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.
It started out as a urine check for Fiona because I thought she might have a bladder infection. She had been peeing more and drinking more water than usual. She also would pee, then poop, then pee again, which I'd never seen her do before. So hubby, Mark took in her urine sample and we waited for the call.
There was protein in her urine. Quite possibly her kidneys. We set up an appointment for a blood test the following week.
We took her in, had a full blood panel done and we got the results at the end of the visit. Fiona's liver levels are all high. Not sure exactly what that means, but it isn't good. We were given liver supplements for Fiona to take for a month and then having levels rechecked. If her liver levels go back down it is her liver malfunctioning and probably due to old age. If her levels don't change, then there is something else going on that we will have to look into further.
We are a little scared, but hopeful. Maybe it won't be as bad as we fear.
Any prayers or well wishes would be greatly appreciated!
I always have a difficult time when I'm trying to express my love on paper for our four dogs, Chance, Blaze, Zappa and Fiona. It is hard for me to put my feelings into words, which I normally don't have any trouble with doing. I also find it hard to talk about the four "pups" without referencing Brut and Silver in some way. The qualities of their mom and dad really shine through. I don't know that I could talk about the "pups" behaviors and temperaments without bringing up Brut and Silver, being that these four are their kids. They display so many qualities of their mom and dad and having lived with all of them, they have for the most part, become meshed together. The way they think, feel and respond to us and each other, we have some how become a unit, even with the division of the two packs. And without Brut here as the top dog, taking all the attention and energy, the four are on even ground. A parallel playing field if you will. These four are ALL alpha dogs in their packs. Hubby, Mark and I are the top dogs now, without Brut, making it centered, with all of the rough edges smoothed out. There is actually gravity with a solid anchor holding us with an even stronger connection and foundation. Like Brut's true spirit in leadership has infused us together. I would have never thought that Brut being gone, would make us so much stronger as two packs and a family as a whole. Brut was a very powerful dog. Physically, mentally and emotionally. He just reverberated with strength. Imagine the most important being in your family that everyone is drawn to and for good reason. Now imagine them gone. The void is enormous. Your stomach falls to your knees feeling. You can't grasp your breath. Your whole life was center on that one being. This whole blog started out because of Brut. I have been lost for three years trying not to talk about him. But I can't. Brut is in every fiber and being of his kids. They are excerpts of every personality that Brut had...and I can't just forget about him. Brut and Silver's death balanced the scales of two extreme dogs. And while it was both Brut and Silver's death that brought such harmony, it is the Brut in them that is the loudest. As it should be. I am living in phenomenon that is unfolding right before my eyes. Every day. I can't get over the equality that is between the four dogs currently after Brut stole the spotlight when he was alive. He ruled everything.
Brut's spirit has woven our family together, pulling it tight like a drawstring.
It is comforting and mind blowing at the same time.
It is those sacred moments with Brut that I miss the most. Those times out in the backyard when it was just me and him sitting together listening to the world around us.
Since he had the better sniffer and better senses in general, I would just turn my head wherever he was facing. I studied his expressions and little nuances in his face to see if I could locate the smell. If the scent was strong enough I may get a whiff of Brut's interpretation. It was such a gift to be part of his eyes, ears and nose. Always alive, alert and intrigued. With Brut, I was able to see the world through his senses that let me know it was very much alive.
Being part of Brut's sensory world was so much different than getting in his head. These times together were about looking out instead of looking in. At certain points I would speak, or ask a question, but most of the time we just observed and listened to the creatures in the night.
I can remember many winter nights, when the air was crisp, frigid and thin, it seemed like we could hear for miles. Brut's liver colored nose, wiggling this way and that, while the rest of his body shimmied with excitement. Those nights, were like magic. We had a direct line to anything that made a sound, becoming one with the night and those around.
I've tried to create this quiet scene with our four pups, but my heart isn't in it. They all may be a part of Brut, but they are not Brut. Whatever we had together during those nights was unlike anything I'd ever experience with a dog before. It is where I learned to live in the moment. It was our time. Something special between Brut and I, that can only be recaptured in my heart.
I guess that is why I never really got into training my dogs tricks. Most of the time I let them train me. I believe in letting them evolve and grow into who they want to be. Their true self. Not a performed monkey. There are no strings attached. We work together, through and through. They let me grow, change and fail, just as much as I let them. And don't get me wrong, people who can teach their dogs to do tricks are great. It's just not for me. Even when I'm doing behavioral training I don't "tell them what to do." They show me if they care or not, or whether they want to learn or not. It is all up to them. I am just a guide. Not even that really. More of a sounding board as they become who they are. And that's when it becomes more than a relationship, a spiritual crossing if you will. It isn't a matter of trying to talk to them, it is complete communication 24/7. We are one. The 24 Paws of Love are one.
I'm telling you, I don't get it. I don't see how I managed Brut, five dogs, two packs, two cats, and a duck, because I feel like I'm still just keeping it together with four!
I swear the dogs I have now, have filled every nook, cranny and empty space left by Brut and Silver. For some crazy reason I thought after Brut and Silver passed there was going to be extra time to play with or that I get some sort of break mentally and emotionally. Instead it feels like it quadrupled! Zappa, Fiona, Chance and Blaze definitely fill the day and night. Not to mention the two cats, Boxer and Leia.
And every so often I think, how did I do it before? Especially with Brut! My ultimate trouble dog and who took every ounce of my energy and creative power. Just how did I do that?
I know I wasn't in this alone. I got a lot of help from the Big Dog in the sky, but it just blows my mind every time when I really think about it.
How about you, do you find yourself wondering how you've done it with your dogs/cats etc.?
It is that deep pit in your stomach that is always there in the back of your mind. It is the one thing as dog lovers that we can agree on and keeps us united. It is a fear that grows slowly every day, each day at a time. There is no shaking it or stopping it and one day it will happen. Your dog will die. Your best friend will leave you and you will be shaken to the core. We know what it is like, because you will even bond with complete strangers that say they lost their dog and you will nod your head because you know the pain and anguish of their loss.
We know the fear all too well, as we live with four dogs all the same age and all from the same litter and who have already lost their mother and father. It is scary. When Zappa pinched a nerve in his lower back, that half hour of waiting for my husband to return so we could take him to ER, was frightening. Not knowing what was happening to him as he shook and shook and shook in my arms, I didn't know if this was it or not. Thoughts circled in my head, if it was or wasn't. I shook as well as that fear bubbled up, praying and praying for help. I do believe that when one goes the rest will follow like dominoes. And it will be just too much for our hearts to handle. It brings a cold reality when one of them is hurt or sick, that this could be it. Hubby, Mark and I tremor in that reality and the growing panic that we will never be ready for.
I should state that I'm referring to an earlier than predicted death, not so much one of old age, which I think we all ask for.
Chance was sick today, only two weeks after Zappa was and vomited his breakfast three times after eating. The panic meter started to rise: the obnoxious heat and humidity we've had and the dogs still having some of their undercoat. The fact couple with company yesterday, that would have set off Chance's panic button to an already hyper dog and couldn't deal with all the heat. I've spent all day trying to adjust that meter, but the terror is real. The fear that there is something more wrong that what I see. The fear that just like his dad,Brut, that Chance has come down with something and there are no warning signs, only to find out too late. The fear of losing him sooner with not enough time for anything. Why? Because it happened to me. Brut was gone at the young age of eight years old. With no symptoms that anything was wrong and once diagnosis too late, he was gone. Just like that. Gone forever and ever. Gripping reality for the fear that runs deep for his children.
Hopefully Chance will be feeling better by tomorrow. If not we are off to the vet. And hopefully Zappa will be OK, as he took the last of his pain killers today, so now it will be a watch and wait game.
And as far as Mark and I, we will continue to spend all the quality time we can with our dogs, no matter the fear that lies beneath.
We will pray for all you that live this fear. (((HUGS)))
Had a scare with Zappa today. After eating breakfast he started panting, pacing and shaking uncontrollably. My first thought was bloat. Fatal bloat. Zappa sat in between my legs and I tried to sooth him as well as I could while he trembled in my arms. Something was definitely wrong. My second thought was that hubby, Mark had left for work half an hour ago and with only one vehicle, I just kept praying that Zappa would make it through. Mark turned home immediately after I called him and after talking to the emergency vet, we took Zappa to the emergency vet clinic.
Zappa had no problem getting in the car and all of his symptoms seem to vanish on the ride. Great, I thought, now what? Should we keep going? Or turn around and wait until tomorrow to go to our regular vet?
Since we made an appointment with the ER vet, I decided it was still probably best for him to see Zappa. Zappa's quick "recovery" gave me the impression that it was not a gastronomical issue, but something else.
Zappa was great through the exam and the doctor quickly came to the diagnosis of spinal nerve impingement or a pinched nerve in the lower part of the back. The doc gave him a shot of Rimadyl and sent us off with some Carbuprofen.
Zappa settled down after we were home and rested for the most part outside. I stayed with him on and off through the day doing my balancing act between the two packs of dogs.
When I fed Zappa his dinner I noticed some of the same minor symptoms of pain that started after he ate his breakfast. They were subtle but I could tell. I sat with him alone outside, until Dad came home and he settled down again.
So our next step is to talk to our vet and find out why he's in pain after he eats and what I can do about it. And any other information pertaining to his pain.
And while he seems to be on the mend, Mark and I have fallen to pieces. Even though I felt calm and centered when this all started, after we got home I felt like I could sleep for a week. It is amazing all the life and death feelings that happen when your mind starts to whirl when your furbaby is feeling well and you sit helpless trying to console them. I'm glad we didn't wait to go to the vet. I feel confident we got the right diagnosis and help. Thank you to the Doctor and the Vet Clinic. My boy's going to be OK.
Exactly one year and 4 months today, I lost the best mother in the world...our Silver Dollar. She was everything I could want in a mother and then some. Silver had a strong mothering instinct and was a nurturer from almost the beginning. She taught me everything I know about being a good dog mom especially with her own puppies.
Thank you Silver for everything!
Happy Mother's Day to all the Dog Mommas out there and their kids!
I really don't know how I would get through the day if it wasn't for hubby, Mark, the 24 Paws and our two kitties.
They are all my best friends and I couldn't ask for anyone better. I love them more than life. They are always there for me, always love me, and have helped me to love myself. I couldn't be more honored or blessed to have them all in my life. And I know I don't deserve such blessings, but God must have thought otherwise or I wouldn't be with them today. Everything in my life has lead to this moment and everything I could have dreamed of is here. If you would have told me 30 years ago that I could be happy, fall madly in love and have all the unconditional love possible, I would have never believed it. Never in a million years. Yet, here I am. Yes, here I am. Living, loving and tackling every sharp curve and obstacle in my way. We are going to do it. I am going to do it with the help of my family and God. We are going to do the impossible. Because that's what we have...impossible love.
Thank you for the well wishes for Fiona. She is on the mend and doing quite well. She has been running around the yard like crazy this past weekend as the weather has finally warmed up a bit and Fiona has decided to take advantage of it. I swear, if you saw her, you'd never know she has hip dysplasia. There is nothing better she loves to do than run. She would've been the ultimate sled dog. Sigh. At least we got a couple good years of her sledding with her mom, Silver. They were a good pair together. How I wish I had video of them two sledding together. Long before the times of GoPro's and such. Or even a picture of them would be great. They were my slow and steady girls. Such a nice comfortable ride. Steady pace. So much fun for a beginning musher like myself. The good ol' days.
And even though Silver had hip dysplasia as well, it never gave her any pain or problems. And she really didn't pull until her later years, when she ran with her son, Zappa. Another slow and steady runner. And they ran beautiful together, especially when Silver did start pulling and taking some of the weight. Silver still ran pain free and wasn't bothered by her hips issues.
But Fiona was a different story. I notice she was bothered by her hips around the time she was 2 years old. A few times sledding with her mom, regular chase games and it became obvious she was uncomfortable. I gave her just regular pain meds, until the pain got so bad, we took her in for x-rays at age 3 to confirm, she had hip dysplsia, Fiona was immediately put on a glucosamine supplement called: Dasuquin with MSM. Within a day, there was dramatic improvement, she was moving and eating again. Dasuquin was our miracle for Fiona. Not only was it helping with the pain, it cushioned the joints in her hip bone. She's been on it now for 7 years, with no signs of stopping. We just recently had x-rays done again and you can actually see between the hip bone and the leg bone a layer of cushion that wasn't there before.
When Fiona over does it, like running around the yard or I take her for too long of a walk and she needs pain and inflammation relief, the prescribes Melaxicam and seems to take care of pain. This is how she is able to run around the yard at free will, one of the most beautiful sights to see. Even if Zappa won't play with her, she runs FREE.
We've had three different dogs with hip dysplasia, Alex, Silver and Fiona. It's difficult at times, but with medication and management your dog can run free too.
I don't know why I went down this memory lane, but if it reaches you, know that hip dysplasia isn't the end of the world.
I wouldn't trade my three dogs for nothing and if I had to do over, I would do the same.
Had a bit of a scare last night with Fiona. Her hip dysplsia had her in acute pain. I over walked her the night before, but she didn't show any signs of pain until yesterday afternoon. I gave her some medicine for the inflammation. It usually only takes about 45 minutes to an hour to work, but this time the pain must have been so deep, it took almost 5 hours before Fiona could settled down. She was in so much pain that she couldn't lay down for any length of time. She kept trying to lay down, then would get up and pace, panting, then do it all over again. I had put in a call to the vet, but there wasn't much more I could do for her, but pray and wait. It was almost 8pm before she was able to lay down for 15 minutes straight.
There is nothing worse than feeling so helpless when one of the dogs is suffering. Never have I seen her in that much pain for that length of a time. I tried to comfort her the best I could, but it just didn't seem enough.
Today we are taking it easy and not taking any walks. Fiona is a 100% better than she was last night, back to her feisty self. I will continue with the medicine for about 3 more days then see how she is and if she will need more. My guess is she won't need any more than that which will be great.
I've been in a writing slump for a while now. Depression, the weather, no dog sledding and not enough dog walks. And after last weekend's snowstorms that dumped a foot of snow in four days, I was beginning to feel at the end of my rope.
That's when I picked up pen and paper and wrote this for Brut:
You were fast and furious like the winds
that fell as gentle as the night sky
There was just something about you
that pushed the envelope
and brought rainbows in the night
Forever and ever how I will love you
Forever and ever the time was always right
My star, my love keeps falling
like the rain
You changed my life forever
In life and beyond
I will never know that love again
But only through God
Writing this even though some of it didn't make any sense to me, helped to break the ice of my writing slump. I re-read it today and today it made sense to me. Today is Brut's two year and 10 month anniversary of his passing. This is how I'm feeling at this marker today about the dog that transformed my life and everything I know about dogs. The heart and soul of this blog.
It was a slow going morning. The action didn't break until about mid-afternoon. Hard telling how cold it actually was outside, which is why I was procrastinating. The thermometer said 41°F, there was a bit of a breeze and in Northern Michigan that can mean anything. So I bundled up and headed out the door with the Front Dogs, Chance and Blaze. It was mild, no north wind so the dogs and I stayed out for a while.
When we came in I realized Chance has a vet appointment tomorrow. I'd put off all week reacquainting him with his muzzle and now it was crunch time. Chance can be a bit nippy at the vet's, as the case for the muzzle. He doesn't like to be touched or messed with in any way and my husband, Mark and I must hold him down to have any procedures done. Tomorrow's vet appointment he will be sedated for x-rays, blood drawn for heartworm check and an overall wellness check. The x-rays are just for a cancer check and see how the insides are doing, (something we've done with all the dogs at least once.) and the wellness exam is something we can't do struggling with him in the vet's office. I think that Mark and I are both kind-of nervous about Chance's appointment. Not exactly sure how well he can be sedated as our vet gave us a sedation pill to give him before his last appointment that didn't do a thing for him. The boy has Brut's strong will. Maybe even more having part of Silver's stubbornness as well.
So back to the muzzle...
I get it out and he is already touching it with his nose. This is always my first step. So that was a good sign. Chance let me put it on with no problem. I went back and forth with putting it on and taking it off, which he did willingly. Then I left it on and played stay and come with Blaze and him. He pawed at it but left it alone when I told him to 'leave it.' At least he remembered it, that cut my battle in half. So it was a good session.
Meanwhile in the Back Room...
All this while with Chance and the muzzle, is Mr. Big Mouth, Zappa, barking in loud protest at the fact that the Front Dogs were getting treats and he wasn't. Geez, that boy has a loud booming bark! Zappa protested about my insensitivity to the hierarchy of the two packs, as he believes he's the ultimate alpha dog. The injustice, his rights...blah, blah, blah. I was surprised at how well Chance and I did with so much distraction. I just took it like we were at the vet's office and all the distractions that we will encounter there. When I felt confident that Chance felt secure in his muzzle, I took it off and told him to, "Go get him." Chance ran to the door and gave his two cents and Zappa slowly stopped barking. Oh, how I wish I really knew what goes on between the dogs. It's so entertaining!
I will be practicing with the muzzle again later with Chance outside, just to reaffirm what we're doing and then if you could send any prayers, well wishes or good vibes our way for Chance's appointment and us. It would be greatly appreciated.
I just burst into tears. I was watching a nature show about arctic animals and their survival skills in the brutal conditions, when on came a huge flock of arctic ducks. Thousands and thousands of them. That's when I broke down. I'd been doing that a lot lately, grieving about Luigi.
For those who don't know, Luigi was our White Peking Duck, that we kept as a pet for over 13 years. He died three years ago, gorging on sunflower seeds, that I didn't know until it was too late that the seeds were deadly for ducks. It was an awful day when Luigi died. Three days after Christmas. He was weak and the only thing that was keeping him alive was we were having a very mild winter. I was trying to hand feed and water him but he would barely do either. Then when the night finally dipped below freezing, he was gone.
I had been trying to come to terms with Luigi's death, when six months later Brut died. Then a year and a half later Silver died. I blamed myself for Luigi eating the littered birdseed from the bird feeder and that if I'd acted sooner or knew better I could have saved him. I have had no desires to get another duck. I couldn't go through that again.
That is up until a couple of months ago...I felt Luigi's spirit and the main point of our conversation was to help me forgive myself. And after I got Luigi's forgiveness, I was able to forgive myself.
I want ducks again.
Which is a huge step. I didn't think I'd ever say that again. Luigi was my first duck and was so very special to me, I didn't know if I could love another duck.
I don't know if it will be this year or next or the next, but I do know a couple of baby duckies are in our future.