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

Brut Quote

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Zappa and I danced!!

 Zappa and I had a blast  today together.  It was great to enjoy each other's company and not be crying and emotional.  Zappa actually came out of his lean to and we hung out together.  It had clouded up and the air was cooler.  A nice break from the sun, which aided his decision to lay down in the dirt next to me.  Now Zappa is always in his lean to during this time of the day, so this was his way of making the first move.  It was my turn now.

So I invited him out to the garage with a little of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," playing and we began to dance.  Something we have only done in the house. with the other dogs around. It has been far too long that Zappa and I have danced together and we had a blast!  We danced, talked and sang with each other.  It was nice to just forget about everything for a while bonding with Zappa.

My next move was taking a walk.  I didn't know how long Zappa could go, but I'm getting pretty good at reading his body language, when enough is enough.  He surprised me, slow, but full of energy.  We took the paths in the little woods across from our house and took a longish walk for him.  He did fantastic!  And there is nothing better than walking in the woods with your best friend.  The peace, the greenery and being connected.  It was so wonderful.  

Then to top it off we came home and chilled for a half hour, then I fixed Zappa his dinner.  He didn't want it.  So I went with plan B, some Gravy Train canned food.  He ate the whole can!  It was the most I'd seen him eat of any food since the dogs died.  It was so exciting!  We have been through so many different dry, canned, fresh, dog foods that it has been unreal.  We have given him people food and he still won't eat anything but a small amount.  So this was a big win.  He's never had Gravy Train canned food, but we were getting desperate for Zappa to eat, that we have been trying everything.  So, that ended the day on a very positive note.  

One of the best days I've had since the dogs died.  And I think Zappa would say the same thing too.  

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The tears just sprang out of nowhere

 It started with Blaze's song and ended with paw prints and two lift harnesses.  

I haven't cried over just Blaze in a very long time.  It has taken this long to be able to process her death, without thinking of Chance and Fiona.  I never really got the chance because the focus immediately went on Chance as he struggled through Blaze's death.  And then we put Chance down and buried him and Fiona started her tailspin to her death the next three days.  And it has been an almost constant of Chance and Fiona, Chance and Fiona.  Never getting the chance to grieve my Sweet pea.  This was like a crack in the dam.  To be able to touch it and feel it.  

It started when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  What diagnosis did I have for today.  When I remembered what a friend said about going through a traumatic event.  Three deaths so close together.  Of dogs, no less.  And that's when Blaze's song went through my head and I broke down, only thinking of my little Blaze.  I missed her so much.  Not being able to grieve for her, the only thing I can remember about her is her barking at mealtimes.   Like it's the only thing stuck in my mind.  Hope that breaks along with this open healing.  I know there was more, but right now I can't find it.  

Fast forward to evening time, I sat in the garage while Mark did odds and ends.  Chance and Blaze's pawprints were on the floor in a box in garage.  Where they had been all summer.  I finally picked them up and put them in the bedroom, in the bookcase with the others.  Their last steps.  I labeled and put them away along with Fiona's and Blaze's collars.  

The last thing in the box was the red lift harness.  Still with their fur and smell.  The tears were filling up, I hung them quickly and walked away.  I wasn't ready to go there, yet.

The dam broke later that night as I was flooded with grief and sadness for my little Blaze.  And with it came all the memories of her and our life together.  It hurt but it was a good hurt to remember, feel and be in touch with my one and only Blaze. 


Friday, September 3, 2021

Zappa peace

 Zappa is such a tender subject.  Being the only dog, all our focus is on him.  Something he doesn't like.  I don't know that he will ever get used to it.  

Zappa was asleep on our bed last night, a deep, comfy sleep.  He was so relaxed he just melted into the bed.  His wrinkles showing through his face and muzzle that he almost looked like a basset hound.  He was that content.  

I knelt on Fiona's blanket to say "good night" to her and began quietly sobbing.

Seeing Zappa's face, struck me how much pain and stress Zappa has been under without his siblings, especially Fiona, and the contrast his face was showing
at this moment.  

Part of the tears were relief.  Zappa was making it through this most difficult time in his life.  For a while we did not know for certain if he would leave us too.  There were some scary moments when we weren't sure.  

And yet despite our fears, Zappa was here, sleeping in such complete peace.

I don't know how he got to that point, but I hope I can emulate it someday.   


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pack Mentality Mom

Even though they were separated, they were so together and in tune with each other and me.

I was sitting thinking about Chance, Blaze and Fiona and the grave loss Mark and I have had.  We had spoken earlier about how all this loss felt.  I said, "it still feels like the Twilight Zone." and he said, "it feels like a nightmare."

And as I thought those feelings, somewhere in the midst of it, I thought, I'm a pack dog mom.  I can't operate with just a dog or two.  I need the complexity and togetherness of a pack.  I think like a pack dog, I act like a pack dog, I am a pack dog.  I think that is why I struggle with Zappa, I've known him through the pack.  It is almost like I am hardwired that way.  Like a Husky.  

See, through the day I'll be going along just fine and then all the sudden I will feel out of sorts.  Then I start thinking what is wrong with me?  What's going on?  That's when it starts feeling like a Twilight Zone episode.  I will either freak out or slump into a depression.  I've had dogs in the past, single dogs that I didn't experience that pack mentality with, but when we had the puppies and then the six dogs, I got it.  Even though I didn't realize how much I had it until the loss of the three, then I felt it.  Losing that pack mentality, I feel lost.  Like I can't think for myself.  A huge emptiness.

And if I'm feeling that, I can't begin to imagine what Zappa must be feeling and going through all by himself.  Somehow this clicked for me, I wonder if it has clicked for him.  I know he likes to be with both Mark and I when he can.  And the cats are venturing out more, so they will also be part of his "pack."  

Even so, I'm beginning to see where Zappa has been coming from with his actions and behaviors.  He's lost too.  We are navigating new roads and plowing new paths and we are doing it together.  Neither of know how to operate without a pack, so we will make a new and figure it out together.  

Monday, August 23, 2021

Apologizing to my Chance

 Walked into the kitchen with the cats on my heels.  I let them come in and the tears immediately fell.  I apologized to Chance for letting them in.  I sobbed.   

The cats haven't been in the kitchen since Chance and Blaze died.  My barriers are starting to break down.  

It was hard enough letting them in the dog's room.  Some days I couldn't do it.  

It hurt so much.  

So the cats would have to stay in their room for the day.

I'll never be 100% comfortable with the cats in the dog's room, but I'm living with it, one day at a time.

It has just been in the last two days that I let the cats in the kitchen for any length of time.  I don't know why I did.  I just didn't have the emotional energy to shut the door.  

Chance did not like Boxer in his space and the kitchen belonged to Chance and Blaze.  He tolerated Boxer for me and it hurt to let Boxer in.  

As I sat outside writing this post, four Tufted Titmice came and sat on the tree behind me.  One by one they hopped on the fence only a couple of feet from my face.  They leaned in looking at me.  I talked to them.  Then after a few minutes they fluttered away. 

It wasn't until the last bird that I remembered that the Tufted Titmouse is Chance's spiritual bird.  He forgave me.

Tufted Titmouse

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


This is a song I've been listening to, when I am sad.  Mostly when I think of Chance, but really it fits for all the dogs.  

It's sad.  It's beautiful. and it is short.

By Royal Blood-All We Have Is Now

Take a listen...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Zappa scare and update

 Here's an update on Zappa:

He can feel coming in the air tonight...

He has been struggling to eat and sometimes wouldn't eat at all.  

We got x-rays done and everything was really good.  All his organs were in good shape.

We also got blood work, a full panel, to see if anything was wrong.  

And we just got the results today...all he has is a bladder infection!

All his levels are within range and normal.  Woo-Hoo!

We were so worried that something was seriously wrong.  

Thank goodness for modern medicine test.  

Now all he needs is some antibiotics and he's good to go!!

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Power of a Door

 Walked in the kitchen from outside and my heart jumped. The door that used to separate the two packs was open. I am not used to it.  It has been very strange having the door open almost all the time and Zappa walking through it.   It still freaks me out even though it has become our new "normal."   I like it and I don't like it.  For 13 years I must have opened and closed that door thousands upon thousands of times and to have all that motion and conscious effort stopped is the reality I live.  It is the most tangible object that Chance, Blaze and Fiona are gone.  

It was that door that kept our family safe and "together."  It was that door that despite all the "fights" that were happening on both sides, that stood and never broke down.  It was that door that time after time I made a conscious effort to make sure it fully shut.  Every.  Time.  And it was that door that gave us peace of mind and the ability to keep all our dogs, in spite of their differences with each other.   That door kept us all alive and helped the 24 Paws of Love to thrive.  Not that there weren't a few accidents when the door didn't shut and there was an all out war between the two packs.

It just proves even more how important that door was.  And how special and sturdy it really was.  Holding two packs together and apart at the same time.  

A door, that made the 24 Paws of Love possible. 


Monday, July 19, 2021

Where there is life--there is HOPE

Written on July 8, 2021 

Hanging out with Daddy and Blaze

Zappa's been coming in the Front Dogs yard (Chance and Blaze's territory) as of the last couple of days.  The first few times he was out there were short and sweet.  The last few times have been about a chipmunk that he's hoping to see again, even in the pouring rain.  

At first he seemed so alone out there and it made me realize how he was the only dog.  It didn't stand out so much when he was out in the backyard, his domain, as it did out front.  

Then yesterday he discovered a chipmunk and he has done nothing but hunt and wait for it.  I don't know how to break it to him that they won't come out in the rain, but he sits and waits for it anyways.  

It has given Zappa a purpose, a reason to live doing something he loves.  In the place where Chance and Blaze had the joy of chasing chipmunks, now Zappa is blessed with them.  

And seeing how the Front yard is smaller and more compact than the back, Zappa can use less energy since he isn't as swift as he used to be.  Making the chipmunks more viable to chase and maybe catch.  

And that creates hope.  

Hope I think we all needed at this moment in time.

Hope to carry on with life.

Hope to believe in a tomorrow.

And hope to live on.