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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

Brut Quote

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.    

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Dear 24 Paws of Love Readers,


Zappa's inherited lean-to from Brut, 
his favorite spot to be.

As you might imagine we have been at a loss these last three months since Blaze, Chance and Fiona died.  

I am at a loss of words to express how I feel.  I've never lost more than one dog at a time, so you can imagine how devastating this is for us.  It still seems so surreal.

Blaze's new roses~Sunny KnockOut roses.

And what is just as surreal is having just one dog now.  Zappa is all that is left of the 24 Paws of Love.  It is so sad, but we are so grateful he is here, and we can't say that enough.  It has been 20 years since we had one dog, but never under these circumstances.  To say that this is the hardest thing we've ever been through in our marriage would be an understatement.  Losing Brut was hard, but nothing compares to losing three so close together.  

Fiona's new roses~ Coral KnockOut Roses

I just wanted to let you know much we appreciate your love and support through this difficult time.  We want to also let you know that all of the 24 Paws are better dogs because of all of you and we are better humans because of you as well.

Check out this unique rose of Brut's 
Red Knockout

  I wish all of you could have met them.  They were the best dogs ever.  

I don't know that I will be taking an official blogging break to mourn, but there may not be many post for the next couple of months.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but just in case we are quiet, you will know why. 

And Silver's Pink Double petal KO roses

Thank you for sticking by and God bless! 

p.s. we are still waiting for Chance's roses to arrive.  It is taking forever, but will hopefully be here soon!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Zappa and the separation door.

 Today we let Zappa in the kitchen while we ate dinner.  

We left the door open at first, and he just stood there at the threshold with this look of disbelief and surprise.

Mark gave him a piece of pizza crust and Zappa walked right in.  

He walked around and sniffed everything while walking back and forth to our sides for a bite, which we obliged.  

Then when we were about done he went back out to the living room and laid near the door.  

The door of separation.  The door that kept peace and war alive in our home.

I felt a sense of relief letting Zappa through that door.  Instead of always shutting the door on him and the guilt that came with it.

It's been since he was young that he has been in the kitchen.  Like before Blaze came home at 7 months.  

After 13 years with two packs of dogs, it was a long time coming.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Amongst our grief, is Brut's anniversary.


6 years ago today I buried my best friend.  

My canine-soulmate.  

Hard to believe it has only been 6 years.  

Seems like forever.  

And now Brut is with his girl Silver and their kids,

Chance, Blaze and Fiona.  

I hope they are having one hell of a celebration up there.  

Love ya, Bruter Boy!

Friday, June 4, 2021

And then there was one...

Zappa sleeping on Fiona's blanket

 I don't know if I am ready to share about how Zappa is doing.  Being that he is the loan survivor of the 24 Paws of Love, I'm feeling very protective and quiet about him.  (Other than the fact of grieving the loss of three dogs)  

I just don't feel ready to share yet.  

He's doing OK.    

It was touch and go there for a while.  Not critical, but he was having a rough time.  

He had the basic symptoms as we had.  Not wanting to eat, sleeping more, isolating, depression and sadness.  The first two weeks were the most important.  We are still keeping an eye on him and it has been 4 weeks.  It has been a huge adjustment for everyone. (including the cats)  I wish I had better answers for all the WHY'S out there, but I don't, so we are coping the best we can.  

It's difficult when Zappa doesn't want the attention.  He's very independent and hates to be fussed over.  (Like all the dogs were)  So it is difficult to grieve with him, without touching him in some way  (or is that just for us?)  Maybe a kiss or a quick hug, but that's about it.  There's no cuddling or snuggling with him.  And most of the time there is little to be said.  (for me anyways)  I'm still learning to communicate with him as he has always been a challenge.  

So, we just take care of each other the best way we know how as we go through this loss together.  Because everything changed for all of us and all we have each other.  ♥

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

What happen to Fiona

Today marks Chance's three week anniversary.  This was written a week after his death and about Fiona after we buried Chance.  This was one of the hardest post I've had to write.  May they rest in peace. 

It has been a week today that we buried Chance.  He was alive until 2:45pm, then we did our burial ritual and he was buried.  It is also one week since Fiona had her first episode of not being able to walk.  The harness was fresh off of Chance and onto Fiona.  Scared the crap out of both of us.  We thought it was a bad sign and a horrible message.  Then she was fine the next day.  Was going to take the harness off that day, but decided to wait..."just in case."   She ate on Friday morning.  Good sign.  Then somewhere it changed to she couldn't walk anymore.  Her eyes were darting back and forth, she was shaking and when we tried to move her, awful sounds of pain came from her.  She fought and struggle, we thought we were hurting her with the harness. So we switch to the blanket and took her out to make her pee by hand.  She was in sheer terror from the  move.  Really no urine, she hadn't drank all day, so we took her back in the house and into bedroom.  More terror.  More pain.  Eyes darting fast.  Some how in that state of mind she rested, or at least stopped moving and closed her eyes.  I stayed up all night with her, except going out in the living room a couple of times and going outside with Zappa once.  Mark knew it was the end.  The pain was horrifying.  And if nothing else confirmed it, moving her into the van to go to the vet did.  Her whole world was spinning.  Her body was in constant motion.  There was no stopping this.  

Discussed with our vet what was going on.  She said it was vestibular disease (old dog syndrome) having to do with deep in the inner ear.  Mark thinks it was brought on by a mini-stroke.  Loss of balance, everything spinning, nausea, serious head tilt and eyes that dart side to side.  Our vet said it was like Fiona was on a merry-go-round that she couldn't get off.  Whatever it was and whatever caused it, was one of the worst things I have seen.  Fiona was suffering.  We had to make it stop.  Recovery was very, very slim with her liver condition.  And so, we put her down that Saturday after this short onset on symptoms that took over her body.  And she was set free, from all of it.  Running and playing with Chance and Blaze.  I saw her.  She was happy.  

Today I cried for that girl I miss and what happened.  That it wasn't enough that we loss Chance, but had to lose Fiona too and it doesn't make any sense.  I don't understand.  But then I think I do.  I just don't know for sure, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.  My sweet girl was doing so well. I was looking forward to the extra time together, now that Chance was gone.  And didn't even get that.  So fast.  So quick.  She was gone.  Never to hold her again.  

Today as I sat out front, Mark and Zappa going to grab dinner, I saw Blaze, sitting in front of me.  I hadn't forgotten, I hadn't had the time.  But she was there to comfort me.  And I could see and feel my little Sweet Pea.  Life is so unfair and must move on, but it will never stop me from loving all of you no matter where we go.  I will always take you with me.  And you will always be here.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  Now and forever.  Forever and always Amen.   

Monday, May 10, 2021

Run Fiona, Run Free

JANUARY 2, 2008--MAY 8,2021

55 days after Blaze died and 3 days after Chance died, our little Fiona, is now running free with them.  I can't explain what happened except it was neurological.  Maybe someday I will try, but for now it is beyond my comprehension.  She started having symptoms the night we buried Chance and from then on it only got worse.  There is a possibility for recovery from this aliment, but with Fiona's liver condition and hip dysplasia it did not look good.  So we did the most loving thing we could do and released her from her pain.  

Heaven gained one hell of a Diva Princess and true warrior of love.  

Prayers are welcome for Zappa, who is now the lone dog of the 24 Paws of Love. And for us as we have lost 3 dogs in less than 60 days.   

Thank you.