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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Just dogs? Let's get real

I am sitting here thinking how I got to this point in my life and the passing of Blaze, Chance and Fiona all so close together and now Zappa.  I'm thinking how I didn't want to have puppies when my husband came up with the idea after getting Silver.  How we went through the hassle of trying to breed Silver with a couple of studs before getting Brut.  And I'm thinking of the night all the puppies were born, having never witnessed a birth before, and the miracle of ten healthy puppies.  Two we would keep and two would come back home to us, thus beginning the two packs of the 24 Paws of Love.  For thirteen years, this was our life.  

But it went even deeper than that.  Being bipolar, having PTSD and surviving almost 30 years of childhood abuse and I never went to therapy for any of it, the dogs were my counselors.  I would not have survived the after effects of the flashbacks and memories, if it were not for those dogs that we bred, on purpose, and having all those little pups.  I took the harder road, because there was no one I could trust with my secrets except hubby, Mark and six dogs.  And after a while even Mark couldn't help me anymore, it was just me and the dogs.  

Let that sink in for a minute.  

Brain washed for practically 30 years, molested, raped, abused and tortured and the only ones who could help me were the dogs we bred together and the family that came out it.  And now all of the healers are dead and gone.  Brut, Silver, Blaze, Chance, Fiona and Zappa.  That tells me how far I've come and that their purpose on Earth is complete.  No one told me it would hurt this much to be so proud and honored at the same time.  I have mixed feelings that I can't even begin to explore at this time.  Maybe in another post.  I mean, how do you inhale and digest all of that information?  Those puppies that I didn't want to have, saved my life, my soul, my mind over and over again.  How do I thank them?  How do I ever repay them?  

And because the abuse was so damaging it took every one of those dogs to help me trust my husband fully and completely.  And I never realized any of this until they all died.  Until they all died.  I'm still in total shock and grief with just that fact alone, but to come to this epiphany is way beyond my comprehension.  All these years I thought I knew and understood what unconditional love was from a dog.  I was no where close.  No where.  They had more purpose and value than what I gave them and I gave them a lot.  So much more will be revealed.  


Thursday, March 2, 2023

End of an Era: Zappa Jan. 2, 2008- Feb. 23, 2023

 A week ago, on February 23, 2023, Zappa passed away with assistance.  He lived for 15 years and 53 days.  We didn't know if he would make to his 15th birthday, let alone beyond.  

He survived tumors inside and outside his body.  Muscle loss and arthritis in his back and rear legs.  And he had laryngeal paralysis.   Every day was a miracle with him. 

I swear by cold laser treatment, as it kept Zappa walking and functional.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  By far the best money we spent on Zappa. 

He fell four days before his death, which we believe lead to the tumor bleeding in his liver.  

Zappa was the last dog of the 24 Paws of Love and so not only did we lose Zappa, but the 24 Paws as well.  

End of an Era.  

Thank you dear readers for being with us through our journey of love.  Thank you for sticking with us.  And while our journey with Paws is not over, we will be taking a reprieve to mourn the loss of the greatest dogs we have ever owned.  


Mark and Patty 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Food for thought

 She didn't say it outright, but hinted at the notion he was going to suffer and we didn't want that, did we?  The vet had just completed the ultrasound of Zappa's abdomen and the results were not good.  Even though we suspected something was wrong and having been through liver tumors with the other three dogs, we were somewhat prepared.  What we did not expect was a vet hinting at the fact it might be better to put Zappa down and expecting us to make a decision right there and then.  The tumor was large, 11cm x 9cm, and the outcome wasn't good if it ruptured and this was where she was "concerned."  She was afraid Zappa would die a suffering death. 

OK, I get that.  I didn't want Zappa to have a slow and painful death anymore than she did.  But, the tumor had been there all along, long before she discovered it and it wasn't just going to burst the minute we walked out the door.  Obviously Zappa had been living with it for some time and so far, so good.  

I also get that he could go at any time.  Zappa could fall or bump into something or twist the wrong way bursting the tumor and he could die.  But, I don't think that warranted an immediate death certificate to "save" him from this suffering.  

I found myself flabbergasted after she finally let us go home to think about it.  When we left the office, the first thing my husband said to me was, "Doesn't Zappa get a say?"

If he was suffering, right there and then, we would put him down, but he wasn't.  Zappa was living life with no clue to his body.  Which makes me wonder how many of these diagnoses this vet has given and encouraged them in so many words to euthanize their dog immediately?

I couldn't even fathom the thought, much less act upon it.  

That was two months ago and I'm still blown away by her suggestion.  If I would have followed through with it, I would have lost some of the best times I've ever had with Zappa.  And I mean the BEST!  Zappa and I have really begun to communicate.  Knowing more and more what the other is thinking.  It has really been so cool!  He actually comes to me when he wants something.  It has been an incredible experience that I had no clue would happen.  Didn't seem possible and now, we are having the best time of our lives.  

How much I would have lost out on if we had listened to the vet? 

How much would have Zappa lost out on?

How much have others?  


Monday, January 23, 2023

The pains of walking without a dog

 There is nothing worse than walking alone, especially without your best friends.  I have barely taken any walks since Chance, Blaze and Fiona died.  And while I walk with Zappa, when he could walk, the walks were very short and slow.  Just the facts of walking with an elderly dog.  

Every day I'd wake up and say I was going to take myself for a walk and almost every day I failed.  I just couldn't bare the thought of going alone without my protectors.  It started to become unbearable when my body would revolt against me.  All of this pent up anxiety and energy I had gave me torturing leg cramps to the point I was standing up while watching our evening show.  I couldn't relax and the only other thing that made it tolerable was laying down.  Most of the time all this tension was at night, but there were times during the day when my legs would act up.  

And I still couldn't walk myself.  I made due with the times I was able to walk Zappa and that helped some, but I really needed to burn off some steam.  Every day asking for this to be the day and 99% of the time, I still couldn't do it.  Even with all the physical and mental anguish, I didn't want to go for that lonely walk.  I wanted one of dogs to go with me.  I needed them for my self-confidence.  I needed them for the distraction.  I needed them for the communication and connection.  How was I going to give myself what the dogs had always gave me?  How could I do that??

I didn't know.  But this past month the pain was so intolerable,  I had my coat on and was out the door before I could stop myself or even realize what I was doing.  I walked to the corner and back.  I had finally done it...walked without a physical dog.  Down the road, out in the open for anyone to see me.  Walking alone, with my self consciousness flaring like a beacon and still I walked on.  All the way to the corner, where I did a 180° turn and came back with my breathing starting to slow as the fear and stress released from my body one step at a time.

Now I'm walking on a regular basis.  All I have to do is remember how bad my legs get at night and I am pushing myself to do it.  It is a good feeling.  I don't like walking without a dog, I never will, but for now that is what I must do.  I know the dogs are there in spirit, but for the most part this is my own personal battle between me and myself.  Maybe I will never get over my insecurities, but I will be stronger for the next dog, because I had the blessings of walking with Chance, Blaze, Fiona, Brut and Silver who all gave me something to grasp to...themselves. 

I just look better and feel better with a dog next to me.  :)  

Friday, January 20, 2023

Zappa bonding

I think I'm in the final phases of accepting the loss of Chance, Blaze and Fiona.  It struck me on and off throughout last summer, fall and this winter that it is just us three, Mark, Zappa and I.  And the closer the three of us bond the more apparent it is.  Our pack has gotten stronger and stronger, in ways I would have never thought possible.  I don't even know if I can explain it, but Zappa is like having all the dogs put together in him.  We are tighter than we have ever been and we are living and breathing on that strength.  A bond I would have never thought could happen, between Zappa and I, is happening.   

And I still can't believe it!

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Turkey Sandwich

 I've mentioned before that Zappa and I were never very tight.  In fact, he wasn't my favorite out of the bunch.  He was smart enough to get Daddy Dog Brut in trouble when Zappa was the one who started messing with Brut.  He knew exactly how to push Brut's buttons, and then cry for me and I, not seeing what happened, would blame Brut.  Once I caught on, I didn't care for Zappa or his antics.  Brut was my dog and Zappa was too smart for his own good.  To top it off, Zappa was hubby, Mark's dog.  So, even though I loved him, there was always a riff between Zappa and I. 

Rewind to almost 2 years ago when the Chance, Blaze and Fiona died:

Things were pretty rough.  We had just lost Chance 3 days before and it was our first day after Fiona died.  All our emotions were raw.  My lunches were always spent with the Front Dogs (Chance and Blaze) since their headquarters were in the kitchen.  And here I was sitting with this stranger of a dog all alone on the back porch and I didn't know what to do.  Maybe Zappa would like to share my sandwich.  So I ran in, fixed lunch, and offered him some turkey.  

He took it slowly and gently.  His eyes relayed he was still in shock and fresh pain.  I'm sure my eyes were a reflection of his.  For a moment we connected.  For a moment we were there for each other.  And for a moment our personal feelings for each other didn't matter.  For that moment we just were.  

For that moment, we were OK.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Zappa's 15th Birthday

15 years ago, on a cold, snowy night, I followed Silver again outside to go "potty" at 2:30 am in the deep snow, when this large, grey bubble came out.  After confirming it wasn't a puppy, I realized her water broke and we ran back in the house to wake hubby, Mark...they were coming.  

At 2:50 am, on January 2nd, 2008, a reddish-brown Husky-looking puppy was born.  We named him Zappa and there was no doubt, we were keeping him.  Zappa was the first one of the train of puppies that were to be born that night.  A total of ten, to be exact.  It was Zappa who got the ball rolling.  

Zappa was a momma's boy from the start.  He fought for the top dog position with Chance, as well as feeding position.  Chance and Zappa also went head to head for top weight.  Chance usually won all three.  Zappa hung out tight with the other Husky-looking dogs, Grumpy and Blaze.  And he was adorned by Mark.  Out of all the puppies, Zappa was the only one Mark really knew for sure.  He couldn't keep them all straight.  lol

Fast forward to now:

It is 38 degrees out, there are snow spots on the lawn and Zappa may be the last remaining puppy from the Power of Ten litter.  Besides our three, Chance, Blaze and Fiona that are gone, we know positively of three more (Grumpy, Angel, and Jack) are also gone.  More than likely, the other three are gone as well.  

And that makes Zappa's 15th birthday a pretty big deal.  The fact that he's here to celebrate is a miracle.  After Chance, Blaze and Fiona died, it was touch and go for a while and we didn't know if he was going to make it or not, but Zappa's still here!  We are making the most of each day with him.  

So I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Zappa and the miracle he is 15 years later.


Also, Happy Birthday to the Power of Ten litter.  They changed our lives forever.

Friday, December 30, 2022

The humans are losing it!

 Had a rough couple of mornings with Zappa.  He was moving very slowly and hasn't eaten any dog food, except for some treats, chicken and beef liver.  Hubby, Mark was actually starting to make plans for a decision.  About late afternoon he perked up and was back to his barking self.  Every day Zappa goes outside and inside all day and night long.  He won't play games, take treats, or play with toys, so this is what we do.  It is exhausting for the humans after a while, but he can't seem to settle down.  I've tried all kinds of calming techniques, all to no avail. Other than drugging him, which I'd rather not do, I'm at a loss as of what to do.  

Anyone have any good advice?  

It is definitely one day at a time with Zappa.  Of course we are happy that he is still here, but this rollercoaster ride is tough on the emotions and brain.  

Any prayers or good thoughts would be great!