Monthly Archives: January 2009

The New Normal

 
Hubby, Luci, and I are settling into The New Normal.  It’s very strange to suddenly be a one dog family.  I keep expecting to see Blacky laying on his doggie bed here next to the computer or at the foot of the stairs.  It’s strange to only fill one food bowl or to hand out cookies for one dog.  Hubby had an emotional moment Tuesday morning when he was giving Luci her morning banana slices because he had to eat Blacky’s portion of banana slices.  I’ve had an emotional moment every time I pass the funeral home that is taking care of Blacky’s remains.  It’s on my way to work so I pass it at least four times a day.  (We’re having him cremated.) 
 
Monday night, Luci was looking for Blacky when I came home from the vet’s office.  I had to explain to her that Bubba wasn’t coming home, which was very hard to do through all the tears.  She just sat at the front door and waited for Hubby to come home from the bowling alley.  When Hubby came home, he had an emotional moment when he told Luci that Bubba wasn’t with him either.  Tuesday morning, Luci got all the way downstairs to the back door when she realized that Blacky wasn’t there.  She went back upstairs to look for him and had a very confused look on her face when she came back downstairs to go outside.  By this point, I was in tears again.  Luci has spent a lot of time the last couple of days pacing the house and the yard looking for Blacky.  Again, something that brings Hubby and I to tears. 
 
For the first time in 9 years, I’ve been able to shovel snow without Blacky barking at me and lunging at the shovel.  I’m not sure I like that.  For the first time in 9 years, I threw a snowball and Blacky wasn’t there to catch it.  I threw a shovel full of snow at Luci and she looked at me like I lost my mind.  And no matter how hard I try, she just doesn’t get the concept of a snowball.  I throw it to her, she catches it and then runs away.  What she doesn’t understand is that the snowball melts.  Blacky loved to catch snowballs and eat them.  Then bark at me to throw him another one. 
 
She’s figured out that since Blacky has been gone Mommy and Daddy are a little more lenient than we are normally.  In true Evil Luci fashion, she’s trying to take advantage of the situation.  When she gets busted for doing something she knows she’s not supposed to be doing, she’ll either put her head in our lap or sit and give you the sad puppy eyes.  I’ve told her a few time over the past couple of days that she’s lucky she’s so cute or she’d be in big trouble.  And I have to say it with a straight face or she’ll know that she’s got me wrapped around her paw. 
 
Hubby and I are getting a lot more exercise because Luci’s never been an only dog and she wants someone to play with her.  Either that or she knows that we’re sad and she wants to cheer us up.  We’ve gotten almost a foot of snow since Monday and she’s really happy to romp and play in the snow.
 
Tuesday was a very bad day.  Today was a little better.  We will have to see how tomorrow goes.  We’re very thankful that Luci’s here to put a smile on our faces. 
 
And I’m very grateful for all the lovely comments about Blacky.  You have no idea what that meant to me. 

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Big Brave Boy

 
It is with extreme sadness and profound grief that I must report the passing of our beloved boy dog, Blacky.  The arthritis and the hip dysplasia were causing the neuological problems that Blacky was experiencing.  The problems were pretty severe and had gotten significantly worse since his last visit to the vet on Thursday.  After looking at the latest set of xrays and hearing the description of what was causing the problems, it was time for Hubby and I to make a very difficult decision about Blacky’s future.  We could tell Blacky was hurting, but until we saw those xrays we had no idea to what extent.  We just couldn’t bear to put him through that anymore.  
 
He passed away last night about 7 p.m.
 
We’re all pretty shell shocked right now.  It just happened so fast.  One day he was fine, the next day he wasn’t.  And now he’s gone. 

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Growing Old Ain’t For Sissies

 
Blacky will be celebrating his 10th birthday on April 1.  It’s not so much the years that are making Blacky old, it’s his hip dysplasia and arthritis that’s making him old before his time. 
 
When Blacky was two, we learned about the hip dysplasia and the arthritis.  He was fine one day when he went to bed and gimpy the next day when he got up in the morning.  The vet did some x-rays and discovered the hip dysplasia.  Blacky had probably been born with bad hips and had having problems since he was a puppy.  That explained why Blacky was slow to get up from taking a nap.  We just thought that it was normal awkwardness from the sudden growth spurt and his coordination didn’t quite keep up with his new longer legs.  The vet put him on anti-inflamatory meds and supplements to help his joints.  That also started Blacky’s twice yearly trips to the vet for bloodwork to monitor his liver and kidney functions.  The anti-inflamatory meds could play havoc with his liver and kidneys if we weren’t careful. 
 
Over the years, Blacky has done fairly well with the meds, we’ve had to change them once because the ones he was on originally stopped working for him.  He typically does better during the late spring and summer – and not so well in the late fall and winter.  The colder the weather, the more problems he has – and the warmer the weather, the less problems he has.  
 
The vet has told me over the years that the arthritis won’t kill Blacky, but it will affect the quality of his life we need to be prepared to make some hard decisions "down the road".  As much as I hate to think about it, now might be time for Hubby and I to start making those "down the road" decisions . .  
 
When this last cold spell hit, Hubby and I noticed that Blacky was a little "creakier" than normal.  He was having some real trouble getting up and down off his doggie bed and he was taking his time when sitting.  We also noticed that it took Blacky longer than normal for him to do is business outside – not so much that he’s picky in finding a place to go, but more that he’s having a hard time finding a comfortable position.   The thing that’s bothered me the most about this, though, is that Blacky has stopped wagging his tail.  He was a beautiful tail that wags all the time.  He can clear a coffee table with that tail.  When he’s really happy, he’ll stand next to you and smack you with that tail.  Hubby and I call it the Killer Tail.  There’s something really wrong if the Killer Tail isn’t wagging.  We took him to the vet to have him checked out and the vet told us that it’s probably a normal progession of the disease and gave us some options to think about.  She added some pain meds to his daily routine and suggested that we have another set of x-rays taken to see how far the arthritis has progressed. 
 
He’s been on the pain meds for a few days and they seem to be helping some, but I can tell that Blacky’s still in some pain.  He’s still slow getting up and down and is reluctant to sit for any length of time.  He’s also been having some problems in the bathroom department.  Because it hurts him a little to go potty, I have to make sure he’s completely finished when he comes in the house.  I have to lift his tail and make sure there aren’t any "surprises" waiting.  Not something that either of us like, but it’s something that we have to do.  We also have to make sure we take him out more often so that we can avoid accidents in the house.  We had noticed some "surprises" in the house and actually thought Luci was to blame until Hubby saw the "surprise" happen right in front of him.  That’s what really hit me and Hubby really hard.  Until that moment, we thought we had some time before we had to start thinking about "down the road".    
 
I’m praying really hard that the pain meds kick in and there’s some simple explanation (and simple solutions) for the bathroom issues that Blacky’s having.  I’d really love for it to be sunny and warm here soon, but it’s January in Ohio.  I know that ain’t gonna happen. 
 
In the meantime, though, positive thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated. 
 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Colder Than Heck

 
Yep, we got the snow.  About 6 inches of it.  The light fluffy stuff that blows and drifts all over the place.  On top of the ice that we had earlier in the week.  Smalltown looks like a Currier and Ives print.  Got to come home an hour early from work yesterday and played in the snow with Blacky and Luci.  That is after Hubby and I finished clearing the sidewalks and the deck.  Tried to make snowballs for Blacky  (he loves to catch them and eat them) but the snow was too dry for that.  He had to settle for biting at the snow as I was shoveling the deck.  They they both decided to eat all the snow off the lawn furniture.  
 
I’m a happy girl now.  I got my snow.  The bad thing about this kind of snow in this time of year is that it usually comes with some really bitterly cold temperatures.  Below zero kind of temperatures.  Sure enough, that’s what we got.  It’s -2 now with a wind chill advisory until sometime tomorrow.  The wind chill is something like -15.  Brrr.  But the cold temperatures won’t last too long so I’m going to complain.  
 
The best part of all of this is the fact that for the first time in 10 years I don’t have to spend a lot of time driving in this horrible weather.  The longest drive so far has been 30 minutes – and that was because of an ice storm.  I’m a very happy girl. 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Wishes Do Come True

 
The weather has been rather dreary here in Smalltown lately.  Drab overcast days.  Lots of cold.  Lots of rain.  Lots of ice.  The other day, the girls at work were complaining about the yucky weather when I said, out loud for everyone to hear, I just wish it would snow.  I can take the cold dreary weather if there was some snow on the ground.  Yes, they all looked at me as if I were speaking in a foreign language.  It’s rather odd to hear someone over the age of 10 actually wish for snow. 
 
But I do wish for snow.  I wish for the kind of wonderful snow that I remember from my childhood.  The kind of snow that started falling during the night and covered everything with so much snow that school was cancelled the next morning.  The kind of wet fluffy snow that packed nicely to for a snow fort, or a huge snowman.  The kind of snow that was the best kind of snow to go sledding.  Even though the weather was too bad for us to go to school, we would happly drag our sleds up the hill to the school and race down the hill until we were almost frozen solid. 
 
So I’ve gotten my wish.  At least part of it.  We started getting snow on Sunday evening and it’s been lightly snowing off and on ever since.  The weather geeks called for a lot of snow yesterday but we didn’t get it.  They’re calling for 3 to 5 inches of snow tomorrow during the day and some very cold temperatures.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we actually get it.  I want to go out in the back yard and have a snowball fight with Blacky and Luci.  I want to make a snowman.  Now that I only drive 10 minutes to work every day, I don’t mind driving in the snow so much.    
 
I look at it this way, the snow and cold weather in January is a small price to pay for the warm weather and sunshine in July.  
 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Now I’ve Done It

When I was feeling yucky the other day, I just knew that sooner or later Hubby was going to get whatever I had.  It’s an undisputable law of nature.  Especially when there’s just the two of us living in the house.  Just as I was feeling better . . . he started with the same symptoms.  But, in true Hubby fashion, his symptoms are way worse than mine. Poor baby is going through the cold medicines like their candy.  Getting him to eat is a full time job.  If he doesn’t feel good, he doesn’t want to eat.  Nothing tastes good . . . except ice cream.  After 25 years of marriage, I’ve never understood that logic.  But at least he’s eating something.
 
We’re getting a nice little winter storm today so I’m stuck in the house all day with him.   A sick, whining husband who is complaining about everything.  He said yesterday that even his hair hurts. 
 
Please say some prayers for me. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Blech

The stress of the last few weeks has finally caught up with me.  I’ve got a bug of some sort.  No real symptoms, just a general tiredness and achyness.  I came home from work early today and have been camping out on the couch.  Hubby had to work today and he’s bowling tonight so I’m here all alone.  Well, not totally alone.  I have two very capable caregivers . . . Blacky and Luci.  Bless their hearts, they’re right here beside me.  
 
Since I don’t really have any real symptoms (yet?!), I’m thinking that it’s just a matter of my body finally telling me that I’ve done enough and that it’s time for me to slow down a little and take care of myself.  I have to admit that I’ve been running at a pretty fast pace for quite some time and it’s time that I slow down a little bit.  Yea, I say that now that I feel like a truck has hit me and I’m napping on the couch.  But will I continue the slower pace once I feel better?  Don’t hold your breath on that one.  After all, there’s still a household to run, a MIL to look after, my job, and the doggies to take care of.  But I will certainly try to remember that I have to figure in the equation somewhere. 
 
In the meantime . . . my caregivers are reminding me that it’s time for supper.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized