Huskies and Labs are sight dogs. Their eyes are their strongest sense. All four of our dogs are about 3/4 Husky and a 1/4 Lab, so their eyes are important.
I started noticing a couple of years ago that Blaze's eyes were clouding over. In fear of glaucoma, the vet checked her out and said,"It waslens deterioration. Which is just as it sounds. Old age catching up and the lenses begin to deteriorate. For the most part she can still see and you may notice her struggle more at night."
I wonder if it is hereditary? If so, they probably got it from their mother, Silver, as she also had it. Because I also see slight signs of it in the rest of the dogs. Or is it normal old age?
I don't really notice any difference with Blaze, except when we play "find it." (I throw treats around the yard and they "find it") When I throw the treats, she strains to see them fly and land. Then she looks back at me, wondering if I really did throw them, because she can't see them. There is a look of worry in her face. At this point I throw a couple more closer to her, hoping she will see them, but it is mute. Eventually she tries to find them with her nose. I didn't realize how much she depended on her sight for that game. And if I really think about it, I am sad for her, but honesty that's the only sign I see. Otherwise she my silly, bouncing, mouthy Blaze who can still catch treats in the air, keep the cat in check and catch a chipmunk, like the rest of the gang.
I'm sure there will be more things that show as she continues to age. All I can do is take it in stride, don't dwell on it and give her the best life possible. Really that's all any of us can do for our dogs and enjoy every minute with them.
There are the usual things, like collars, leashes, blankets, bowls, toys and beds that we keep after our furry loved ones pass on. I even have the last medications from both Silver and Brut, stored away for what, I don't know. I'm sure there are many more common things that us pet lovers keep, but what is the strangest? What is that oddball thing that you just can't seem to part with? That one thing that no one would understand except for your pet and you?
Mine is this stack of large yogurt cups.
Hubby, Mark can't understand why I've kept them. Heck, I don't even know if I understand why I can't part with them.
Brut and I used to share a bit of yogurt every day all by ourselves. He was just so adorable with food when we were alone. No other dogs to threaten him and he would be so comical and attentive with me. No fear. He was so beautiful in these moments. He was so bright eyed and bushy tailed, if you will. His true self shining through. Not the leader of the pack dog or the enforcer dog. He was so content and happy to share with me and I with him.
I could get him to do anything for food. Place him in any position. Add props. Anything. But during our yogurt time, he was free to just be himself. Happy and free with a treat. It was kind of magical who this boy was when his guard was down.
He would eat from a spoon and he was good at it. His eyes were soft and intent while his fur stood on end in excitement. He had a smile on his face that shined with serenity.
This is the first time I really explored why I've kept these yogurt cups and now it makes sense to me.
It was my quality time with the REAL Brut.
The boy I will always remember.
How I wish I had a picture of his face of happiness.
At least now I have the memory the go with the cups.
So how about you? What the strangest thing you ever kept from a loss pet?
It all started at dusk when Zappa, Fiona and I went outside to enjoy the warm morning air. It was 71°F. A record for this time of the year. We sat drinking in the gentle warmth anticipating the sunrise.
We do not have a horizon, we live the forest with trees everywhere, but just above the tree tops it is possible to get a peek of both the sun rising and setting. A glimmer, if you will, and as I was about to find out that is all you need.
Zappa was laying about in the middle of the yard, directly in front of me, facing east. While Fiona was at my feet in her personally dug hole, probably still half asleep. It was early for all of us being that we are night dogs and people. It made watching this sunrise even more special.
Lost in my thoughts, I suddenly noticed a pinkish hue glowing against the shed. For a second I thought, " I never noticed the shed that color before..." Then my eyes immediately went to the sky as my consciousness caught up to what my eyes were seeing.
It quickly built up from a pinkish-orange into a rich magenta and then quickly faded in a matter of minutes. But in those few minutes, the whole yard was washed in pink. It was absolutely beautiful. And Zappa, Zappa's face just glowed in color as he watched the incredible light crescendo and descend.
I can't remember the last time I have felt so awed by a sunrise. It was like touching the hand of God.
And Zappa, he could make a believer out of you, bathing in the cascading light that was connecting him to the Big Dog in the sky.
It was a simple easy-going day yesterday at the 24 Paws of Love. The dogs and I were recovering from a long day the day before
and we just hung out all day together. Back and forth, from one pack to the other. Making the most of this day and being together.
Chance gave a long solo howl which eventually prompted Fiona "across the door" to join in. I couldn't believe how long the song lasted. It was beautiful. It made me wonder what he was singing about and why. Was there a purpose to his song or did it just want to express himself at that moment?
We ended our sweet little reclusive time by playing the "Find It" game. I throw treats around the yard and they "find it." Just before going out to play, all the dogs joined in as the Howling Choir, as always it was awesome! Zappa does more barking that howling and his voice has become raspy, reminding me of the many years we have spent together. I love the memories we are making together as the dogs age gracefully. These are the times I won't have on my memory card, but will be able to recall in a heartbeat with the help of this blog.
That's why I write, because some day all of this will be a memory in my heart. It's the simple things that make my dogs the light of my life.
I stopped feeding the wild birds when our duck, Luigi, passed from eating too many sunflower seeds. I blamed the birds for killing Luigi. It wasn't their fault, but I couldn't help it. Three years later, (last summer) I made a couple of bird feeders and began feeding the wild birds again. It was such a joy. My love for birds never stopped, just took a hiatus. Than about mid-winter the squirrels had taken over the feeders and we had a slick coat of ice all over the backyard, so I quit feeding the squirrels for fear the dogs would hurt themselves chasing the critters on the ice.
Blue jay on my homemade bird feeder
That's when the healing box opened up and I talked with Luigi. I needed him to forgive me, so I could forgive myself about his death.and he did. So I was able to forgive myself.
That was this past spring. I still couldn't bring myself to feed the birds. It took me seven months and a lot of back and forth deciding. My hubby, Mark, also aided to my dilemma. He found a couple of bird feeders in the dumpster, both like brand new and brought them home, not knowing my emotional turmoil to use them or not.
Finally, one day I gave in. Filled the feeders, hung them up and let God take over. And He did. I suddenly had a bird haven, with squirrels and chipmunks. Birds flying all over the place, whizzing by my head, in front and back of me. This is when it occurred to me, that this is what Luigi would have wanted for me. A yard full of birds for me to enjoy, harnessing that deep love I have always had for our feathered friends. I would even call it Luigi's legacy for me. He gave me a deeper understanding of birds and the relationship that is possible with them. It is a wonderful, freeing feeling and that's all Luigi ever wanted for me. I am so blessed to have had him in my life.
For those of you new to the 24 Paws of Love we have four dogs that are made up into two packs each in pairs. They each their own yards and their own sides of the house, with only a door between them. We call this the separation door, which we must always keep shut because the pairs don't get along with each other. We've had a handful of fights caused by our own carelessness of not making sure the door is shut all the way when going back and forth between the packs.
This was one of those times...
Zappa was barking and pawed at the door that separates the two packs. Chance headed towards the door from the other side. I noticed that Zappa's bark was coming through rather clear. As I ran to the door, Zappa and Chance were slowly backing up away from the door. It had been pushed about a foot open. I slammed it shut, everyone barking in fear of what could have happened. So close. So very close.
Although I was impressed that both Zappa and Chance backed away at the same time. Neither really wanted a confrontation. And since those two have never fought when faced with each other they had no intentions of doing so now. Thank goodness Fiona was behind Zappa and a little slower to the action, or she would have burst through and started a fight.