Dec 16, 2021

Where have I been??  It's been so long since I've written, despite the fact that life has continued to move forward and I have moved froward with it. Begrudgingly. Quick update.

BG, the 120 # Alaskan Malamute
After Trout left to chase tennis ball at the Rainbow Bridge, I fostered Apple from the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society Apple jointed BG (Bulgera), the Giant Alaskan Malamute that I adopted from my sister. It was in my mind that BG was so sad and lonely once Trout was gone. Fostering would give him a friend but not bring a permanent dog into our lives. I was done with permanent dogs. It's just too damn painful when they leave. Fostering was an epic fail and after three days Apple was renamed Merrick and became a permanent part of our family. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, BG developed cancer in his front leg and his health declined quickly. It was such a shame, having lost Trout only five months earlier, BG became my rock. And then he became a memory. But, Merrick was there, and she spread her fluffy white hair all over the house just like BG did. And, of course, shortly thereafter, Merrick looked sad because she was I went back to the GPRS and they found me the perfect dog named Virgil (who later was renamed to Bass). 

Merrick in front and Bass at the top

Merrick is now almost five years old (she was 3.5 when I adopted her) and Bass is a little over one year old. Both make sure I have a constant supply of white hair all over the house, so really, it's like BG never left. Both Merrick and Bass are perfect...though if you promise not to tell Merrick, I have a softer spot in my heart for Bass. He is so sweet and kind (and he SMILES), whereas Merrick is a complete diva. And in part, maybe I feel like I have to protect Bass from Merrick because she can be a real brute to him. Merrick is my shadow and follows me from room to room, sleeps by my bed (or in it), and always makes sure that if I so much as sneeze, she's right there should I need anything at all. She's a lot like Trout in that way but Merrick not only loves me but everyone else. Both Merrick and Bass are really people lovers. They don't care who you are, they love you. They haven't met you? They still love you! It's like I have these two great dogs who have so much love to give that they have to find other people who need love too so they can share it. I don't mind at all. 

When we go on a walk Bass always sits and waits for people to come over to him...he gets so hurt when they just continue on their walks and don't stop to greet him. Bass actually has his favorite buddies in the neighborhood and when we pass their houses, he dilly dallies waiting for them to come outside and say hello. When he sees them, it makes his whole day! Now that you're caught up, I hear Bass in the kitchen pushing his dog bowl around like he hasn't eaten in I'm off to do my parental work. 

Mar 3, 2021

The End and A Different Beginning....

June 20, 2020: Time flies.  Fast. I remember when I first adopted Trout. She was a tiny little fluffy faced ball of chocolate kisses.  I would walk her and wait patiently as she stopped to explore every blade of grass, to greet every bug, to offer a wag to every person who passed. Now we're twelve years on and I watch her sleep, her body pulsating with every breath, her legs twitching, and sometimes, running. Her head slightly moves as I adjust on the couch. She is vigilant to my every move and I to hers. These days, I don't jump out of bed at night when I hear her cough or stretch because I'm worried she'll eat the remote but instead, it is because I know her days are numbered. Each day that passes is another closer to the end. Closer to a time when I will walk alone. And I can't stand the thought of her taking it without me by her side.

I tell Trout to let go, but in my heart I hope she holds on forever. I kiss her head, smooth my hands down her snout and look into her eyes, now cloudy like an early winter day. I whisper, "I love you" because more than anything in this world, I do.  More than anything.

That is why I know I must let her go. The final act of my love for her is for me to just let her go. To kiss her that last goodbye and to send her off to the heavens, the rainbow bridge, beach, or wherever dogs wander off to for eternity. But then what?

Then I start a different life. Not better by any means. Just different. With different priorities and different dreams. 

                                                                March 3, 2021: 

I wrote that almost a year ago, and Trout, my lovely chocolate lab, my best friend, my baby, has now been gone since August 2020.  In the end, it wasn't old age but bone cancer that took her from me.  She held on to the bitter end.  Hot Doc (our vet) said I'd know when it was time...and she would tell me.  She would stop following me around...but she never did. Everywhere I went she'd trudge along, just longing to be by my side. People always ask, "When do you know it's time?" In fact, I asked that over over again. "You just do" is often a response. For me, I knew it was time when it hurt my heart more to know that she was likely suffering than it did to let her go. Don't make the mistake in thinking that means it was easy to let her go. It wasn't. It hasn't been. It still isn't. That last day haunts my memories. I've thought of it over and over, wondering if I didn't wait too long, or if I did it too soon. I just know that my personal pain and grief is much easier to bear than the thought of Trout in pain. 

So she's gone...and a few short months later I also lost her best friend, our adopted boy, BG, to bone cancer. It's a simple fact, big dogs get it. But oh, why mine and why so close together! BG helped me so much after Trout was gone. Helped me to realize that there was still beauty, and that hole in my heart would eventually heal. He took that hole and filled it with Giant Alaskan Malamute hair and slobbery kisses.

There's still a hole in my heart, and a certain emptiness that wasn't there before, but, I've filled that hole with other things to hide the numbness and help me move forward. I've rescued a couple Great Pyrenees who are the most adorable dogs. They make me laugh, smile, frown, and even make me angry. At times, they make me wonder why I bothered to do it all again.  I think the reason is, despite everything, I didn't want to give up on dogs. I wanted to make a difference, even if it's just in a few white fluffy dogs' lives...and I've done that already. So join me now as I move not on, but forward, past what was and toward what will is and will be. And love your pups. Hold them tight. Kiss them goodnight. And be the person your dog thinks you are.  

I found a house! A sale and a purchase...

Hey Readers!  (Mom and Dad) My Salem house, after MANY repairs and a new porch I haven't written in a spell because my plans took a ride...