A Lot of Firsts this Christmas

Zen and Zoey enjoyed their first Christmas, it would appear. Santa brought them new toys and treats; and l gave them a scrambled egg with their breakfast.

They play so well together! πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸΎπŸΎ

And since Zoey’s been doing so much better with her “potty” training these last few weeks, I let her play on the carpeted living room floor with Zen most of the day.

Vying for the same toy. 🀣

These two had us – my brother and me – laughing most of the day. And there weren’t any accidents on the carpet at all. (Though there were two on the linoleum kitchen floor that I blame myself for.)

On my first Christmas without him, I thought of Sam often throughout the day – missing his physical presence and wishing I could hear his laughter and see his smile as the puppies played with their toys. – I came close to tears a few times, but mostly just felt the hole in my space that Sam’s presence filled for most of the last 30 years. I know he was here in spirit, as were all our furry angels. It was that knowing they were here with us in spirit that mostly kept the tears away.

And on my first Christmas without sweet Ducky and darling Bogie, I called Zoey “Ducky” several times because of the stark similarities in their sweet natures. And once or twice I called Zen “Bogie” just because it came out of my mouth first. LOL. A fleeting thought of dear Bogie’s awful death brought tears to my eyes, but they dried quickly when I thought of how loving, sweet, and intuitive he was throughout his much-too-short life.

Sometime last night, as I was checking Facebook, I found this memory of Ducky from what should have been Radar’s first Christmas with us. I felt myself choke up a little remembering that sweet boy’s battle with heart worm disease in 2019. But at least he went ahead knowing he had a family who loved him dearly and would miss his love and presence in their life.

So, all in all, my first Christmas without my two cherished soulmates was a good one. Bittersweet memories of Christmases past mixed with new memories to treasure from Christmas present. Unlike Ebenezer Scrooge, the ghost of Christmas future didn’t visit me in my dreams so I have no idea what’s in store for me. And I’m not going to dwell on or worry about it.

So, in ending this post, I hope that all my family and friends had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year. May we ALL look forward to a happy and fulfilling new year.

Happy Anniversary Sam

Today is our 29th Wedding Anniversary. Right now we should be enjoying our morning hug and first cup of coffee. We ought to be enjoying it together. We ought to be looking forward to celebrating with our dinner at Schwaben House later on, sharing our joy with Annette and Giorgio and the staff as we have for the last several years.

I miss you so much! I hear our favorite songs and they start the tears flowing. Or I go into Publix and avoid the ice cream shelves in the frozen food section – especially the Haagen Dasz bars that we always enjoyed together.

I never used to mind living without another human, as long as I had a canine companion. Now, after all our years together, I feel so empty and alone at times. Zen and Zoey are so sweet, and such good company … they make me smile and laugh and at times yell in frustration … but they’re not you. While you were in the hospital I could at least cling to the hope that a miracle would make you whole again and able to come home.

Sam, I know you’re up there in Heaven watching over me. You’re my Guardian Angel now; and along with Callie, Shadow, Ducky, Radar, and Bogie, you’re also watching over Zen and Zoey for me. I try to be my old cheerful, optimistic, sometimes silly self because I know that’s what you would want to see me being. Out in public I usually am. Here at home is another story.

I love you, Sam. I always have loved you. Our little squabbles and arguments were just that because we were soulmates from the start. Our connection goes much deeper than just our hearts. It joins our souls, and even though you’re not here physically, I know your spirit is here with me. I just miss our physical togetherness, our “us”, being able to feel your hand in mine or your arms around my waist. I know you whisper in Zen’s ear sometimes because he’ll stand on his hind legs and put his front legs against my chest and paws on my shoulders and give me a hug and a slobbery kiss. Don’t ever stop, please. I need those Zen hugs!

Zen Hugs

Happy Anniversary Sam! Have I Told You Lately that I love you, that there’s no one else above you? That was our wedding song and it will always be our song. I will miss you forever and always, until we meet again.

Missing My (Human) Soulmate

It is with very deep sadness that I must tell you my beloved husband, Sam, passed peacefully in his sleep early Friday morning, October 7th. πŸ’”πŸ˜’.

Remembering Sam’s better days.

Most – if not all – of my long time readers know (but may not remember) that Sam was diagnosed with early-onset dementia in June of 2018. Back then it was still mild enough that Sam could enjoy a sense of independence. As the years passed, however, his cognitive abilities became so impaired that the doctors insisted he not be allowed to drive any more. That loss of independence really bothered him. Then Bogie had his traumatic accident, and a month later we lost Ducky to the sudden heart failure. The two losses coming so close together devastated us both and really started Sam’s downward spiral.

Before the dementia took control of Sam’s mind, we had a soul-to-soul connection, an affinity with each other that carried us through many trivial arguments over this or that. And it helped me separate the Sam I love from the dementia-induced alter ego who angered me, disappointed me, and hurt my feelings so often.

The real Sam was a kind-hearted, loving, friendly soul who never met a stranger. The real Sam loved his family – including each one of our many fur babies – with his whole heart, and we all love him. Now Sam and the fur kids (except Zen obviously) are all together again. Sam is no longer being chased relentlessly by his dementia demons; and all the earthly anxieties that plagued Ducky when Sam’s demons were lurking about are gone. So now they can all relax and enjoy each other’s company while they wait for Zen and me to join them.

I miss the real Sam. I know his spirit is with me, but I miss his physical presence. I miss our morning hugs, sitting in his lap with my head against his shoulder when I was sad, our walks around the back yard. I miss our day trips to the mountains with the pups. I miss his smile, his laugh, his hand reaching for mine. I miss watching him interact with the dogs. And I will miss him and each of them until it’s my turn to join them.

Grief is the price we pay for love. I know the pain of this loss will ebb and flow. I’m prepared for that. So I’ll close this post with a simple request…prayers for anyone and everyone impacted in some way by dementia. It is a horribly cruel disease, worse than cancer in my opinion.

I don’t have the obituary quite ready yet; but I can tell you that we will have a simple memorial service for Sam at our church a week from Saturday. For anyone who wants more details, just send me a message or email.

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 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…..

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!!

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!!!!

A Few Words & Photos of Angel Bogie

It was a week yesterday that our sweet boy went to Heaven/the Rainbow Bridge. I cry my eyes out multiple times a day.

I want to write a full post, but I just can’t yet. If you go to the menu bar and click on Bogie’s name, you’ll see the little bit that I could write the other day.

Sleepy Boy in Mama’s Chair
Hi Mama!
How could he have been comfortable??
Bogie and his Dad. ❀️

Run Free Sweet Bogie πŸ’”

Our precious baby boy is in Heaven/at the Rainbow Bridge with his sisters, Callie and Shadow, and brother, Radar. Hubby and I are devastated, our hearts shattered. My brother’s heart is shattered, too.

It hurts so much to write this post so I’m not going to say much now. Bogie got away from hubby at the gate between the back and front yards, and the next thing we knew Bogie had his angel wings. The coward who hit our boy was going so fast that Bogie was gone in an instant. But he didn’t bother to stop to see if he could help. There’s a special place in Hades for people like that. Thankfully, there were compassionate people who did stop. And two young men who saw it happen apologized for not being able to get the license tag number. They also picked up Bogie’s lifeless body and carried it across the road and put him down gently on our driveway by the front door. Hubby and I thanked them and the other folks who stopped, and shared hugs with one lady who was almost as shaken up as us. And one of our sweet neighbors came out to try to console us.

Then my brother, hubby, and I lifted Bogie into the trunk and drove down the road to our new vet. I had called the clinic to tell them what had happened, and to ask if they could take care of things for us. “Of course we can. Just call us when you get here and we’ll take care of everything.” They absolutely took care of everything, including hugs all around. Bogie should be coming home early next week.