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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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Angry at Life

 I'm angry.  Yes, about the world situation, but this anger is a little more personal.   I'm in the anger phase of my grief of losing Chance, Blaze and Fiona.  I've been here before, but it is sticking around as I get to the core of it.  

I'm angry that life has left me with one dog.  Don't get me wrong, I am more than grateful for Zappa, but I miss having a house full of dogs.  I feel cheated in some ways that Fiona, Zappa's partner, isn't here.  I am angry God took all three, practically at the same time.  I have no problem being angry at God and telling him how I feel, but in the end God always wins.  I mean, the dogs were 13 years old.  They weren't going to live forever...maybe it is the cancer I'm mad at.  Why did they have liver cancer and die from it?  All of the 24 Paws that have died, have died from cancer.  Maybe Zappa will be the first who doesn't.  Maybe that's why he is here.  Among many other reasons.  Zappa doesn't seem to be hurting from having all our attention.  I think as he has healed he knows we are at his beck and call and he is lapping it up.  I think we have pretty much concluded that we won't be getting a dog for Zappa.  He is the last of the Paws and we want to honor him for that.  Sometimes I think another dog would be good for him, but the thought is temporary.  I don't see a long term positive for him.  Zappa needs all our attention in these tender years.  And we need him as a representative of the Paws.  

Funny how God works, I thought I'd be ranting and raving, but, really I'm content and at peace.  I know later tonight, the anger will come, even though it is already subsiding as a whole.  I never know what might be next, but I've made it this far already, so I think I can make it.  

Hope everyone is having a good day.  Remember to hug your dog. ♥ 

Peace.


    

Friday, June 10, 2022

A little peace

 It has been just over a year since losing Chance, Fiona and Blaze.  I think their anniversaries were harder than their initial death in some ways.  When they died we were in shock, which blocked a lot of things out, but after a year it was inevitable that the loss was real.  I fell into a horrible, dark depression after their anniversaries that I didn't think I would live through and I just wanted to die to be with them.  That's when I knew I'd hit the bottom in my grief and there was no where left to go but up.  And here I am.

We all went through a tough time around that period.  Zappa had a serious UTI with three different bacteria, that we struggled to catch.  After a strong antibiotic that almost killed his appetite, we were praying he just get through it, as he was rapidly losing weight for those two weeks.  And he did make it.  He is like a new dog, almost puppy like and feeling good.  

And of course, Mark was worried sick about both of us.  He was the one holding us together as much as he could while dealing with his own grief.  Believe me it was one day at a time.  One minute at a time.

The highlights for me were taking Zappa to laser therapy for pain in his back and back legs.  Even though we still have to give him a sedative, I think he's getting used to the routine and the procedure.  We are still seeing improvement or at least making the pain manageable going once a week for treatment.  Zappa also received a medicine called Adaquin, for his joints and that made quite an improvement.  We did eight treatments (two shots a week) for four weeks and now he's on a maintenance dose once a month that he will get later this month.    

I think overall we are doing OK.  That first year was so tough.  I don't know how we made it through it, but we are all doing better even with the sadness of the loss.  We are so grateful Zappa is still here with us, just that alone is a huge comfort.  Every day is a gift.  Hug your loved ones, time flies so fast.




Sunday, May 8, 2022

My Precious Fiona-One year anniversary


Dear Mr. God,

It was one year ago today that Fiona left us to spend time with you.  She must have missed Chance so much and didn't want him to go alone, so she met him in Heaven 3 days after he died.  

I don't know why she had to leave so soon, she must have had important Heaven work to do for you

You know that Fiona has never been gone this long from home and she might be missing some of her favorite things.  So let me tell you some of them.  

Fiona likes to dig up dandelions and eat them.  The ones with just the leaves and roots, not the flowers.  She saves those for the bees.  You must have told her they were good for her lives and probably helped her live a longer life.  I know she doesn't need them for her liver, now, but I think she would still like them.

The second thing Fiona loves o do is get her back scratched by the pine tree with the long needles.  And when the needles fell off, Mark, attached fresh ones to the tree, so that the fun never stopped.   In fact, he just replaced the branches this spring.  So any time she wants she can visit her favorite tree and let the scratching begin.  


Do you have snack time in Heaven?  Fiona loves snack time!  She is so funny about it.   She dances a jig, swinging her head to and fro, barking up a storm.  So you gotta have snacks, Mr. God for my Fiona.

And she adores belly rubs and lots and lots of love.  Can't get enough.  I wish I'd given her more. 

Please take care of my Fiona, Mr. God.  We miss her so much.  We are leaving her in your hands.  

Love, Patty 

  


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Soul Windows-Chance's One Year Anniversary

I am still processing Chance's death and this post comes in pieces from my broken soul.



Chance was the fourth puppy born to Silver and Brut's litter and the hardest dog for me to let go.  He was my heart and soul dog and his passing cuts the deepest out of our three that died.  

Chance's eyes were like burning fires.  They started out yellow than turned to an fiery amber.  His eyes were dull and empty when his previous owner returned him.   I watched those eyes turn to light and love.  They were so sweet and full of life and passion.  

I felt safe and protected in those eyes.  They were our largest way of communicating.  Chance's eyes spoke volumes in compassion, empathy and unconditional love.

Those eyes have saved my life over and over again.

13 years with these expressive, trusting eyes, taking care of me, even until the very end. When he willed himself in spite of the shot that was just given, to lift his head to give  me his eyes, one last time.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Struggling

Dear Friends, 

I made it to Blaze's one year anniversary, only to feel like I fell off a cliff the next day.  

Reality is so hard.

Now Chance and Fiona's one year anniversary is coming up and I'm grieving hard.  They died three days apart from each other and I am not handling it very well.  

I wanted to write up a little memoir for both of them and I don't know if I can do it.  I have been at a loss for words and have been feeling quite numb.  I'm surprised I made it this far for this post.  

I can't look at Facebook anymore. The groups I'm on, it seems as if all the dogs are dying.  It has become a living reminder of what I am going through myself.  

So, I don't know if I will be able to do something for Chance's and Fiona's day, but I know I will be thinking of them.  


Hope you are all doing well.

Thank you for thinking of us.  

Patty, Mark, and Zappa

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Royal Blood/24Paws connection

 Tonight my favorite English duo, Royal Blood are playing here in Michigan.  I've been upset for months that I couldn't go.  Covid and Zappa.  Mostly Zappa.  I have really struggle with why the stars aligned the way they did for today.  It seemed like there was a roadblock in every direction.  

To me, Royal Blood is a band of all bands for alternative rock.  While it feels as if the the rest of the rock world is dying, this band is more than a breath of fresh air; they are like getting straight oxygen to the brain.  They had me with their first beat of their first single.  

Tickets went on sale in Dec. '21 and were still available last week.  There was just no way I can go.  Today, I finally accepted that and thought I will have my own private concert at home.  I'll play their 3 albums back to back and just enjoy the music.  

I was half way through the first album, Royal Blood, when I found myself feeling uneasy and like my brain was churning.  I had to walk away from the music and sit outside.  Before I left, I looked at the year this album came out.  2014.  That's when the puzzle came into focus. 

Brut died in 2015 and I'd been listening to this album, before and after he died. I lived on the album.  Sometimes it helped me grieve while other times it was a break from grieving.  

The 2nd album, How did we get so dark?, came out in 2017, the same year Silver died.  I played it to over and over that year.  

The latest album, Typhoon, came out in 2020. Our last summer with Chance, Blaze, and Fiona.  Guess what got me through after they were gone.  

Every significant death is connected with these songs, these albums, and this band.  

Maybe, just maybe seeing Royal Blood live, tonight, would have been more than this broken hearted dog mom could take.  


Monday, April 4, 2022

My Heart Journey

 The other day I saw a post on FB for a rescue dog that was ready for a home.  It was a Husky, of course, female about 8 months old.  Just for the hell of it I went on the rescue website that was for Huskies.  I forget the name of it, but I found myself reading the articles they had on how to bring a new rescue home and the steps to take, things to do or not do in order for a successful start.  I was very impressed with this information the rescue group offered, so much so that I bookmarked the page.  I was feeling some peace.  Just letting my mind stay open and following my heart.  Then I looked at the dog page, just to look.  I wasn't picking out a dog or having any inklings of doing so, I just thumbed through the pages.  It was a nice feeling.  No commitments.  No pressure.  No desire.  Other than to just let my heart explore the possibilities.  My heart, you know, the one with a wall around it trying to keep my three in there.  The one with all the pain and sadness.  The one that hurts so much I don't know if I want to live sometimes.  Yeah, that one.  So when I ended my journey with peace in my heart, I thought, "Maybe this isn't the end."  Maybe it is the start to a new beginning.  Maybe when the right dog comes along, I'll be able to embrace on a new heart journey.  Just saying.  💗

Monday, March 14, 2022

Remembering my girl, Blaze. One year anniversary

That white streak is how Blaze got her name.
Little did we know she would give it a whole other meaning!

Blaze was born of Silver and Brut's litter.  She was the ninth puppy born.  And she was a natural born instigator.  Always starting something.  She was that way from the time she was born, until the time that she died.  It was an infectious quality she had.  I didn't always appreciate it, but learned to love her more for it.    

My first real memory of Blaze, (because her birth is a blur now) is when she was about 2-3 weeks old.  All the puppies would be settling down for a nap, getting all cozy with each other, and here would come Blaze pouncing on everyone with that baby bark, "Get up! Get up!  She was hilarious.  I still crack up when I think about it.  I can't stop laughing about it now. 

My flower barrel became a favorite spot in those early days back home.
 
My second vivid memory of Blaze is when her previous owners gave her back to us.  Our four dogs, were out back playing and Blaze's high pitched bark was rapidly firing off from the kitchen.   The dogs had rejected her when she came home and she so desperately wanted to play with them.  Well, I walked in through the door to the kitchen expecting to see her at the door, I followed her voice and there she was on top of the kitchen island!  Blaze was all fired up, shaking her tail and head and yipping with this huge smile on her face.  I was shocked!  This girl was crazy!  I even went so far as to put up a fence around the island table and the kitchen counter trying to stop her.   That lasted about a half a minute when I realized I couldn't use the table myself.  lol  I worked with her to stop jumping on the the counter and table, but I don't think it stopped until Chance came back.  She finally had another dog to play with and call her own.  

There was the time she jumped in the car when we went to visit her with her owners.  She was ready to come home then.  As it turned out about a week later was when they returned her to us.  She was so spot on!

I spent several months sleeping on the bathroom floor with Blaze.  She had been so hurt by her owners that she was a shell of herself.  She wouldn't sleep next to me at first, but over time she would lay down by my feet.  I remember how timid she was doing that, that I just held my breath when she did come on my blanket.  Tiny amounts of trust started in that bathroom.

                                   
After her spaying.  If Blaze could talk!

Blaze was so whip smart!  After the trust was built, there was no stopping her.  I was so intimidated by her intelligence.  Those wheels were also turning!  We were always trying to outsmart each other, but somehow it seemed Blaze was always on top.  I especially noticed it when we were on our walks.  That mind of her was always working on ways to pull me along.  I threw my hands up many a time walking her that I would just turn around and go home.  She was too much for me some days. 


I'll never forget the time Blaze and I had a frustrating day together and I was at my wits end.  It was my turn to sleep with her and I was trying to find a way for both of us to wind down for the night.  (This was before Chance had come back)  When I pulled out a tub of vanilla ice cream for us to share.  Blaze loved it!  She began to calm down and I began to come to.  She was so in love with ice cream.  That was the first time and it wasn't our last.  But I was loving our girls night together.  Blaze made everything she loved to do into the most exciting thing in the world.  I loved that about her.  Didn't matter what it was, if she was excited about it, she loved it!

Blaze didn't just dig...she built trenches!

One thing Blaze loved to do was run and being a part-time Husky she was born with the perfect frame and drive to pull a sled.  Don't let her 63 pounds fool you, she pulled me behind her effortlessly.  It was one the most beautiful things to experience, as she moved with fluidity and grace when she pulled.  It was breathtaking.  It came to her as natural as breathing.  As exquisite as she was, her long body galloping down the snow covered trail, there was a twist, she was still Blaze.  When she pulled she was on a mission, she knew she was in charge and she took that freedom to new heights every time when sledded together.  Her goal:  to look for dogs or go where ever the hell she wanted!  We were lucky though, we only had one encounter with a couple of dogs and their owner and just made it out of there alive.  (Something I'll share at another time.)  Blaze had a mind of her own and if she could get away with it, she did.   

Blaze was an amazing dog.  A little of everything you want and don't want in a dog.  Her spirit just vibrated with life, love and happiness.  As it still does today.  We were doubly blessed when she came back home and to have lived the life we did with her on Earth.  And we can't wait for our heavenly reunion someday.  

We miss you Sweet Pea.  You will always be our Baby Girl.

A chip off the ol' block.
Smiling in front of Daddy Dog Brut's roses.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A long overdue Zappa update




I don't know why it is so hard for me to write about Zappa.  Being that he is the last "puppy," I feel protective of him.  Also it is hard to write just about him without missing the others.  Not to mention we don't have that deep seeded bond like I did with the others.  Oh, we love each other and have our moments together.  He comes to me when he needs something or wants me to interoperate for him or if he is scared, but honestly our relationship is on a need to know basis.  

Zappa is Mark's dog, his heart dog.  Their closeness started the minute Zappa was born.  As Momma Dog Silver was a new mom, and was too busy cleaning herself up after the birth of her first born to take care of him.  Mark, took right over cleaning up Zappa, cutting the cord to get him ready for his new world and they have been tight ever since then.  And if that wasn't close enough for Zappa, now he has his heart boy all to himself and only has me to battle with for Mark's affection and love.  It was why the sleeping arrangements didn't work out between Zappa and I, he needed Mark.  I have felt hurt and rejected because Zappa will only let me get so close to him, but have learned how important and precious his relationship is with Mark and the opportunity to have Mark all to himself, that my feelings have grown to one of respect and adoration.  They both need this time together and each other, without my petty feelings getting in the way.  After all I took care of five dogs that I was able to have a special relationship with, it was Mark's turn to experience the beauty of having a heart dog.  

Zappa has come a long way this past year.  He is still getting his cold laser treatments on his hips, back and legs twice a week.  That is going good.  We switched to a closer vet for those treatments, as you may remember, Zappa stands in the van for the whole ride.  So, instead of standing for three hours round trip, he is only standing an hour, and it makes a huge difference in his recovery time.  We are still struggling to find a calming chew that will take the edge off Zappa's anxiety without drugging him.  Although, it is possible that we may never be able to curb his nerves about riding in the van and going to the vet.  We are going to try desensitizing him to car rides and the vet, to see if that helps.  Yeah, good luck with that!

In December his liver levels were slightly up and after having a ultrasound of his abdomen, all of his organs were great, except his gall bladder had some sludge in it.  Whatever that means.  But it is nothing serious, just part of old age and could be the cause of the rise in the liver.  

Our vet found a growth in between his front toes and had it checked out.  It wasn't cancerous!  Yay!  That was a little scary, but it looks like the growth is shrinking, which is also good news.  

It looks like Zappa has accepted us as his pack members, since losing his brother and sisters.  We are settling in as 3-pack group. (with a couple of cats on the side.)  I have no doubt Zappa still thinks about his siblings.  He still has moments of sadness and looks lost.  I think he misses having a dog around to be a dog with, but neither of us are ready.  I also know he enjoys all the special attention he gets being an only dog and I believe right now that makes up for not having another close canine around.  

Overall we are holding our own.  The year anniversary of Blaze's death is coming up in March with Chance and Fiona to follow in May.  Hard to believe it has been a year without them and having only Zappa.  Thank God we have each other or none of us would have made it through this alone. 

We are taking everything day by day.  Praying that Zappa makes it through winter to spring, is my only goal for him.  

Thanks for hanging in there with us.  

God bless.

 


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Discombobulated

This was written at the beginning of February,2022.  I never got around to sharing it. This is just some of things Mark and I have been going through with Zappa. 

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We have been doing it since the first night Blaze came back.  Every night with only a few exceptions, for 13 years, hubby and I have been taking turns sleeping with the two packs.  Each night switching pillows and blankets between the two sleeping quarters.  Mark would sleep with one side while I was sleeping on the other and then the next night we would rotate.  

When Blaze came back, it was a difficult time all around, especially for her.  There was no way we were leaving her alone that first night and so I took first shift on the bathroom floor with my little girl.  With nothing more than layered blankets on a plywood floor and a silent prayer we began what would become a lifestyle that changed the course of our lives.  

We continued this pattern even after Chance, Blaze and Fiona died.  At first it was hard sleeping with the Front pack all alone, but over time it became healing and welcomed.  

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For the last couple of months my sleeping time with Zappa have been very stressful.  He was constantly waking me up and getting me up and down out of bed.  Eventually, I slept in the living room.  The beginning of the broken trust.  That went on fine for a couple of months, until he started again, waking me up and keeping me up.  Not good for either of us.  Finally after days of little to no sleep, we made the difficult decision for Mark to sleep with Zappa on a regular basis, while I took to the Front Dogs.  

The decision was good.  I was finally able to catch up on my sleep as my mental health had been wavering due so many sleepless nights.  

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

It's been almost a week since sleeping "with" Chance and Blaze.  And I'm having a harder and harder time sleeping.  The decision for permanent sleeping arrangements, solidifies the big change that happened almost a year ago and I don't know where to sleep anymore.  I slept with the cats last night.  I'm in my chair at the moment.  I don't know where to rest my head.  I'm so discombobulated.   It is more than just a routine, it was our lives.  It was our dogs.  It was everything.  And it is over.  It is over.

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

It has been a good month since changing our sleeping arrangements and things are finally settling down.  I am sleeping in Chance's and Blaze's bed and sleeping through the night without shifting places.  I feel grounded now and while it is still difficult sleeping alone, there is some peace.  

Monday, February 14, 2022

Now and Forever, Blaze



 Where has the time gone?  How did almost a year sneak under our belt?  Today, Valentine's Day marks Blaze's 11 months since she left us.  How have we managed, how have we lived without her for 11 months?  Seems like she was just here yesterday.  It doesn't seem fair or right, yet here we are.  

It wasn't so long ago that I was giving her kisses on her forehead.  Her favorite.  She used to visit me in the bathroom just for them.  

Or how giddy she would get trying to sit long enough for a treat with her wing-tipped ears wiggling with excitement.  

Two of my favorite memories of Blaze.  This is how I picture her.  Coming to get kisses and those floppy ears.  That's how I remember her.  

That's how I will always remember her.  

Now and Forever, Blaze.





Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Chance Wednesday


I was completely stressed out.  Mark had to shower for an appt. and left me on Skype with the cell phone company with a phone I know nothing about and a foreign voice that was breaking up.  If that wasn't bad enough Zappa started a barking raucous that could have woke the dead.  And calling from the computer, I was attached and couldn't move.  All this before I'd had a chance to get dressed.  Then the wood furnace blower shut off, that cat starting crying and my anxiety was through the roof.  

After the whole ordeal ended and I was finally able to sit down and try to relax, I said a small prayer of help, and held my head in my hands.  

Next thing I know Stone Temple Pilot's song, "Plush," came on and I started to giggle.  Then I was laughing.  It was Chance's day and he had ordered this one song, my favorite.  I could feel his head in my lap as the laughter turned to tears.  Oh how I miss my spiritual healer.  He understood me so well.  Which is why he was here today.  God knew exactly what and who I needed to help me through this stress spot.  

My day was so much better after connecting with Chance.  We still need each other.  It is not over....they are still here. ♥

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

From our good friends at Chewy...

 We've been ordering from Chewy.com for some time.   I even used to do reviews about them on the blog.  We've ordered almost anything dog or cat related from them and they have treated us well.  


But when this came in the mail today...it was just too much!

With this note:  We're so sorry to hear of your loss of Chance and Fiona and our hearts go out to you.  We know this time is tough and we're always here if you need anything.
Love, Chewy.com

Thank you Chewy!

My husband, Mark, is a talker.  He can block me out of a conversation in seconds flat!  And if anyone gets even close to his dog radar, he takes them for a 24 Paws of Love ride.  So last week, he was talking to someone at Chewy.com and then I hear his dog radar go off.  The next thing I know the Chewy employee was on the 24 Paws of Love blog and Mark is explaining all the dogs to him.  Not to mention all the videos we have on Youtube!  

I tell you this because we think he may have been the one that sent the flowers, in care of Chewy.  And if it was we would like to say "Thank You," you made our day.   

Animal people are good people.  You just have to find the right ones.  ♥

Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy Birthday to Zappa and the gang

January 2, 2022


 There may only be one cake and one set of candles this year, but it is representing the entire litter of ten that was born 14 years ago today.  



And Zappa was excited to have the whole cake to himself.  



He had no problem chowing down for himself and the others!!


Happy Birthday to the Power of Ten:


(L to R)

Grumpy, Blaze, Fiona, V-girl, Zappa, Rocket, T-bone, Angel, Red and Chance

They may be gone but never forgotten.