attention. Now that things have calmed down, I’ll share our past week with y’all.

Due to hubby’s dementia issues, and my own plantar fasciitis issues, I recently began taking Ducky back to daycare on an almost-daily basis. It was the best thing I could do for Ducky at the time. I hated not having her company here at home; but the stress was becoming overwhelming for her and, as a result, for me.

Last Monday, shortly after I dropped Ducky off, I received a voicemail asking that I call them back. (I make use of the automatic do not disturb while driving function on my cellphone.) When I called them back, I learned that Ducky had been taken to their vet for emergency treatment….

To make a long story short, one of Ducky’s usual playmates somehow escaped the indoor play area as Ducky and her human walker were returning from the outdoor potty area. In her excitement to see Ducky, the other dog somehow managed to tear Ducky’s right ear flap. It happened so fast that Ducky couldn’t protect herself, nor could the humans prevent the incident. They did manage to separate the two dogs quickly, though, and took Ducky to their vet….

Their vet, thankfully, is the same as that used by our Golden Retriever rescue group so I was comfortable with Ducky being in their care. I called them immediately and asked them to let me know when I could pick her up. When I picked her up at 3:30, this is how she looked:

Not a happy puppy.

My poor sweet baby girl. She had had to be sedated so her ear flap could be repaired. In addition to the sutures, gauze pads were placed around the ear and then the bandage had to be wrapped around her head. The bandage was removed on Friday afternoon, and the vet said that he was very pleased with the way the ear was healing. The only thing left to do was to keep her from scratching the ear. So, I brought her to Pet Supplies Plus and got her the cone.

Take it off me, Mom!!!

Thanks to multiple applications of organic coconut oil, and the Carprofen, the irritation has eased enough that I was able to let her sleep without the cone around her neck on Sunday night. And, with the exception of Monday morning to keep the sutures dry in the rain, I’ve left the cone off since then. And Ducky is much happier. The sutures come out tomorrow. She will be even happier at that point. The daycare I take her to is still open, though not on weekends or for boarding. I’m not sure at this moment if I’m going to try bringing her back right away or wait until this COVID-19 mess is over and done.

Let me end by saying I have been remiss about keeping up with everyone’s blog posts this past month and I apologize for that. But I spent several hours this morning reading your recent posts. My phone – for whatever reason – does not allow me to use the “Like” buttons embedded in your posts. Meanwhile, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy throughout this worldwide crisis. Thank goodness we all have each other in our blogging community!

My Sweet Earth Angel

That’s exactly what Ducky is to me. An Earth Angel. She has seen me through the loss of her two older sisters and her slightly younger brother.

She’s a happy, sweet girl most of the time. And a sassy, loving girl all of the time.

She misses having a playmate; but there’s no doubt she thrives on being the center of our attention.

Ducky owns a huge piece of my heart. She’s my baby girl, my little sweetie, my sassy-pants, my little stinker, my “Ducky Doodle Demon Dog” and lord-only-knows how many other nicknames.

I love this little girl wholeheartedly and unconditionally. And I thank God every day for letting me be her “HuMom”. ❀️❀️❀️

This Girl

How can I not be happy when this (little) girl looks at me like this?!

We are pleased to be joining our friends at Comedy Plus for the Happy Tuesday blog hop! Please visit them and other blogs through the links below.