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Friday, January 28, 2011

PetWise #3


Our ideas have really been interrupting Mom’s thoughts lately…or could it also be her artistic side that we all learned to appreciate during our lives with her? Sometimes it looked (and felt to her) like simple procrastination, however more often than not, after such a delay she was able to say, ‘Okay, now I see why I waited.’ Then because it was 30 some years ago, she had search for just the right photos! But we digress…

Days ago, Mom could sense that Katie Lou was no longer as anxious to tell her mental health story, no doubt off doing something else which was her bent during much of her earthly life—spent in a ‘world of her own’. Consequently Mom once again had to relax into this quandary before retiring one night.

“SO I had her dream about ME,” Bubbles quips, “as a very old dog, but with enough energy left to lick her madly with my healthy teeth and gums as she picked me up from a babysitter.”

And that was a loud enough message for Mom to be inspired to let Bubbles share the first memorable health experience of her life.

“From the first time they saw me as a fluffy puppy, naming me Bubbles, I was exuberant, even ‘talking too much’, I’m told. I never wanted them out of my sight, either, so it was no surprise they enjoyed taking me with them to places like the Oregon beach as well as into the Idaho mountains to pick huckleberries or mushrooms.”

At this, Olga, Sugar I and Lobo all get dreamy looks remembering those same happy-go-lucky times with the family.

Not only mushrooms flourished in the cool, moist climate of the wooded hills, however, but also ticks, not to mention gigantic mosquitoes, so they tried a preventive measure this one time. Meant to keep those pests from Bubbles’s very curly coat, their favorite veterinarian mixed a concoction he used for horses, theoretically reducing the dosage to suit the size of a medium to small dog.

“On this week end”, Bubbles continues, “I typically bounded exuberantly out of the car running down the gravel road as fast as my feet would carry me! Mom laughed as my U-turn skid sent me sprawling. Then up the hill I raced with my family close behind. Always sure footed, Mom was surprised when I stumbled and fell. Looking more closely she saw a bit of blood on my lip and thought I’d fallen in a small hole nearby. But they realized I was in trouble when I growled at Dad as soon as he approached me. So Mom had to carry me (not a small dog) in her arms all the way back down the mountain.”

Everyone nods, wisely agreeing that love (and adrenalin) gives humans and animals alike the strength to do mighty things!

“My body quickly became lifeless and I began having trouble breathing!” Bubbles quickly goes on. “Mom was more afraid than I, not only because I was in her comforting embrace, but probably because she knew the vet’s office was 20+ miles down the mountain and in addition, it was a week end! Soon she heard a gurgling sound coming from deep in my chest and wondered desperately if I was going to die in her arms.”

The ride and the wait to rouse the vet seemed endless to everyone. The diagnosis was a strychnine-like poisoning brought on by the error in dosage—an ‘overdose’! “All just to keep the ticks & mosquitoes off me!”

Bubbles adds, “Of course the veterinarian was remorseful as he administered an antidote which took a bit (seemingly much longer) to restore all my vital signs, too. There were no charges…and no side effects, but I don’t recall seeing that vet again, either. I’m happy to report that I continued to hike, carefree, with the family—pests and all!”

Moral of the story: maybe experimenting with beloved pets, blindly believing those with lots of initials behind their names (without a second opinion) isn’t a very good idea!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Black Jack's BUTTERFLY reminding us love never dies!

On 9/14/10 the butterflies were orange and plentiful!! Today my boy sent one lone messenger! Shortly after he died in August, Black Jack sent a heart shaped cloud & sunshine yellow butterflies as messengers for me and finally these golden ones. The entire time he was in his body, he was always “flitting about” --one of the “busiest” little beings I’d ever met. Since he’s told me he’s just that busy now in his new life, I’m grateful that he once again took the time to give me a ‘high five’ by sending only ONE beautiful orange/golden butterfly again today—in the middle of January, NO other butterflies to be seen anywhere. I'm taking that as a sign that my pets are loving their speaking through me with my blogging AND OF COURSE that love simply never dies!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

PetWise #2

No guilt, no regrets!!

“Me, me, me! I’ve been shouting in Mom’s ear since she was invited to blog…sure hope she lets me go first,” Katie Lou shouts but is gently interrupted by Olga’s deep booming baritone. “You’ll get your turn, since your story is very important, too, Katie. But remember how it took our working together to get Mom to just finally receive the message we tried to deliver to her after you died? You would come to her and bark night after night trying to let her know you were okay—then eventually we came together that last night and I did the ‘woof’.”

Katie responds, “Yes, Mom thought you were just reinforcing my trying to tell her that I was okay. I see where you’re going with this now,” she says, suggesting that Count might help tell some of this important story.

Count the Basset Hound is indeed ready to share his part of this story! “I was Mom’s very first dog and quite a character I might add. I ruled the roost as they say, helping myself to clothes off the line and barking like mad when my humans were at work—until the neighbor’s complained. One time Mom came home to a house filled with blankets & down from pillows—seems I’d decided I wanted ‘my’ bed in the living room. I was quite the entertainer, even sitting up on my haunches to ‘beg’. But, man, I didn’t want anything to do with that miniature human they brought into the house, seemingly to replace me. Since my humans thought I was no longer happy in my own home, I suddenly found myself ‘shipped out’ to a large farm with lots of children and boy, the rest of my days couldn’t have been happier!”

Olga continues, “I was Mom’s second dog and so we got to learn lots of things together. I was a very large Great Dane for a female, almost as big as Mom, but so gentle that our lessons were of a different kind, like my awkward learning to go up steps and what carpeted floors were. I used to sleep beside their king sized waterbed and my twitching at night would awaken her. The pot roasts ‘mysteriously’ disappeared when left on the counter, and the sheer size of my ‘droppings’ seemed something my humans had to get used to. Then there was my fondness for lying on the basement steps and chewing on them—the hot seasoning they tried to stop me with, making them even tastier!”

“I loved finally escaping from my custom built kennel to run in the mountains near their cabin. I’m told I was so graceful I looked like a deer and so my humans were concerned for my safety from hunters. Those were the days,” she says fondly.

“But all too soon as is often the case with us big gals, my health began failing. My family was so distraught they didn’t know what to do for me. So when they found a family who lived in a rural area claiming to be able to improve my condition, they very sadly agreed I should live with them. I did get lots better and loved roaming every day on the ranch. Mom was so happy when she would get those reports, thinking that had been the best choice for me.”

Her tone changes, “Then one day out of the blue several neighboring dogs decided mine was their turf and attacked me! My mild manner and aging body made it impossible for me to fight them off… Needless to say when Mom found out my end had been so brutal she never really recovered.”

“Katie and I were not only trying to reassure Mom that Kate was okay,” Olga explains, “but when I came with her that last night we wanted her to realize all of us are whole, happy and healthy now, here on the other side. You see, no matter how peaceful or tragic the end of our lives on earth may have seemed, all of that is forgotten and forgiven here. So any judgment, blame, guilt, remorse, regret is really just wasted energy on the part of all truly devoted companion animals’ guardians. Please, humans, we’re here to BE love whether it’s returned or not—that’s called unconditional love. Everyone’s lives change so your loving intention to be with us forever, providing what you feel is the best possible care is what really matters. I can say this because I loved my family enough to crawl partially sedated after I was ‘fixed’ attempting to get home to them. We love you completely—when will you get that?! We keep trying to show you that those useless emotions like regret (that we’re wise enough not to even bother with) serve no purpose. So to see and hear you spending precious time wishing things had been different is not the way we want you to live. Let’s move forward remembering the wonderful times!”

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PetWise #1

PetWise through Judy

Everybody’s story counts!!

Mom had received an invitation to begin blogging again, promising to think about it, with the intention of taking action—which is really all it takes! Having ‘put it to bed’, she could feel the ideas begin growing from that little seed Then on January 9, Mom finally brought herself to put ‘our’ Christmas tree away as she was watching the CBS Sunday News program. All of us are so pleased that she ‘listened to us’ and decorated her home with mementos of us to comfort her through the holiday season, “especially since I just left 5 months ago and she isn’t ready for another pet just yet,” Black Jack pipes in. She was still pondering what she could blog about when she heard author David Sadaris say on the TV that people don’t want to hear about themselves, but rather prefer feeling they are being entertained through stories about animals!

FINALLY on facebook she saw this title, The Human is Very Clever, but the Dog is Much More Clever” on a NATO Training Mission

article and FINALLY it clicked that WE’RE the ones

who need to ‘talk’. Sometimes our

people can be pretty dense, can’t they?

She MIGHT have

‘gotten it’ if she’d remembered how he

r blogging originally evolved… Black Jack tells the story, “I was so enjoying my alone time with Mom after Katie Lou left,


I wanted to stay for a very long time. I spent less and less time entertaining her; my aging making her life progressively more difficult at best. So, lovin

g movies as she does, one day she took a break to see the movie JULIE & JULIA where Julie, not too happy with her life, took up the hobby of cooking, blogging

about it. Thus the idea to blog about her experiences caring for me was born for Mom. It helped her, but wasn’t always as upbeat as Mom is, s

o I had to step in to tell her that I wanted to tell my OWN STORY. Because I appreciated all she did for me and was now able to tell her so, this made her happy and we

both hoped it might help lighten other canine geriatric care givers’ loads. Well, after she honored my request to help me leave, she lost her inspiration to blog—until

NOW when we can ALL have a voice through her.

I can speak

for us all—WE’RE EXCITED!”…

And, really, who do you think moved Dr. Jed Schaible to suggest she resume blogging by being a guest blogger on the prestigious VetLIVE blog? Her first response to that invitation was that while she is unquestionably PASSIONATE about treating all animals with respect, she didn’t consider herself to be an 'expert' on much of anything animal related other than her own inner feelings--and perhaps how we animals work directly with and through her on her ARTWORK.

Not only do you humans have wonderful stories to tell so that you can learn from one another, but we do, too and are so happy that Mom is listening—and willing to PASS OUR WISDOM ALONG! The world needs YOUR stories, too…