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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

Monday, January 23, 2023

The pain 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!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022!

 Merry Christmas dear friends.  We wish you the best in life with the hope that Christmas brings.  

Thank you so much for being part of our lives and ride we have taken with you.  We appreciate you more than you know.  

God bless.

Love, Mark, Patty and Zappa

Monday, December 19, 2022

Zappa update

My two favorite boys doing what they love.

 We found out last week that Zappa's liver and spleen have tumors.  There is one large one on his liver that is the size of a grapefruit and the others are smaller, like grape-size.  

We don't know how much time we have left with him.  He could go at any time.  In spite of the cancer, Zappa is in good spirits, as mouthy as ever and still has a fair amount of energy.  

Zappa is Mark's dog.  He did the whole birthing thing with Zappa, up to cutting the cord.  This is the most time they have had together since losing the other dogs.  Mark is already having a rough time with the thought of losing Zappa.  Please keep both in your prayers.  

We are continuing to spoil Zappa rotten and take in every minute we have left with him.

Hug your pets tonight. ♥ Time flies so quickly.

Love, Patty, Mark and Zappa

Zappa hanging out with the 24 Paws of Love family.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Broken heart

 I'm really scared about getting my heart broken again.  Losing three dogs almost at the same time was horrifying and devastating and I don't know that I can go through that again with another dog(s).  

Sometimes I feel like Zappa will be the last one...ever.  And there are other times I want another dog, but I can't see any past Zappa.  I think it's because we had a pack, with a mom, a dad and kids and it is so hard to explain the feelings of losing a family of dogs.  From picking out Silver, then Brut, the conception, the pregnancy, the births to watching the litter grow at an alarming rate.  To saying good-bye and then saying hello again with Chance and Blaze.  I have no idea why, but having Chance and Blaze come back made our pack complete.  Yeah, these were special dogs.  We chose and planned this litter for a long time and now Zappa is the only one left. He deserves all the attention he can get.  He deserves everything he can get.  

I haven't ended up in the funny farm yet over the last three deaths, but when Zappa's time comes...I don't know that I can guarantee that.  

If it wasn't for the cats, I would have lost my sanity.  Right now they are the only ones that are keeping me together.  I know I don't talk much about them, after all it is a dog blog, but if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have much to hold on to.  They too are older seniors and time is flying by.  I'll tell you more about them in another post.  I am so grateful for them.  They are my beacons.  

My heart was shattered is several different ways and pieces losing three dogs so close together.  I don't know how to come back from that kind of fracture.  Every day I think about Chance, Blaze and Fiona.  And every day a sliver of my heart starts the healing process.  But I still don't know if I could do it again.  I'm really not sure...right now it hurts too much.