Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Bosley Fool Chronicles

Bosley Underfoot has been working hard to earn himself some nicknames. So far the clear fan favorites are Bosley Dunderbutt and Bosley Fool. Perhaps the images will illustrate further.

This is most assuredly not the stick I threw when calling, "fetch"...

In his defense, she did crash on it first. He thought it was something to attack and pull the fuzz off of.

"Mama says the new bed is for me. Will you share my new bed with me?"

These two have an interesting relationship, very similar to the one between the brothers. They're either wild about each other or snapping at each other. 

And this is Bos, most definitely not inside the garden behind the garage. Surely not. How in the world would he have gotten in there? Well, as he has both dug holes under and hopped over the fence into, who can say? I foresee a new and improved and hopefully Bosley-proof fence before any gardening is happening next spring...

Who me?

Feathered friends. And Fatty.

We are greatly enjoying our feathered friends' visits:

And then there are the piggies... 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Those of you on Facebook have already heard me grinch about the white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. It looks like it has stopped for the nonce, but these were taken this morning as soon as it was light enough for the camera to behave itself. We have at least 2.5" now and I hear the plow working on our street as I type. 


Once again, "the woods are lovely, dark and deep..."

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The post that I don't even know how to write


There comes a part in every story that we have mixed feelings about. Sometimes we can't wait for the ending to arrive so that the assignment is over or because we have something else we want to do or because we've lost interest or because it's breaking our hearts.

Sometimes we don't ever want the story to stop. We simply must know what happens next, if they lived happily ever after,  if they got what they deserved (especially the bad guy), and what about               ?

Probably 95% of you reading this already know through Facebook or texts that Thursday night, November 2nd, we had to put down a friend. A roughly one hundred pound friend who was covered in fur. And leaves. And dirt. And, if I'm being honest, which I am trying to be, urine. And bumps and lumps in different spots. But covered completely in love and tears and sadness. 

She had cataracts and couldn't see well. She had some hearing loss, which was more funny than awful, especially when you'd walk behind her and go where she wasn't expecting you to be. Then you'd call her, and your voice would bounce off the house or the shed or the garage in a funny way to confuse her, and even though you're calling louder and louder and clapping, there she goes, heading further away from you while trying to find you. Even with incontinence meds, she was peeing in the house, not on purpose, just because, I think, she couldn't tell anymore when she needed to go. She was drinking more water than ever. She needed something behind her to push against so she could get her weight up enough to pull her back legs erect. She'd lean into walls to slide down against so she could sit or nap. She was squatting and sitting very, very slowly, clearly aching. It was breaking our hearts.

But she was still so sweet, so happy to see anyone who came over, so happy to have her kids lay on her, to have Bosley curl up behind her or halfway on top of her. She was happy to ramble wherever we'd let her roam. She was eating,  still loving carrots and apple pieces as much as ever. She was as patient as could be expected with a not-even-six-month-old puppy gnawing on her legs or chomping on her ears or getting his teeth caught in her fur even though she could have knocked him into next week or sat on him and squeezed him into submission. She tried so hard to get up quickly to greet visitors, even to the point where some of them said, "oh, you sweet thing, you don't have to get up for me!" 

We have a Newfoundland sized hole in our hearts, in our home, on our deck, under her tree, in our lives. 

We talked with our good friend who is also a vet and made arrangements for the last decisions we could make for the best of her life. We filled her last, large dinner with carrots and broth on top and I don't know how she did it, but she ate it all. We packed up the kids and both dogs and went to a park a few streets away where we wandered around for a last walk. She made us laugh by avoiding most of the puddles; ever the Newfie who couldn't pee in the rain because she might get wet, the Newfie who knocked children into swimming pools instead of pulling them out, the Newfie who we've loved for just shy of twelve years.

The time span got me thinking about how many people we have met while we've had her. We got her in March of 2006, before we knew our Zita and her family, which means before I was in any moms' groups here so we didn't know most of our neighbors or people we've been doing life with for over a decade now. She was my first dog. Liam was born only a few months before we got her, Carrie was not quite three. She was there to help us welcome Damon home- he's never known a life without her. She's been around longer than any of our nieces and nephews. She's spent time at camp, time at softball games, time with the neighbors, time at our big parties and at our small home groups. She accepted everyone and only ever barked at meter men. She was so quiet that when she did bark, she surprised herself as much as us. 

After the park we went to our closest ice cream place and treated both dogs and ourselves. Even then she was making us laugh, lapping up the ice cream with that huge pink tongue, chomping the tiny dog biscuit, and then attempting to devour the styrofoam cup. 

Then our sweet friend came over with her husband and medication to put her to sleep and then to stop her heart. I suppose it's a cliche, but it was heartbreaking on more than one level. To see even our friend crying was so hard. To see our kids so bravely facing every minute of it revealed a fierce pride and another layer of hurt that we can't protect them from pain or from death or from the loss of a friend. 

To those of you saying, "yes, and they'll get over it- it's just a dog," I don't even know what to tell you. You're right. We will get over it, though not soon. You're right. She was a dog. I thought that many times myself. "She'll be okay outside while we're gone. She's a dog." "She doesn't need that. She's a dog." "She doesn't understand. She's just a dog." True. But not helpful when you contrast that with all the times she cracked her huge old head off the underside of the kitchen table just so she could lay that head on your leg while wagging her huge tail at you. Or how patient she was to come inside and sit, every single time, to have her paws wiped even when sitting was painful and slow and balancing was hard. Or how you could lay up against her and read and she would just breathe, warm and fuzzy, behind you. How she was happy to help earn her keep by licking off plates before they headed into the dishwasher. How she teethed on and ruined the set of wooden nesting penguin dolls the kids had when they were tiny. How she perked up every year when fall rolled around and how she loved bounding through snow. How embarrassed she was for days after getting her summer shaved haircut and pink bows on her ears. Yes, she was a dog. But she was a heavyweight in our family. 

Movies have helped. Dada missed both of them, but the kids and I have seen "Inside Out" which is all about feelings and how they work together, and "A Dog's Purpose" which showed a neat twist about a dog being brought back as a different dog each time he died. The movies have helped us talk through sadness with glad memories and use our imaginations. She may never become a police dog as she had zero aggressive bones in her body, but she would make an excellent therapy or helper dog for someone somewhere. I've been getting book recommendations too- thank you for those. Technology has played a part as we've taken pictures and videos that we will treasure. Carrie has also done artwork that will be priceless to us down the road. Bosley is also helping despite his bewilderment as to where his playmate and snuggle buddy has gone, and we're so glad we got him before we lost her. 

To those of you who have expressed condolences and sent prayers our way, we thank you. It means a lot that you understand. It means even more that you liked her, too.

RIP Triskal Sarabella - You were so loved. 
December 15, 2005- November 2, 2017

Guest post, photos by Damon

"Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

I figured everyone could use something warm and colorful to look at before I attempt to clear some photos off of my phone in order to free up some storage. These were taken at the White Turkey Drive-In in Conneaut, Ohio by Damon in July when we picked him up from a stay at Pap's. Someone has an appreciation for flowers. 

This last one was taken at Camp Lambec in Pennsylvania. That's Lake Erie behind us. It's one of too few pictures we have featuring all of us. 

Maybe this kiddo will follow in his uncle's footsteps and work in photography someday. Or maybe he just liked sneaking off with my phone...