HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY ZEN!!! ðŸ’šðŸ’šðŸ’šðŸ’šðŸ¾ðŸ¾

Today my big boy is one year old!! My leprechaun, my personal pot ‘o’ gold was born on St. Patrick’s Day 2022. My sunshine, the light of my life, was born in the midst of what turned out to be the worst year of my life. And he remains my sunshine boy.

Zen’s in there somewhere.

Zen’s mama, Sunny, is also celebrating her birthday today! She is a sweet girl! What a present to give yourself on your birthday! Nine beautiful, healthy puppies! She is a wonderful mother to her puppies!

Zen’s Daddy, Tater
Sam with Zen when Zen was about 4 weeks old
At 4 Weeks Old He Was Already My Boy 💚🐾🍀

Zen was my little Smudge Muzzle at 4 weeks; and he still has a bit of the smudge around that precious muzzle.

We brought him home on May 14th, when he was just past eight weeks old. I chose the 14th because I needed a happy event to balance the awful monthly anniversary of Bogie’s accident.

Zen’s Going Home Day

Zen spent a great deal of time of the first five months of his life at his Grandpa’s house with his mama Sunny, Aunt Bailey, and cousins Stormy, Charlie, and Skye because of Sam’s dementia. It broke my heart to not have him here with me; but Sam’s dementia demons were taking over more frequently and making poor Zen very nervous. It was better for the poor little guy to be in a stable environment. Two weeks after Sam went into the hospital last July my sweet little Zen puppy came home. He’s been with me ever since, healing my broken heart one day at a time.

I can’t believe how fast and BIG he’s grown over the past year! When Sam and I first brought him home he weighed about 12 pounds. Just ten days ago, when I had to get a weight check for his heartworm preventive, he weighed in at 81.5 pounds!! And it’s all muscle!! This boy is strong!!

Taking a short play break a few days ago

This boy is such a love! He gives me hugs that are as much from Sam as from himself; he gives me kisses “just because” and when my memories are leaking from my eyes; and he adores his little sister, Zoey (who will be six months old tomorrow).

😇 My angels disguised as puppies 🐶

Happy First Birthday my Smudge Muzzle/Leprechaun/Sunshine Boy!! Mama loves you more than I could ever put into words!! I hope I will always be deserving of your unconditional love!! 💚💚🐾🐾🍀🍀🎂🎂🎈🎈☀️☀️🦴🦴🎾🎾🎁🎉

We Took A Little Break

A few weeks ago I had to have the air duct system under the house replaced. The old one was originally installed, I think, around 1988 or 89 after Sam moved in. (Before we knew each other.)

The air quality inside the house was, well let’s just say, poor. And the dust just. would. not. go away. I’d dust one room; and before I even moved on to the next room, the dust would be right back where it had been. It was frustrating to say the least.

So along with having the system replaced, I bought some air purifiers from Amazon and have had them running at various speeds all day long every day. I could tell the difference almost immediately.

I also did a “spring cleaning” of sorts of the main part of the house. Being the only human in the house, I could only reach so far even standing on the step stool or laying on the floor with the dust mop; but I got about 95% of the dust. I let my little robot vacuum do the rest of the reachable areas.

I still have to do the big room downstairs, but that’s going to take a week at least. First I have to get rid of some most of the clutter that’s accumulated over the 28 years since we closed in the carport and made it into my office and laundry area. That job alone could easily take a week, especially since I still can’t bring myself to part with some dog toys, clothes, collars, etc. from as far back as Kissy. (For those of you who don’t know, Kissy was my own first dog as an adult. She was a small miniature poodle who came with me when I moved down here in 1993 – from Long Island, NY – to marry Sam.)

So, with all the cleaning I had to do, I had to take a break so I could give Zen and Zoey some quality time. I’ll take another break while I’m (finally) doing the room downstairs. But Zen, Zoey, and I will return! And I’ll probably be posting pix and videos on Facebook of my two hooligans.

The pups’ monthly Gotcha Day is coming up in less than two weeks; and Zen’s first yearly birthday is two weeks from today so you know I’ll be doing a post for that! And Zoey will have her first half-year birthday the very next day. 🎉🎂🎈💚💜🐾🐾

Playtime in the yard.

Thankful for So Much

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.

Sanctuary Flowers 2/12/2023

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.

My Snuggle Buddies

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.

Happy Heavenly Birthday Sweet Ducky

❤️🐾 My Sweet Ducky 🐾❤️

My sweet, loving, sassy soulmate. You would be starting your 11th year on earth today if you were still here physically. Instead, you’ll be starting your second year as a winged furry angel on Wednesday night.

I know you’re always nearby, even if I can’t see you. You borrow Zoey’s earthly form to visit me. Quite often. I call Zoey by your name. A LOT.

I miss your physical presence, baby girl. I miss your sweet puppy kisses. I miss seeing that sweet smile, and loving gaze, that you reserved just for me. And I will until we are reunited.

Ducky, you and I will always have that special heart-and-soul connection. It transcends time and space. It keeps our spirits connected even though our physical selves are separated. All those years we spent working and playing together, trying to relieve your anxieties around strange, unfamiliar people, were the cement that strengthened our bond from one day to the next; from one year to the next.

I was devastated when you left your earthly form behind that night. My baby girl was “gone” in an instant. I hadn’t been able to tell you one last time how very much I love you. Or how very sorry I was for not being able to protect you well enough from Daddy’s dementia demons. I hadn’t been able to hold you lovingly as you left your body behind. It took a long time, and the help of a pet-loss psychologist, to forgive myself for all the times I felt I had failed you or disappointed you. Just writing this is bringing on the tears again. Zen keeps coming over to check on me. Zoey is here on the couch, curled up next to me, like Bogie used to do in the mornings.

Wednesday night will be a year since you joined your sisters and brothers in Heaven. I won’t ever “get over” losing your physical presence, your special smile, your sweet puppy kisses. But Zen and Zoey have been healing and expanding my shattered heart with their own ways of loving me. And I know you’ve been right here with us, helping us.

I will always love you, Ducky. And I know you will always love me, and be here with me. ❤️🐾❤️🐾. We will meet again, my sweet girl. Zen and Zoey send you puppy kisses. 💚🐾💜🐾🦮😘🦮😘

Morning Yard Zoomies

🤪 PLAY TIME!! 🤪

The back yard isn’t one for a “Better Homes and Gardens” centerfold layout by any means; but at least it’s finally safe for my puppies to really have fun together in with just me to supervise. HUGE thank yous to the pups’ “Grandpa Chuck“, his friend and neighbor, Josh, and Josh’s employee, Aron, for ALL their HARD, back-breaking work!!

Since this is supposed to be “Wordless Wednesday”, I will limit my verbosity for this post 🤣 and just say I hope that everyone has a great hump day!!

Morning Snuggles & A Heavenly Birthday

My Baby Girl

Just like her older brother, Angel Bogie, Zoey must have her morning snuggles with me. 💞🦮🐾

Fast asleep 💜🐾😍

Funny to me is that as a rule of paw, the male Goldens are more likely to be the “needy”, cuddly pups than the females. Well, I never did like living by “rules” anyway. In this house, the roles are reversed…..

Zen is more like Ducky in the snuggles department: when and how HE wants them. Zoey is just like older brother, Angel Bogie: SHE must have the morning snuggles on the couch (or in the recliner). Her brother, and sister Ducky, knew I would need another snuggle buddy and that little Zoey would be perfect in that role. 🥰

So, on to the second reason for this particular Awww Mondays blog post…

🦮My Beautiful Angel Boy Bogie🦮

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY In Heaven my Beautiful Bogie Boy!! Mama will always miss you until we’re all reunited. And I will always love you.

Angels with Paws

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, before he 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.

Such a sweet boy!
Mama’s Big Boy

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.

My Snuggle Sweetie
My Baby Girl

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.

🐾💚 Playtime 💜🐾
Wrestling in the kitchen

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. 😤

Some Sunday Smiles

Tonight marks sweet Ducky’s 11-month anniversary joining her beloved brothers and sisters at the Rainbow Bridge. So I needed some cheering up. It was almost time to watch the live stream of service at church. So I turned on the TV, went to YouTube, and put on the Golden Retriever Puppies funniest videos. This is what ensued…

Thank you, my sunshine boy, for making your mama smile! I needed it. But wait! There’s more…

These two angels with paws are such sweeties! They make me smile and laugh multiple times a day. What more could I ask for? Not much, that’s for sure!

Watching YouTube Puppies
Watching YouTube Together
Being Big Brother

I hope the videos and pix add some sparkle to your day, like they do to mine! Have a great Sunday and new week!

A Bittersweet Weekend

Today – Saturday, January 14th – is the first “anniversary” of Bogie’s horrific, tragic, traumatic accident. A year has passed since my precious baby boy was taken from me, his daddy, his sister, and his uncle. The first of three traumatic losses in one year.

I spent some time yesterday morning reading my blog posts about Bogie – first to last – especially his trainer’s tribute, and tears rolled down my face. I will forever grieve for my precious baby boy. That grief, like the ocean, ebbs and flows with the tides.

Tomorrow – Sunday the 15th – will be 11 months since my beloved Ducky’s heart gave out on her after being shattered the month before by our loss of Bogie, and after many years of helping me deal with the stress of her beloved daddy’s dementia demons. As with Bogie, I will forever grieve for my precious little soulmate.

My precious angel babies

The “sweet” part of the “bittersweet,” though, is that today, Saturday the 14th, is also the Z Kids’ Gotcha Day. Zen came home to live with Sam and me on May 14th, so this is his 8-Month Gotcha Day. Zoey came home to live with Zen and me on November 14th, so this is her 2-Month Gotcha Day.

Zen has been my ray of sunshine, the bright spot in my life, since before he was even born (on St. Patrick’s Day) last year. Just knowing I was going to have another puppy in my life last year cheered me up most of the innumerable times that the grief over first Bogie and then Ducky overwhelmed me.

Once Zen came home after Sam had been hospitalized, he was often my reason for getting up in the morning. He became my best friend, my peaceful moments, my constant companion, my protector, my everything. And when I got the doctor’s unexpected yet somewhat relieving call that early October morning, Zen was my comforting, calming, peaceful zen puppy. He lived up to his name that morning as I cried into his fur. 😍

When Ducky became a winged angel, I knew I had to have two pups in my life again – the boy who was due in another month and another female. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, especially if I had to deal with the dementia demons at the same time; but I was determined to have two puppies so the first one wouldn’t be lonely when we couldn’t have him with us away from home. So, once again, my sweet baby girl came through for me when Zoey was born.

As Zen is my ray of sunshine, so Zoey is the starlight in my eyes. Zoey is sweet and sassy, like Ducky was. She is my baby girl, and I am her person. And, like Ducky adored Bogie, Zoey adores Zen. Likewise, as Bogie adored Ducky, so Zen adores Zoey. 💚💜🐾🐾

My babies at play 😍😍

This post is a “bit” long-winded. I apologize for that. I’m grateful for those of you who have read it to the end. I hope everyone has a great weekend! ❤️❤️🐾🐾

Thankful for My Z Kids

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.

Big Brother/Little Sister Mutual Adoration Society

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.

Kitchen Playtime
In my lap in my recliner
After-play nap time

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.