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Current blog look inspired by cool, blue Chance.

Brut Quotes

Brut Quotes

Monday, June 18, 2018

Brut's roses-Three years later

It has been three years ago today that we buried Brut.

I have no idea what to say after three years of missing him.

This is Brut's rose this spring.

I practically baked it.

I covered it with a plastic barrel over the winter and forget to remove it in the spring.

We had an early spring, so it threw me off guard.

I just wasn't paying attention to the weather.

I thought it was a goner for sure.

Afraid that the rose we buried him with wasn't coming back.






And just as much as I feared the loss, I told my husband, "It'll come back.  It's Brut!"



And he it.

This is today.  In fact Brut's rose is thriving!

It was a long couple of months of not knowing if it would come back.

Or if the rose that was infused with Brut was going to have to be replaced.

And I think that would have been difficult on us.

Three years and counting.

Brut's rose is still going strong.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Brut Thursday-Sensory World

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.

Forever Brut.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Confessions

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.


Friday, June 8, 2018

I don't know how I did it with SIX dogs...





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.?

 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Chance is doing great....

I, on the other hand took a little longer to recover from the scare. Everyone, including me, is doing fine and feeling healthy.  So that is a relief.

The weather cooled down drastically from the 90's to the 60's which has had a big impact on all our part-time Huskies.


Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers, they worked.




Thursday, May 31, 2018

It is every dog lovers fear...

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)))     

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Zappa update

Zappa is doing much better since his er visit three days ago where he was treated for a pinched nerve in his lower back.


He's been resting and going for short walks.
I knew he was feeling better yesterday when the "Mouth" came back to join us.  He'd been so quiet those first days that I felt spoiled.  bol  It was good to have him back though.


We've had some great spring weather and Zappa's been taking advantage of it.  He has been staying outside all the time.


We have our fingers crossed that the nerve is becoming un-pinched with the rest he's had and that the anti-inflammatory pills will heal him up real soon.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Zappa Scare

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.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

To the Best Mother in the World

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!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Impossible Love

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.

Friday, May 4, 2018

TGIF!

Oh, how I love my dogs!  Just as it seems my world is full of gloom and doom, they are right there trying to cheer me up and giving me another reason to carrying on. 

It's been a long week for us here at the 24 Paws of Love, so how about ending the week with some fuzzy puppy pictures! 

 Have a good weekend!

Blaze chewing on Daddy Mark's boot.  Nom! Nom!

Sweet Daddy Brut getting a break from the kids while napping on their blanket.

Zappa (l) and Blaze (r) playing with the boot.

One of Chance's brothers, working on the boot!

"T-bone" (l) and Blaze (r) with their own toys.

Momma dog Silver on the run trying to save her teats!



Monday, April 30, 2018

Our Experience with Hip Dysplasia

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.

Don't let your dog and you be defined.






Thursday, April 26, 2018

My poor Fiona



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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018

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.

My forever dog, Brut


Thursday, March 29, 2018

A muzzle, a Mouth, and an Appointment (and an update!)

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.

Thanks and hope you have a happy day!

*************************************************

UPDATE!

Chance's appointment went very smoothly. 
He is in perfect health
and looks good inside and out.

Thank you for thinking of us!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Dance Zappa, Dance!

Zappa doing his Husky snow dance.
Celebrating all the new snow we've gotten over the last 3 days.

Only a Husky...



Watch here or on YouTube.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Change of Heart

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. 

Thanks to Luigi.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blaze and Boxer's progress

Come out kitty, kitty!

For today's post we are going to flip you over to our cat blog, 36 Claws of Attitude, for the awesome progress going on with Boxer and Blaze.

Blaze having a high prey drive with Boxer her long term target, something we've been working on changing for some time.  Wait until you see what is happening!

You can click HERE to read all about their progress together.




Monday, February 19, 2018

Leftover Sunday thoughts

Today marks Brut's 2 year and 8 month anniversary.  The loss is still real.  I miss my boy every day.  I still think of him all the time.  I suppose that will never really go away.

Our road and our yards are ice again after a mid-February thaw.  So we are trying to deal with no walks for the third day in a row.  It's hard on everybody.

Sometimes I think about getting a puppy and other times I don't think I could have another dog that wasn't of Brut and Silver's line.  So I cherish the four that we have and that is enough for me.

I am on a Siberian Husky Facebook group.  It is a bittersweet experience.  For the most part all I see is dogs that are not Brut.  I rarely stay long, but sometimes for a minute or two it is nice to pop by.

I have been learning how to interact with a shy, fearful dog.  It is such an interesting experience and so different to having aggressive dogs.  When I starting entered the dog's house, I crouched a bit and turned my face away from the dog as I passed through.  That made the dog feel secure (non-threatening) and let the dog know that I knew I was in its house.   I do this when the dog is giving her warning howl.  Slowly the dog has felt safer with me each time I let it know, she is boss.  And now a year later, we are best buds.  :)

Anyone remember me telling you that Blaze has a high prey drive?  She lives to hunt and goes after anything.  And that included Boxer the cat.  Wait until you see the next cat blog post...you will simply be amazed!!!  Coming soon!

It takes a brave and courageous person to be a dog owner.  Caring for them until the end.  I know people who will never get a dog again the pain was so intense.  And I understand.

That brings us back to our dreary, gloomy day we are having that fits my solace mood and the boy who made everything happen for me.  2 years and 8 months ago today.  Love ya, Bruter.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shake it Zappa! Shake it!


                                  To watch on Youtube go HERE                                 


Out of ten puppies, Zappa was the only one who shook his leg when rubbing his belly.  He still does it.

Interesting fact:  When Brut died, Zappa stopped shaking his leg when getting a belly rub.  It wasn't until 6 months later that he resumed.  When Silver died, it took Zappa 9 months to shake again.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Like Mother, Like Daughter



I looked down and was in a mixed state of awe and disbelief.  The smallest of the 24 Paws of Love was curled up next to me, with her head resting on my leg.  On the couch, no less.  Something this little spitfire has only done a couple of times in her short 10 year life.  I didn't want to breathe, for it might upset the delicate balance we were experiencing.

It was dog walk time and I was feeling quite down.  Too down to go through with the walks.  I finally just sat on the couch feeling defeated.  When Blaze came over to me and with her soft eyes began to access my pain.  

One paw at a time, she ever so gently, got on the cushion next to me.  And in one effortless, but swift turn, she spiraled  until her head was on my lap.  

I found myself at a loss, for words or thoughts.  Blaze had done what no other dog had shown to the degree that she was now.  She had taken the mother role that Silver had always held.  Right at the exact moment when I needed to be nurtured and comforted, Blaze was there.  This precious girl not only knew what I needed but how I needed it.  She drew out my pain and brought me back to the real.  Back to the here and now.  She had done it before since her mom, Silver had died, but this was the most direct and obvious she had ever been.



I didn't want to move as I soaked in her healing powers, but with four dogs, sitting for any length of time is short lived.  The moment was over, as I watched her walk off the couch.  Or was it?  Just those few short minutes with Blaze made me feel suddenly energized and refreshed.  I felt I could tackle those dog walks.  And I did and we had a blast!  Still blows my mind the instinct and care that this little girl has and I can't begin to imagine the many more secrets she has up her paw. 

Can you believe that?  How many of you have experienced something similar?  Do you find your females to be more nurturing or motherly?  I am still reeling.  It took me a week to be able to try and express my feelings about it and I still can't completely grasp it.  It was just so precious and beautiful.  Tell me dog spelled backwards isn't God!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Life Lesson #275

Our cat Boxer was meant to be here.  Little did I know that through all our aggravation we dished out to each other, he was going to teach me a valuable life lesson.

I got Boxer as a kitten, just 22 days after my heart cat, Sparky died.  Sparky was my first pet and he was the coolest cat that acted like a dog.  He made me love cats like I didn't think was possible and losing him was devastating.  He had been through every significant point of my life up until his death.  I grieved hard for several year over Sparky before I was able to let him go and come to peace with his death.

So what was I doing getting another cat so shortly after Sparky died?

I don't know.  I just felt lead to Boxer.

Until he pooped in my lap when we were taking him home.  Then I began to question the mighty force that brought us together.

Boxer was all spit and fire.  A wild child who was the exact opposite of Sparky cool and calm nature.  It was after we got Brut that Boxer became obnoxious, pushy and demanding of me.  I had a hard time accepting Boxer for who he was because I was still grieving heavily for Sparky.  The emotional pain ripped through me and the more Boxer demanded to be noticed, the more I pushed him away.  I almost couldn't stand him sometimes.  I'm not kidding about playing aggravation with each other.  We learned to push each others buttons in the battle for each others love and attention.  I wanted a Sparky cat.  Boxer just wanted me.
I'm not sure when the breaking point was, but we finally broke through to the other side.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't fun either.  But we finally began to understand and accept each other for the other and slowly have come full circle.

I never doubted that Boxer wasn't meant to be here with me.  I believe everything happens for a reason and what I went through with Boxer was no different.  He taught me that it isn't healthy for me to get another pet without fully going through the grieving process.  Waiting until I find that peace and serenity after suffering such a loss before bringing new life into my heart.  I don't want to put or go through what I did with Boxer after losing Sparky.  It was too hard on him and too hard on me.  Learning that hard lesson I absorbed through my relationship with Boxer is one of many reasons we are waiting to get a new dog after losing Brut and Silver.  I have learned that for me, I need that space and grieving time in order to really come to some peace about the death of a pet. 

I do believe everything happens for a reason and looking back I was lead to Boxer.  And I am ever so grateful. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Silver's heart will shine on



Today marks Silver's one year anniversary since her passing.  The week has been hard leading up to today, but today I feel released and at peace.  I think about her every day and see so many of her qualities in her kids that shine through even more since they lost their mother, Silver.  In return, I see more of Silver every day.  Things I couldn't see before as strongly as I can now.  Mostly her giant, gentle heart.  She was such a beautiful mother to her kids and to me.  Those nurturing qualities have been passed on to her kids, in different ways and forms.  Silver's heart will shine on.



A poem I wrote shortly after Silver died, that speaks true today:

In the depths of blackness
I have wondered if I could ever love again
Another dog
Not knowing how to love the ones
I have
It was like the love just
drained from me
into the dirt
and I didn't know if I
could feel again
How could this human
bear that pain again
It doesn't seem possible
As someone once said to me
Intensely we love
Intensely we grieve
And it feels like my heart
can not bear
anymore
Not one more ounce of the loss
until I wake from my death coma
to know Silver's love is still
there
in every ounce of blood
coursing with love
Four puppies who lost
their mother
and I am renewed
I am not alone




Monday, January 8, 2018

Chance, my soul, spirit and love dog



Chance is my second heart dog.  He is the son of my first heart dog Brut.  A heart dog is a dog that is like your canine soul mate.  You connect on a different  and more personal level.  Brut and I were like twins.  And it is not much different with Chance, though we don't reach the extremes that Brut and I did.

 Brut consumed so much of my time, attention and energies.  It was a wonder I could even take care of the rest of the packs.  He was a very complex dog with deep inner fears and had an aggression towards other dogs.  My entire being was based on his mood.  I never really swore or vowed consciously, but I didn't want to go through what I did with Brut again.  Thank God, there was only one Brut.

Since Brut died, for me, it has been about having equal time with each dog. Trying to make my time fair to each pack and each dog.  And while it has become the norm, to go back and forth, it can still be a challenge.  Especially when there is a special need to attend to, like a sick or hurt dog.  Or maybe someone just needs mom's touch and love.  Breaking it down two dogs in each pack helps and makes it more simple. 





Then there's Chance.  Chance seeks me out.  He goes out of his way to be close to me.  He doesn't demand attention like Brut did.  He is happy with every moment we have together.  It's our walks and playtime together that really bring it home for me.  There is just something about Chance that is special and full of heart.  Chance is a very quiet dog.  He only barks when he sees something outside and for that he's a very good watchdog.  He doesn't whine or snarl or cry, in fact he rarely "talks."  But he has this sing song woo-woo he always gives before a walk that just lifts my entire spirit.  He makes me want to sing with him.  There is something about that little woo-woo that tells me how he feels about what he wants and that he's ready to walk with me.

Chance isn't much for cuddling or very much petting, but he will get up on the couch with me when he needs me.  I never ask it of him, he comes up on his own free will.  The couch is small enough that we are always touching when he's up there and for him to even consider getting up on the couch with me, tells me he wants to be close.




Another way he shows me he cares is when he lets me hug him, something he will only partake in if he initiates it. Well, the other day I was so down about not being able to sled with him anymore, that I laid down next to him, put my arm around him and just stayed like.  We stayed like that for some time.  Chance is so compassionate and forgiving that way.  He knew I was sad and he let me hold him in my time of need.

What make all of these acts so memorable is the vibe that is going on when we are together.  It is this vibe that is like music through my heart and soul that digs into a connection I've only had with Brut.  It is alive.  It is electric.  And it is real.  Just me and Chance.  Always.  All the time.  It is like unblocking a blood vessel and feeling the blood rush to your brain showering you with love and life.



I haven't a clue still what to call Chance, as I am reserving the name "heart dog" for Brut.  Soul dog, love dog, spirit dog, they all fit, but it is like naming a cloud, the form is in constant evolution.  As I believe our relationship will continue to change and grow like life.

I don't know where Chance is taking me, but hold on!  It is one wild dance!

What is your experience with your heart dog?




Thursday, January 4, 2018

The "Puppies" 10th Birthday Party

♪Happy Birthday to You...♬ 


First was presents!
One for Fiona... 


And one for Zappa! 


 Fiona was very frustrated, that there was no squeaky, just a voice box.  She wasn't impressed.  
Thank God there was stuffing to grab out!
lol!


Zappa wasted no time... 


 tearing the crap out of the dog head.  lol


 She can smile!!

Then it's to the Front Pack for their birthday gifts...

where you can hear the barking of the toy's voice box.
The Front Dogs were excited at first, but not overly impressed.
Chance kept looking for the " barking dog."

Then it was time for cake!

Fiona gulped hers down, while Zappa was still licking the cottage cheese frosting!

And while we couldn't set the cakes down in front of the Back Dogs for a shot like this,(Fiona!) my trusty Front Dog may have had a hard time but got the shot for us.

CHOW TIME!

This is the most we've done for a doggie birthday party, including balloons and hats (which didn't go over too well).  But we had fun and I think the dogs did too.  And any ways it is such a milestone, with hopefully many more to come.

Happy Birthday Kids!

Have you ever gone all out on a birthday celebration for your dogs?  Tell us about it in comments!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The First Sign of the Bottom Falling Out

It's the "puppies" tenth birthday.  10 years old today.

We took Fiona to the vet today.  I know, not a very nice birthday present.  We wanted to get some x-rays of her hip dysplasia and check the status of it.  The last x-rays we did were when she was diagnosed at three years old, so we were looking for any major changes.  Fiona's hip were good, at least as good as they could be.  She hasn't had any pain since fall, but it was good to check.

Then the vet and us starting talking about Chance and how we could get him in for an x-ray.  He is very scared of the vets and screams before they even touch him.  We end up having to pin him down for shots or blood draws and we use a muzzle on him because he will get snappy.    It is always a tough situation.  The poor guy is just petrified of the whole thing.

So, our vet came up with an idea, and we were talking about what kind of x-ray to get.  A cancer screening (chest and abdomen) like we've gotten with all the dogs so far.  I was also interested in checking for arthritis and finding out if Chance was well enough to continue dog sledding.  I told her I was already seeing signs of arthritis in his lower back and she concluded that it would be much to painful for him to dog sled because of the compression on the vertebrae.

Tears sprung to my eyes.  My heart sunk.  Chance has always been my main dog sledding dog.  He runs with the power and speed of stallion.  And for those moments, when we sled together, it is like riding a race horse.

It isn't like I didn't know it would end, or that the arthritis would stop him, I've known all along.  I think I just needed to hear the words from someone I trusted and make it official.  And really we have only been out sledding the last three or four years very sporadically because we didn't have hardly any snow.  I guess God was letting us down easy through those years and now it is time to let go.

And while all the dogs are still in good health, it is a sign of the times that they are getting older and that every year with them is a gift.  It breaks my heart about not dog sledding with Chance, but hopefully it will lengthen his life for the better without doing it anymore.

But I think we are both going to miss it...

I know, kind of sad story for their birthday, but that's only because we haven't had the party yet!  Birthday party pics, coming soon!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Toasting to Healthy Dogs

Blaze:  Did she say healthy?

Chance:  Mmmm...more carrots...


We are giving a toast to our dogs and yours, for healthy dogs.

Don't worry, Chance, Blaze, Zappa and Fiona are all very healthy and we would like to keep it that way for this New Year (and many more to come!)

We would love the share this toast with you and your dogs as well.

May we all have a Happy and Healthy New Year!



Carrots?  Where?